Let’s learn and grow together

Message from Chief Scout Khonzaphi Mdaka

It is with great anticipation that I welcome you back to another year of Scouting! Life for young people today is very different to what it was for those growing up when Scouting was founded in 1907. Our lifestyles and personal goals have evolved, and technology has opened up many unimagined opportunities. The one thing that has stayed consistent for over a century are our Scouting values.

Scouts nationwide have remained true to our Promise, our Law, and our commitment to uplift the communities in which we live and grow. Scout programmes have continued to evolve to ensure exciting and relevant programmes can be offered to young people, and the Scout Movement has stepped up to contribute to sustaining and bettering our world locally and globally through the Sustainable Development Goals.

As people we all walk different paths, yet when we choose to grow together, we create a ripple effect for positive change. Once you skip a stone in a river, the stone’s trajectory, and the environment around it has changed forever. Generations of Scouting has taught us that when you learn together, you grow together, as it encourages you to open your mind and consider different perspectives. We all bring our individual experiences, abilities, and opinions, and by sharing them we propel each other forward to thrive.

As we open our halls, finalise our term programmes and put on our hiking boots,

  • I call on our youth to take a leap and forge forward to achieve your various Scout advancements, embrace learning a new skill or building on an interest through the various interest badges available to you.
  • To our adult volunteers I offer my sincerest gratitude for all the work that you have done over the years that has brought us this far. Every step you have taken along the way to equip yourselves and your peers, to prepare your exciting programmes every week, and to continuously encourage young people to step out of their comfort zones, has made it possible for the Scout Movement to sustain itself.
    The only way we will be able to continue this Scouting journey is if we work together to offer young people the best Scout experience possible. Let’s make sure that the programmes we continue to offer are geared towards exciting and fun activities that will ensure personal growth. Let’s not become complacent in our service to young people but ensure that every programme, activity, and training course we offer is of Scouting quality!

As mentioned, our current lifestyles offer great opportunities for growth and exploration, however reality can prove challenging for many. That is why we opted for a National Challenge that can support and build the mental wellbeing of our youngest Meerkats to our older Adult volunteers. The 2024 National Challenge “Health and Well-Being” includes activities to promote well-being and good mental health. Find it here or join the upcoming Campfire Chat on the 31st of January to find out more!

Having said that, I want to remind all of us that we all have committed ourselves to giving a million youth the opportunity to live and experience the Scouting life. It’s time for us to roll up our sleeves and go town to town to invite more young people and adults to join the premier youth movement.

It is our duty to build a South Africa that is lead by young people who understand what it means to be a better citizen. To all the Meerkats, Cubs, Scouts, and Rovers it’s time for you to bring a friend and earn the Recruitment badge for yourselves. Remember together we grow!

Let’s use the opportunity that lies before us to be purposeful in our actions within our Scout Groups. Let’s make time to listen to our young people who want to see action and to develop the skills needed to succeed in life. Till we meet at our various events around the country, I wish you all happy Scouting!