Nathan Smith, Springbok Scout

Supplied by Theo Rijs, Chair: National Scout Programme

Congratulations to Nathan Smith, 1st Bergvliet Sea Scouts, Western Cape for achieving his Springbok Award! May your Springbok Award serve as a reminder of the incredible heights you can reach with determination and passion. Congratulations on your outstanding accomplishment! 

Nathan’s Springbok Expedition took place in the Groot Winterhoek mountains, which spanned an impressive 46km featuring a challenging 1.5km ascent. Despite facing leg pain and blisters, Nathan and his fellow Scouts persevered through the physical demands of the journey, with one of the Scouts demonstrating resilience even while facing sickness on the last day. The hike not only showcased their physical resilience but also their ability to overcome challenges as a team, leaving them with enduring memories of a successful and enriching adventure.

Nathan spearheaded an impactful 45-hour Community Service project at Victory Kids, a school in Fish Hoek. The project included painting a vibrant mural on a wall and, adding a further creative touch, the children’s play area received a painted patch of concrete floor featuring a race track and city design, creating an engaging space for the children to learn through play. The Scouts also revitalized an overgrown garden, made two planter boxes from scratch, and planted vegetables providing nourishment for the learners.
Nathan’s leadership and the Scouts’ collective efforts have made a lasting impact on Victory Kids, highlighting the positive influence Springbok Scouts can have on their community. This service project not only beautified the school but also provided enduring opportunities for learning and play for underprivileged children.

The construction of a six-meter long pioneering bridge suspended 2.5m above the ground was the chosen Scout Skills Major Project which showcased Nathan’s innovation and determination. Nathan, seeking a new challenge, introduced a unique design that initially faced an oversight. Upon realizing the potential issue during construction, he promptly adapted his design. His ability to adapt and innovate in the face of challenges is a testament to his pioneering skills and problem-solving acumen within the Springbok Scouts.

When asked about his Springbok Journey, Nathan replied: “Scouting has given me a place to grow as a person more than anything else in my life. It not only taught me practical skills, but also valuable lessons like leadership and responsibility. My closest friends are all Scouts – the shared challenges, victories, (and late night STAs), creates incredible lifelong friendships. I am incredibly grateful to everyone who has given me support on my Springbok Journey, and I hope to pay it forward by giving the next generation of Scouts the same experience I had.
As a junior Scout, Springbok always seemed like an impossible task, as the amount of work seemed daunting, but my journey as a Scout had prepared me well for the challenges I faced. Looking back, completing Springbok gave me a great sense of accomplishment while achieving amazing things, as well as a new-found confidence and pride in my own ability.
To future Springbok Candidates I would say, don’t get too disappointed when things are difficult, or don’t go exactly to plan, because bad things happen. Pushing through – doing your best – is the best way to leave each challenge a better person. And pack lots of nice food for your hike!”