Written by Caroline Boshoff, SSA Youth Influencer Eastern Cape
Recently Caroline Boshoff joined our National Youth Influencer team in the Eastern Cape South Region. We are excited to hear about all the great initiatives and achievements from our members in the Region. We asked her to share her own Scouting journey with us.
“The start of my Scouting journey started with the Principles and Method of the Scout Movement! The core values impressed my mother so much, that she decided that her my little brother had to be part of this amazing Youth Organization, and I … I just tagged along.
As a new 9 year old Cub, I did a few interest badges and I don’t know whether it was the reward of a badge or the outdoor activities, but somehow “het die Scouts gogga my gebyt” (the Scouting bug bit me).
As a Link badge Scout, I was very excited to go on my very first “big Scout” hike. I packed two suitcases of bare necessities – including my Sunday best blue high heal platform shoes because they matched my Sea Scout uniform perfectly. In my mind, I adhered to the Scout Motto – Be Prepared. Nobody could convince me that I did not need all that stuff on a mountain. So, halfway up the mountain, after my Patrol Leader noticed my huffing and puffing, she kindly suggested that I should ditch one suitcase under the bush and retrieve it on our way back home. Needless to say, on my next hike, I only packed two sets of practical clothes. This experience taught me a valuable lesson: If you make a mistake in life, use it as a learning opportunity, to enable you to make better choices in the future.
I did not know it as a Cub or even as a Scout, but somehow Scouting let me grow into a well-balanced adult. In hindsight, I can see that even small things like achieving an interest badge or an advancement level, and big things like doing a PLTU, all developed my confidence, communication skills, and leadership abilities, whilst motivating me to always do my best.
I did not know it as a Cub or even as a Scout, but somehow Scouting let me grow into a well-balanced adult.
I am so grateful to the Scout Movement for all the knowledge and skills that I obtained through the years, that I decided as an adult member to give my time and energy as a volunteer, to help the Movement to grow and to create opportunities for younger members to develop into the best person they can be.
For my Squire project I organised a badge competition to design the First NMB South District Badge. After the judging panel choose the winning design, I made arrangements to have it embroidered and distributed the new badge to all the Scout Groups at an official event to launch the first NMB South District badge.
My current positions in the Scout Movement are: Den and Troop Scouter of Algoa Sea Scouts and Vice Chairperson of the 1st Walmer Rover Crew. I’m now also part of the National Youth Influencer Team.
As a NMMU Foundation Phase Teaching Student, working with younger children are my passion and I am so grateful that SCOUTS South Africa identified the need to also accommodate this age group in our wonderful programme. Needless to say, one of my favourite Scouting accomplishments was attending the Meerkat Warrant course at Gillwell, Florida and subsequently starting the first Meerkat Den in the Nelson Mandela Metropole.
As I stand at the beginning of my Adult Scout journey, I can’t wait to see the roads I will travel!”