Kevin Bartholomew, Springbok Scout

Supplied by Theo Rijs, Chair: National Scout Programme

Congratulations to Kevin Bartholomew, 9th Benoni, Gauteng for achieving his Springbok Award! “With your Springbok Award, you’ve not only achieved excellence but also inspired others to reach for their own stars. Congratulations and keep soaring!”

Kevin and his six-Scout Patrol, ranging in age from 13 to 17, covered an impressive distance of 42km over three days and two nights on the Magoebaskloof hiking trail. Weaving through natural forests and man-made plantations, provided a picturesque backdrop for the hiking expedition which Kevin said was “awesome to see the difference”. Kevin’s thoughtful planning and leadership ensured a safe and enjoyable experience for his Patrol, fostering a love for nature and the joy of hiking among the Scouts, creating lasting memories in the heart of nature.

This hike was so much fun, allowing us to experience nature at her best and fall in love with the hiking experience.

In a Community Service Project to the Scouting community Kevin and his team of Scouts, replaced the old benches in the Arrowe Park’s Chapel on the banks of Homestead Lake in Benoni with environmentally friendly recycled plastic timber. The entire project, completed in approximately 97 hours, incurred a cost of R48,000 which was raised through donations. Kevin’s outstanding community service project not only beautified Arrowe Park, but also showcased his leadership, teamwork, and commitment to making a lasting positive impact.

Despite facing adverse weather conditions, Kevin successfully led a team of eight Scouts, the majority being inexperienced, in constructing two 6-meter high pioneering projects that featured two levels for sleeping, interconnected by a hanging platform positioned 4 meters above the ground. The challenging weather conditions, which required intermittent pauses for safety, added complexity to the already intricate build that involved approximately 250 lashings and the use of around 100 poles. The project provided valuable learning experiences for the Scouts, and Kevin’s leadership was evident in maintaining the team’s morale, ensuring a positive and collaborative atmosphere even in the face of challenging weather.

When asked about his Springbok Adventures he smiled and said: “ The Springbok Journey was tough and challenging at times but was so much fun to do. It taught me so much about Scouting, myself and everyone around me. I loved everything I did for my Springbok, especially when we got to go out and do the activities. It definitely taught me so many life lessons that I will carry with me forever. To those working on their Springbok, don’t think of Springbok as a chore but rather as a new challenge and be grateful you can do it. Enjoy it, don’t hate it, look at everything in a positive way. I love the journey, it’s always worth it in the end.