Scouting, a unique way to connect with my boys!

Written by Maria Southey, SSA Youth Influencer

1st Ballito Troop Scouter Marcus Rivera is a native New Yorker, from Brooklyn NY.  He moved to Ballito in KZN about 12 years ago. Marcus has 3 beautiful boys, aged 8,13 and 14 whom are currently Scouts within his 1st Ballito Troop.

“Before moving to South Africa I spent 4 to 5 years working with The Salvation Army in the US”, explains Marcus. “Within those years, I grew closer to God and myself. During my time as Youth Pastor and Programme Director within the organization, I was fortunate enough to work with some of the best people and together we could impact thousands of children through our youth groups and summer camps. From 2004 to 2008 I mainly worked in Waltham, MA, which is just outside of Boston as well as in Sharon, MA, South of Massachusetts. It was during my time at Camp Wonderland in Sharon where I met my wife. We were both volunteers there for years”, he continues with a smile.

“I have a passion for working with youth and Scouting affords me the privilege to have that. Scouting has provided me an opportunity to connect with my boys in a unique way, as they are all very different. They were initially invited to the Scouts by one of our family friends Scout Group Leader (SGL) Colin Bouwer.  Once we were there it was easy to get invested and involved.”

When asked what Scouting means for him as a father and a person, he had the following to say “Scouting is my safe space. I find it thoroughly entertaining and therapeutic- mostly because it’s highly social and helps me with my communication skills. I love learning and teaching – and Scouting applies both aspects – with other Scouts and Scouters. Keeping busy, challenged, and motivated keeps me focused and in touch!”