Let’s reclaim our Scout Experience together

Message from Deputy Chief Scout Khonzaphi Mdaka

Over the past two years, the Covid pandemic impacted all of our personal, professional, and Scouting lives. We lost loved ones, livelihoods, and had to cancel the majority of our plans. As a Scout Movement, we were not able to offer the Scout experience in its truest form to our members. However, despite the challenges, you – our volunteers – were at the forefront of keeping Scouting alive. Your drive and determination as volunteers and members to keep Scouting going was encouraging and inspiring. It wasn’t easy, but nothing could keep us as a Scout family down, not even Covid.

2022 has some exciting programmes in store for us. From the new SDG initiative “Going Solar”, to in-person meetings, camps, events such as Kontiki and our national jamboree Sanjamb, new partnerships, and much more. Many of you will make new friends, acquire life-changing skills, and will gain memories to last you a lifetime. For our brother and sister Scouts in rural areas, let’s work together to find the funds or equipment to enhance your Scouting adventure. Who knows maybe there are even Scout Groups out there who can spare some materials or funds to assist a fellow Scout Group?

After opening up a Scout Group in my community and getting involved in training, I was blessed with the opportunity to serve in Provincial leadership, and later as National Property Chair and more recently as your Deputy Chief Scout. As of the 1st of February 2022, my Scout journey is going to change paths once more as I am humbled and honoured to become the Chief Scout of the Movement I respect and love deeply. I am looking forward to serving you and believe that together we can continue to have fun whilst we innovate, lead by example, and continue to contribute to achieving a more sustainable planet for generations to come.

I also want to thank Brendon Hausberger for his years of service as Chief Scout. Thank you for your unwavering commitment to Scouting, for serving and guiding us with integrity, wisdom, vision, and a sense of humour when needed. You listened to our needs, you worked towards addressing them, and you kept sight of the bigger picture as you steered us through the recent lockdowns and restrictions brought on by the Covid pandemic.

Together we are standing at the cusp of new opportunities and adventures. As we restart our activities, the question on most of our minds is “How will we overcome the pandemic?” It is important to remember that we are navigating this road together. The pandemic is here and as individuals, as local and global citizens, we each have the responsibility to ensure that we make informed decisions, that we consider not only our own wellbeing but also that of our families, community and fellow Scouting members. We need to continue to practice the 3D’s, wear our masks and sanitise. We would also encourage you – if you have not done so already – to get vaccinated and get your booster when eligible.

One of our Scout Laws states that” a Scout smiles and whistles under all difficulties”. With a positive mind-set, a responsible attitude, and innovative ideas. I am confident that together we can forge forward and offer exciting Scouting programmes, organise Scouting events, training courses, and live the Scout experience we all love and hunger for.

May this be the best year ever for us as SCOUTS South Africa. It is our time to reclaim our lives and our Scout experience!

Khonzaphi Mdaka
Deputy Chief Scout