“I joined a friend at a Cub meeting and never looked back”, says 6th Rondebosch Rover Dylan Ribbans with a smile. After a break of 2 years after turning 18, Dylan rejoined the Movement that gave him so much joy and memories whilst growing up in Somerset West in the Western Cape.
“I saw an advert in the University of Cape Town’s Mountain and Ski Club Newsletter by 2nd Rondebosch Troop Scouter Nic Hyslop. I was looking for a way back into Scouting, and this was it! At the time I also befriended Paul Polta, a German volunteer who was here for a year to help at the National Office. He told me about his Rovering experiences with 6th Rondebosch, and it took me back to my time as a Scout with 2nd Somerset West and moreover the Cederberg Senior Scout Adventure.
As any Scout will tell you, there are many memories that come to mind when reminiscing about Scouting. For me, the Senior Scout Adventure stands out because you are far away from the city and find yourself in the middle of the raw beauty of the Cederberg. Nobody gets to experience the Cederberg like Scouts do during the Adventure, it’s an absolute privilege and I definitely recommended. I enjoyed all the amazing bases especially water base! It was actually my last adventure as a Scout, so I was definitely able to end my Scouting journey with a bang”, he quips.
“As a Rover it’s great to be able to do things that are out of the ordinary, whilst learning from my peers. Recently one of our Rovers cooked 10 of us a 3-course dinner and it was amazing! Better than what most restaurants in the city can offer! I think one of the abilities I have acquired as part of my own personal development in the programme is how to communicate effectively. The service projects have helped me to reflect and be grateful. I will never forget the feeling I got when we ran the relief project in Khayelitsha during the Covid-19 lockdown. Knowing that you are making a difference, regardless of it being big or small, is rewarding. Assisting with service projects has also allowed me to connect with fellow Rovers, like when we renovated the Strawbale House at Hawequas, and cleared lots of the alien vegetation. The Rover programme enables you to help with multiple short-term projects, versus one long initiative. This gives you as a person the chance to help many more people and causes. To me, being able to do that is powerful!”
Currently Dylan is also one of the wardens of the Appleton Campsite on Signal Hill in Cape Town. “I have a full-time job in the IT sector, so combining it with Rovering and the renovations at the campsite has been challenging at times. But this experience has taught me how to manage my time more effectively and value the impact of our hard work even more,” continues Dylan. “We are making steady progress into revitalising Appleton into a site to be used 90% of the year by Scouting members, schools, and youth from around Cape Town, or even further afield. It is uniquely positioned on the top of Signal Hill and therefore has the potential to have a major impact on outdoor education. It is easily accessible to town yet gives you the feeling that you are far away, you can switch off and set off on fantastic hikes and then enjoy the spectacular views upon your return.
When I started here as a warden, I didn’t have the skills I have acquired along this journey,” he laughs. “In Scouting style, I have learnt by doing. I think that is key in Scouting. When you are not sure of your own capabilities, Scouting gives you the opportunity to work on them.”
When asked if he is glad he returned to Scouting, he smiles, thinks for a moment, and says “Absolutely! I get to experience the Scout adventure again, but now as an adult!”