A Scouter’s rewarding journey

Written by Thozamile Dingaan, SSA Youth Influencer Northern Cape 

With the schools and Scout Groups in full swing again, I spoke to Mmatsi Itumeleng also known as “MaItumeleng” a Troop Scouter from the Pulelo Scout Group about her journey as an adult volunteer in the Nothern Cape Kuruman District where there is a lack of positive extracurricular activities for children.

SSA: How did your Scouting journey start?
Maltumeleng: I have children of which two children are in Scouts.  I have seen incredible growth in them and wanted to do the same for others. We would always go to weekly Troop meetings and Troop activities. The love I have for Scouting just got ignited when I saw how passionate my kids were about this movement. Because I always took them there, the envy of also being an adult leader grew right there and later started my Scouting journey.

I first started Scouting at Simolulang Primary where I used to assist another teacher in Scouting. In 2007 I moved on to Pulelo Primary School and later opened a Scout Group there. In 2009 I attended my very first Adult Leader training course in Kimberley. It was a very great experience learning a lot from both young and older people. Having to camp out and cook out backwoodsman style was priceless and is an experience that I would never forget. I learned so much from the course. My understanding of Scouting grew and I gained a bigger respect for Adult Leaders. It really takes a lot to be a Scouter. You need to be an all-rounder, a parent – figure to your Scouts, and also be a support system for them should they need you.

SSA: What is Pulelo Scout Group and how did it start?
MaItumeleng: Pulelo Scout Group is a school group. The Scout Group had one unit around 2007 and only catered for Scouts. Recently we decided to open a Rover Crew.

SSA: What impact does Scouting have not only on its members but within the community at large?
Maltumeleng: Pulelo is in Kuruman, in the Northern Cape. A lot of our Scouts are from less privileged homes. Scouting really keeps our children away from drug and alcohol abuse. It keeps our children busy from being exposed to such problems affecting our teenagers, as well as teenage pregnancy just to name a few.

SSA: Finally, what does Scouting mean to you personally?
MaItumeleng: Most of the youth around my area needed something positive to keep them away from things like drugs and alcohol. This is exactly what Scouts does. This has always motivated me to continue guiding these children to reach their full potential in life.

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