Scouts, life outside of societal binaries and boundaries

Zama Mazibuko joins the SSA Youth Influencer team in KZN. She is also a member of the Regional Young Leaders Team and is keen to share how Meerkats, Cubs, Scouts and Rovers from around the Region are working towards personal development, conservation and peace.

Written by Zama Mazibuko, Youth Influencer KZN

Growing up I never really paid Scouting much mind. Whenever I saw the Scouts they were just another functioning group in society that I wasn’t really a part of. If you had told me back then that I would be a Scout in the future, I would have given you the “really bro?” look and walked away.

Well, I’m happy that today I can tell a different story. My Scouting journey started when my best friend invited me to her Troop, 1st Yellowwood Park, for a movie night. That was the Troop that became home for the years following.  Slowly but surely my Friday nights stopped looking like YouTube and more like fun, learning and 2-hour adventures. I didn’t start Scouting at Cubs like everyone else at my Troop at the time, and I often felt like I wasn’t the ideal image of a Scout because I was not into starting the fires but rather the conversations around the fire. When I was introduced to badges such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Diversity Awareness, I found myself being the Scout I believed I could become. I found my place amongst the square lashings and strip maps.

I had always been interested in meeting new people and really embracing the spirit of ubuntu outside of my close circles and Scouts provided an avenue for me to do that. I joined Scouts honestly for the vibe, the positive and accepting atmosphere that Scouting created. I often tell prospective Scouts that Scouting exists outside of any binaries and boundaries we face in everyday society because that was wat attracted me to the Movement. That simple line is the reason I am the great Scout that I am today. Regardless of ethnicity, gender, religion or sexuality, I have watched young people, who have become family, grow into the best versions of themselves and reach new heights.

The nature of Scouting as a youth development programme is another of the many reasons I was interested in joining. I am often told that mini me walking into Scouts in 2017 and me today in 2021 are not two different people, but rather the same person just a whole lot louder and a whole lot happier. During my First Class I moved Troops and joined my current home 1st Amanzimtoti. This has shown me that Scouts isn’t a hall or a Troop, but rather a feeling and the people around you. My best Scouting memories include a quiet moment at BP Camp in Durban, a moment in which I can truly enjoy and admire the beauty and love floating around with the insects in the air. Whether that quiet is always quiet is often debatable on account of being snapped out of the haze by the roaring laugh of the Scouts. Scouting has given me the tools to propel my life forward. It has helped me be able to not only adapt to change but to be the actual driver of change. It has handed me the tools to fully grasp all the opportunities given to me. It has shown me that most times a leopard has to change its spots and become a zebra and face life’s challenges head on.

If you had told me in 2017 that I’d be excelling in my Scouting career today, I would’ve given you a “really bro face”, but I’m happy I didn’t and that I’m here today. A Scout.

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