“It is not the act, but the spirit in the action”

As we celebrate Women’s Day we want to shine some light on a few incredible ladies in our Scouting Movement. Jeanette Angus is the Chairperson of the Cubbing Centenary and the National Cub Programme, she is also a devoted daughter and hardworking woman.

JeanetteJeanette Angus joined the Scouting Movement in 1980 at 1st St Francis in Yeoville as a Pack Helper.  “I had my arm twisted by Baloo!” she says with a smile. “When I started I had a fantastic Pack Scouter who taught me a great deal and gave me free reign to try out new things. I have so many fond memories of my time in my first Pack like my first Cub camp! What an experience that was! Also the first time we took part in the National Challenge and going on hikes are memories I cherish. At the time I lived in a flat so it was great to get away from the concrete jungle and breathe in fresh air!”

For 36 years Jeanette has worked relentlessly to help Cubbing grow in South Africa. We asked her how important Cubbing is for the personal development of children. “Our aim is to develop children holistically; to become independent, healthy, happy and helpful individuals. Through the Cub Programme, which is aimed at the balanced development of each child, we provide opportunities for learning through the play-way method. We provide new experiences, which aim to develop the Cubs fitness and creative skills.  Working in small groups not only creates a sense of belonging but also provides opportunities for the Cubs to practice their leadership skills.  We provide opportunities for the Cubs to express and respond to their own spiritual needs; I could go on………………..! In today’s world I think Cubbing is very important in supporting a child’s development!

Not only do children learn by playing, Cubbing also requires the Cubs to do a good deed and to conserve and respect the environment they live in. “It is not the deed but the spirit in the deed, that children learn at a young age through Cubbing”, explains Jeanette. “Service in the Pack starts with a daily good turn. It is a practical expression of service – “helping other people” should be a living part of a Cubs life. Additionally, Lord Baden Powell attached great importance to nature and life in the outdoors. Getting the Cubs outdoors is a ‘must do’.  By being outdoors they are taught to respect and appreciate the world around them.

Jeanette, who has been awarded the 35 years long service medal and the Silver Protea, is not only a role model to many, but has a few of her own. “I really look up to Pat Holland my first Akela, who really gave me a good grounding in Cubbing and Carol Olive, who is a good friend and was my mentor for a number of years. “

So why does Jeanette, a very busy payroll controller at a huge retailer, volunteer all her time to the Scouting Movement? “I have a huge passion for Cubbing and all that it embodies! People don’t believe me when I tell them that I am actually an introvert.  Being part of the Scout Movement has helped me come out of my shell and has exposed me to many things which I would probably never have done. Also as an Akela of a Cub Pack it is very rewarding to watch the Cubs grow and develop from the nervous “newbie” to the confident “old hand”.“

When asked what makes a good Pack Scouter she refers to scripture “I think the fruits of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) covers all characteristics of a good Akela – love (lots of it), joy (happiness is being with Cubs), peace, patience (lots of it), kindness (a little bit goes a long way), goodness (we need to lead by example), faithfulness (dependability), gentleness and self-control.”