Scouting is an adventure any young person can join

Written by Chandre’ Li-ayne Greenan. Supplied by Thozamile Dingaan, SSA Youth Influencer NC

Chandre’ Li-ayne Greenan was born in Kimberley on the 13th of May 2004. She was introduced to the Gladstone Scouts 4th (RLY) Group in her primary school years. Here she shares the impact Scouting has had on her as a person, and on how she sees her life in the future.

“One Friday night I went with my friend to see what it was all about…  and the bug bit me!”, says Chandre with a smile. “I thoroughly enjoyed it. So much so, that I was invested on the 29th of July 2016 at Gladstone 4th (RLY) Troop.  I was then 12 years old already, so, sadly I missed out on the Cub adventure“

“What is Scouting for me?  Scouts is an adventure that any young person can join. I have learnt so much during my Scouting years, from personal and practical skills, to survival skills. We do a lot of outdoor activities and go on camps and hikes. It sounds like a lot of work, well yes it is, but you have fun, and has never ever felt like hard work to me! We also do a lot of fun activities as a Troop at the Scout hall, and every activity is a learning curve.

On my journey as a Scout, I had various advancement levels that I had to achieve. Each level with its own challenge, yet with many interest badges that one can work towards. I wear all my badges with so much pride on my Scouts shirt.

The highest level that one can achieve is the Springbok Award, which has to be completed before I turn 18 years of age. I am currently on the verge of receiving this award and I am so excited to get it. That was one of my goals, and I am almost there! To achieve this Springbok Award I had to plan, organise and execute a number of activities. For example, doing 40 hours of community service, organise and plan both a camp and a 40km hike as a Patrol Leader. I also had to organise and build a pioneering construction and do an informative presentation about Scouts at a school.

So along my journey, I not only learnt new skills but also gained enough experience to be able to say that I have improved my new skills as well. I have also loved the fact that I can now communicate better with people and that I have also met a lot of new people and made many friends.

I achieved twenty-four interest badges and all four of my advancement level badges. . I also received my Bushman’s Thong on the 9th of February 2021, which are made of leather that I had to braid myself.  This I achieved for earning more than twenty-one interest badges. I also received my service cord as well, on the 9th of March 2021. I achieved this award by earning a number of interest badges too and I was the first one in the Northern Cape and Gladstone Scouts to achieve this award.  Some of my interest badges include swimmer, cook, handyman, public health, first aid, chess, horseman, pet keeper, and many more. Other awards I wear with pride that I received as well are the Covid – 19, Better World for BP, AIDS awareness, and Cub instructor badges.

As I progressed along the way I also took part in quite a few Battered Boot Night Hikes. This is an annual event where you hike from sunset to sunrise, having to find checkpoints. The Patrol with the most points wins the Battered Boot Trophy. As a Patrol we took part and had to find checkpoints all on our own. Trust me when I say we got lost”, she laughs.

“There have been many up’s and down’s in my Scouting journey.  But honestly, what is a journey without challenges, and especially finding yourself having to complete your First Class level during 2020 Covid restrictions.  My highlights include becoming the Patrol Leader of my Patrol and being a part of the winning Patrol to win the Battered Boot Trophy for coming first in the annual Night Hike.

Anyone can become a Scout, but you need to have a positive mind-set.

In life, you cannot ever expect anything to come easy so you have to work hard if you want to achieve your goals. It takes commitment, dedication, and discipline to get all that you need to do done. In the end all your hard work will pay off.

Anyone can become a Scout, but your mind-set needs to be correct. If you have a positive mind-set then you will be able to keep up with all the work that is required. You need to work hard and give it your best during the process of achieving your goals, then the end product will most definitely be worth it. And I quote a verse from our founder’s last letter to Scouts “God put us in this jolly world to be happy and to enjoy life. Happiness does not come from being rich, nor merely from being successful in your career, nor by self-indulgence. ”

I also quote from Robert Baden Powell, “The most worthwhile thing is to try to put happiness into the lives of others and a Scout smiles and whistles under all circumstances. I’m very grateful to the Gladstone Scouts for all that they have done for me”, concludes Chandre.