Written by Dylan Cloete, SSA Youth Influencer Western Cape
Earlier this year 1st Durbanville Rovers donated some of their Group’s older equipment to the 1st Darling Scout Group. This neighbourly gesture has had a big impact on the way Scouting is now delivered to the youth in Darling.
“Before a Rover Recruit is invested into their Crew they need to undertake a challenge that the Crew sets for them. My challenge was to help another Scout Group namely 1st Darling”, explains Charles Murphy.
“1st Darling is a relatively new Scout Group at 3 years old and didn’t have any equipment. So in order to help them serve their Scouts and Cubs, I organised the donation of some of 1st Durbanville’s older equipment. We met as Rovers at our Scout Hall on a Saturday morning to prepare for the handover. The equipment donated consisted of one 8-person canvas tent which is still in a great condition. We gave it a good clean and then repainted a barrel – filled with kitchen equipment – and a gas canister in the 1st Darling colours (royal blue, gold and lime green). We also added a 2-plate gas stove. This equipment will go a long way in enabling them to go camping and compete at Regional competitions”, says Charles with excitement.
“The following Saturday our Rovers joined 1st Darling for an activity at 10am. Their Troop Scouter Alban Peterson met us and introduced us to the members of the Group. We fell in with them and handed over the equipment. We then assisted their Cubs and Scouts in pitching the tent so that they could learn how to pitch and maintain it! I’m extremely grateful that I could help out. They were so happy to receive their new equipment and I hope that this can be the start of a great friendship between us and our ‘neighbours’ at Darling!” adds Charles.
All we look for as volunteers is to make young children happy, help them grow, and see smiles on their faces.
“For a Troop like 1st Durbanville to have concerns for a rural Scout Group like ours is just so amazing’, says Alban Peterson with a smile. “It was such a blessing! To see the eyes of our Cubs and Scouts light up like that was very special. It was really nice to have a combined activity where we as Scouts could come together as one happy family! I truly believe that in Scouting people embrace diversity. We don’t see colour and leave politics at the door. All we look for as volunteers is to make young children happy, help them grow, and see smiles on their faces. As Scouting members we all have one colour heart and that is pure purple” he adds.
When asked whether the donation has made a difference, Alban says excitedly “Absolutely. Having equipment really helps. Our Cubs and Scouts can now learn how to pitch a tent and use the equipment. 1st Durbanville had sprayed the Patrol box and gas canister in our 1st Darling colours. I really appreciate the gesture. The support we received actually also opened up other things for us. On the day the Rovers came to donate the equipment we were having an open day with our parents and other members of the community. To see another Group arrive in uniform with sleeves full of badges and also some Springbok badges really inspired our members. They now want to earn more badges too.
People that attended the day also posted images of what we were doing on social media and local Darling websites. We didn’t have a hall to meet in at the time and so had to meet outdoors. After the event, I got a call from the Principal of Darling Primary School. She offered us the school hall to hold our meetings. Recently our Cubs had their first meeting in the hall and our Akela Candice said that it was an amazing feeling to be able to meet in a hall. Having a facility to run our programmes really changes things. So the gesture from 1st Durbanville has had a big impact on how we can now run Scouting in Darling. I hope we can continue to strengthen the relationship between our two Groups”, he concludes.