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1st BULAWAYO (PIONEER) SCOUT GROUP PIONEER TRAIL Magazine (Sept-Dec 2006)

       
Sept - Dec 2006 Magazine

Pioneer Trail Pick emblem
Meeting
Mabukuwene Nature Reserve
Fridays 19:00 - 21:00 hrs
Scout Leader
Norman Scott
Norman's Email address

With thanks to:- Editor, typist, distributor - Leon Wuyts

UNDER THE PSEUDOLACHNOSTYLIS MAPROUNEIFOLIA

Two Scouts of our Troop are currently representing us and also Zimbabwe at two prestigious regional Scouting events as the year draws to a close. Assistant Patrol Leader Dylan Sandwith is participating in the 2006-2007 Gordon Park Challenge, which is an eight day event being held in the Matopos, whilst Patrol Leader Leon Wuyts is participating in the ten day Senior Scout Cederberg Adventure in South Africa. Both events are High Adventure Scouting and I wish them each a great experience. As these two events spill over into 2007, their reports will appear in the January - April 2007 issue of Pioneer Trail.

Click to enlarge:
The Troop in this years Cookout
Competition.
The Troop in this year’s
Cookout Competition

The past four months have been a busy period for the Troop, as we participated in the Provincial William Arnold Carnegie Assegai Competition, in which we took fourth position. The Cookout competition was once gain held in the grounds of Milton Junior School, the Headmaster of which we say Thank You to for allowing us the use of this central venue for Bulawayo Scouting. The Troop only entered two teams, each winning their age groups, but unfortunately the aggregate of their points were not enough to win the trophy. Well done for your efforts. At the awards ceremony of the Cookout, Patrol Leader Leon Wuyts was announced as the winner of the Provincial Commissioner’s Hike Project and was handed a cash prize. The hike competition was run for the month of August during which time Scouts competing had to hike at least 40 kilometres, sleep out for at least three nights and write up a logbook. Well-done Leon for winning the competition.

At our Parent’s Camp held at Gordon Park on 14 - 15 October 2006, we welcomed Brendan Judge, Dale van Aarde, Shaun Francis and Leam FitzPatrick into the Troop. Their investiture at the campfire on the Skipper Knapman Training Ground was witnessed by a large gathering who had come out to attend the candlelight memorial service for Fr Odilo. Welcome to the Troop, chaps, and enjoy what Scouting will be offering you for the next eight years of your boyhood in Scouting. Being invested on the Skipper Knapman Training Ground during the 70th Anniversary of Gordon Park will be an experience to treasure for many years to come. Kieran FitzPatrick and Dylan Sandwith were promoted to Assistant Patrol Leaders at the same campfire. Well done on your promotions. You now have the opportunity of experiencing responsibility and helping your Patrol members along the Scouting Trail.

The Troop participated in the International Jamboree-on-the-Air and Jamboree-on-the-Internet events (JOTA and JOTI), which this year was held in Bulawayo at the National University of Science and Technology. Conditions were not very good for radio communication, resulting in very few contacts. However, Leon was fortunate to be able to speak to Mr Evan Pedlar, a former Scout of the 8th Hillside Troop, who now lives in Cape Town and who was hoping to be on the Cederberg Adventure that Leon is attending.

Five members of the Troop attended the Annual General Meeting of the Matopo Conservation Society. As members, we try and attend as many of the Society’s events as we can. Still as popular as ever, all the monthly hikes were held despite the shortage and high cost of fuel and trouble finding vehicles to get to and from the hike venues. Some night hiking was included on two hikes, which provided us with another aspect of our experiences in the bush.

Our end of term Sausage Sizzle was a little different this term, as we held it at Mr and Mrs Gus Vermaak’s home, where we were able to use their swimming pool in between cooking. Our grateful thanks to the Vermaak’s - our circle of supporters continues to grow.

Click to enlarge:
Dishing out sweeties at this year’s Panto.
Dishing out sweeties
at this year’s Panto.

Ending off the normal programme for the year, the Troop undertook duties at the Bulawayo Theatre’s Pantomime production of Little Red Riding Hood. As in the past, we enjoyed ourselves in providing a community service to the Theatre Club, who gives of their time and talents in bringing joy to the people of Bulawayo. Well done to the actors for a funfilled two weeks of song, laughter and drama in true pantomime imagination.

For the third consecutive year, the Troop received a "goodie parcel" from our former Scouts. This time the parcel of sweets, badges and pens came from the Swannack family who immigrated to Canada last year. Arriving just in time for Christmas, the presents were divided out during our duties at the pantomime. Our Thanks to Ian, Marguerite, Edwin, John-C and Matthew for thinking of us again in sending the gifts.

And now, until the next time, it is back to my hammock beneath my Pseudolachnostylis Maprouneifolia, with a floppy hat pulled over my eyes as I dream of a Blessed Christmas and a action packed 2007 as Scouting celebrates its 100th Anniversary.

N. Scott
Scout Leader

Hike to Nkantola Battlefield

1st - 2nd September 2006
Click to enlarge:
Kopilo Cave - Leon, Chris, Chayce, Kieran
and Dylan
Kopilo Cave - Leon, Chris,
Chayce, Kieran and Dylan

On a hot Friday afternoon Chayce, Kieran, Chris, Leon, Norm and I met at Christ The King at 5 o’clock. We left for Gordon Park. There, we left the landie at the Lodge and started our hike at the pump. We crossed the Mtsheleli River to the road on the other side. We followed the road for a while and then went off into the bush. As it got dark we went around a rock three times trying to find a path, which we had already past three times behind us. When we found it we walked a little bit until we couldn’t see any more so we decided to rest our eyes for the night. In the morning, we found that the path was left from where we were sleeping..

We followed the path up the mountain called Kopilo gap, at the top of the mountain where
Click to enlarge:
Nkantola-Battlefield-site-2006
Finally at Nkantola Battlefield site,
clustered around the plaque.

we were supposed to have slept there was a cave with rock paintings and a grain bin in. We called this cave Kopilo Cave. Then we walked along the plateau until it went down. We entered the rural communal lands. We had to go around a big plot of farmland. At the corner of the farmland we sat down for a rest. When we started to eat, Norm asked some rural people where the path to Nkantola River was. Then we followed the path that they told us, and passed Tokwe School. We carried on walking till I split up with the other guys, and walked in the donga next to the path. The donga led straight to the Nkantola River. We soon saw the plaque for the Nkantola Battle, from the Matabele Rebellion in 1896.

There we had tea, before turning around and heading for Shumba Shaba. It took us two hours to get to Shumba, and soon after we walked back across the Mtsheleli River and had a nice cold shower..

We stayed at GP for another day till we came home at 6 in the evening on Sunday. And that’s the end of my hike.

Dylan Sandwith
Assistant Patrol Leader

William Arnold Carnegie Assegai Competition


15th - 17th September 2006
Click to enlarge:
William-Arnold-Carnegie-Assegai-Competition-2006
Closing Ceremony

This year’s Assegai competition was run by the head of Leader Training in Zimbabwe, out at Gordon Park. Leon, Dylan, Peter, Chris, Martin and Chayce took part. A large number of Patrols entered the competition, and the competition was stiff. We all did the best we could at what we knew best, and we all learnt a lot about Scouting and people in general.

The tests were very varied, and included pioneering, knotting, first aid, physical well being, and teamwork. All the tests were interesting and fun to do, and we all learnt from them. It was sad that a large number of
Click to enlarge:
The winning Patrol-2006
The winning Patrol 2006

Click to enlarge:
Matabeleland Assegai Competition scout-patrol-2006
Our Assegai Competition
Patrol - 2006

the judges also had Troops in the competition, as it should be unbiased. But all in all, the competition came off as the organisers intended it to.

Short Hike from Ififi and World’s View


6th - 7th October 2006
Oh no!! Once again, Christ The King Church was besieged by a horde of wriggling, screaming young Scouts - ready and eager for this month’s hike. This month the young guys joining the Troop, Dale, Brendan and Shaun were going to join us - their first hike. Besides them, Chayce, Scott and Leon had decided to join Norm on this hike. Well come on, let’s get going! Luckily for us, as you’ll see later, the 8th Hillside Cubs were in camp at Gordon Park, and we managed to talk their Akela into giving us a lift to our hike start: Ififi. Strangely enough, this
Click to enlarge:
Camping-at-Ififi-2006
Camping at Ififi - 2006

October Hike is exactly the same hike as last year’s October Hike, except there wasn’t a Parent’s Camp on this weekend. Anyway, after being dropped off at Ififi, we sorted out where we were going to sleep the night, and got a fire going. We had our supper, chatted for a while around the fire, and after a while, rolled up in our sleeping bags, waiting for sleep to overtake us.

Which it did - eventually. The sun rose much too early the next day, and a couple of hours of "lie-in" were much sought after by myself. But, alas, I did eventually have to get up - the smell of breakfast finally got me to sit up, though I didn’t get out of my sleeping bag until I absolutely had to. Ahh, the comforts of home..

Well, after being rudely expelled from my nest, I found we were about to set off - the hike was soon to begin. Oh dear - what’s that about "nipping over the mountain quick"? I didn’t like the sound of that. But sadly, at an hour in which most normal people are sound asleep: 7:30, we started off, to "nip" up and over the mountain.

Click to enlarge:
Scout-Group-photo-on-the-mountain-top-2006
Group photo on the
mountain top

Laboriously trundling up the near vertical slope, we finally made it to the top, noticing along the way the sharp decline in temperature, and seeming lack of oxygen at such high altitude. We plopped down, panting, and to hide our exhaustion, we took some pictures and "admired the view." I just wish I could have "rested my eyelids" a bit more..

Not content with going down the way we had come up, we instead went the other direction - down the mountain, bundu-bashing downhill. At the bottom, we got our bearings sorted, and then set off towards World’s View.
Click to enlarge:
The whole bunch of us at White Rhino -2006
The whole bunch of us
at White Rhino - 2006

The temperature was cool, and the hiking easy. It wasn’t long before we were climbing the plateau up to World’s View. Here we visited the graves of Rhodes, Jameson and Coghlan, and had a short rest down by the Alan Wilson Memorial. It was still quite early in the day though, and so we didn’t say for long. Soon, we were off again, headed to Gordon Park. This part of the hike was also very easy, as we climbed slowly up the plateau between the two sides of Circular Drive. As we were walking, we startled a kudu, and it was amazing to see how quickly it disappeared, blending in with the surrounding bush.

Before tea-time, we were very close to Gordon Park. We crossed the main road just down a bit from White Rhino, which we visited for a few minutes, before entering the Park through the back entrance. Showers waiting for us when we got to the bottom, and tea and biscuits waiting with the Cubs down at the Lodge drew our hike to a close.

Leon Wuyts
Patrol Leader

Parent’s Camp and Scout Memorial Service for Father Odilo Weeger


14th - 15th October 2006
I was rudely stirred from my midmorning daydreams by the arrival in Gordon Park of the Camp Commissioner and two Scouts from the 1st Bulawayo (Pioneer) Troop. Oh, I groaned, for I had been half expecting something to happen today. You understand it was a Friday, and to top it, it was a Friday the 13th - you know the bad luck combination.

My first thought was to disappear into one of the many dark caves that abound in Gordon Park and to pretend that the day did not exist. Piglets cave seemed a good choice. But, on second thought I didn’t, because, well you see I was busting with curiosity as to why the Camp Commissioner should have come to the Park today. And to have Leon and Dylan with him, as they should have been at school. Bunking I guessed. So I hung around to see what their visit was all about.

Well, after they had unpacked Ingulungundu, lit the fires - one in the stove for tea water and the other under the hot water boiler - there was a frenzy of activity back and forth to the Chapel. Not being in the best position to see what was going on in the Chapel, I moved to a vantage point on Gordon Park Rock, and made myself comfortable in my deckchair - the one with the fading canvas that blended in with the fallen leaves of a winter past, but enough green to tone with the budding green of a coming summer. However, no floral design I may add.

I had no sooner settled down than the purr of a small generator interrupted the far carrying liquid piping and bubbling notes of an African Golden Oriole and the whistling call of a Black Eagle soaring above. Soon the jarring sound of a rock drill rose above all sounds as work commenced
Click to enlarge:
Preparing the rock face -2006
Preparing the rock face - 2006

on the face of a large granite boulder to the front and left of the Chapel area. At intervals the ringing sound of a cold chisel took over and I saw fragments of rock peeling off of the boulder. The scrapping noise of shovels biting into the gravel-laden earth joined the unnatural sounds as the three interlopers to my kingdom toiled away.

As the shadows began to lengthen the workers began to tire, but not before the open air chapel had taken on a new dimension. There behind and to each side of the altar stood two tall wooden pillars, along the sides were more and down the steps leading away or towards the chapel - depending on which direction you were proceeding - were more pillars. A raw, white scar marked the huge granite boulder. Then, all was quiet as night crept in. faintly at first, then building up as the stars punctuated the darkening sky, the night sounds of insects, animals and birds set up a
Click to enlarge:
The plaque itself, affixed to the rock wall - 2006
The plaque itself, affixed
to the rock wall - 2006

caconophy of sounds that only Africa can produce. Thus the night watch was announced. The still air hung pregnant with the combined scents of flowering trees, shrubs and plants in all directions. The Chapel went to sleep as an emancipated moon bathed all in an ethereal light.

Dawn, Saturday morning. A perfect day lay ahead. The three interlopers had stayed the night and now set to work early in the day. This time their attention was concentrated on the Skipper Knapman Training Ground. Tables, benches, braaidrums and lighting was set up around the campfire circle. Yet another transformation to my Kingdom. I wasn’t sure if I approved of all this, after all it is my Kingdom - the trees, the animals, the birds - and now tables, benches..Oh dear!

Late morning witnessed more people arriving and by mid afternoon there was quite a sizeable crowd, with tents popping up like mushrooms - the button variety - on the parade ground. A light breeze ensured that the National, Scout Bureau and Gordon Park flags fluttered lazily from their mastheads, adding colour to the sombre brown of the parade field.

The fires for the braai had been lit earlier, and as night closed in the camp fire flickered into life and the lights hung high above the tables burst into light as the throb of the Park’s power generator settled into a constant rhythm. The headquarter area looked like a fairyland with its lights shining brightly. In no time, the tantalising aroma of roasting meat wafted on the evening air, merry voices chattered. The evening’s activities had swung into full gear. What was happening in my kingdom? I was soon to discover.

Click to enlarge:
Everybody enjoying themselves on the Parade Ground - 2006
Everybody enjoying themselves
on the Parade Ground

At 8:00 pm, the Chapel bells peeled out their welcome and the tall pillars leading up and into the chapel flickered into flame. The huge candles lighting the way to the service, which was about to begin. The general hubbub of voices was replaced by the strumming sounds of guitars and the accompanying harmonious voices of the signers calling all to hymn and pray. And so the memorial service for father Odilo Weeger began on Saturday 14 October, what would have been his 94th birthday. A candle light service in the depth of the majestic Matopos. Gordon Park, the Heart of Scouting. Baden-Powell territory of 1896, one hundred and ten years ago. A mere coincidence?

Celebrating the Mass was Father Benno Holtz and celebrating with him, Father Kevin O’Doherty, Parish priest at Christ The King, Hillside. In addition to the giant candles around the fringes of the Chapel, all present held their own personal candle, illuminating faces which provided a breath-taking scene from my vantage point high up on Gordon Park Rock. The readings were taken by Gordon Park Crew Member, Leon Wuyts and 1st Bulawayo (Pioneer) Troop, Scout Kieran FitzPatrick. Father Kevin, with lighted candle in one hand stepped forward and read the Gospel. The Homely was the blessing of the bronze plaque affixed to the granite boulder earlier in the day. In his Homely, Father Benno spoke briefly of Father Odilo, his love of people, the Matopos and the Scout Movement. Then he blessed the plaque, sprinkling it with holy water, which incidentally, had been blessed by Father Odilo at the Easter service in April.

Click to enlarge:
Father Benno and Father Kevin blessing the plaque - 2006
Father Benno and Father
Kevin blessing the plaque

Mr John Sullivan, a close friend of father Odilo and author of father’s biography, had the honour of addressing the congregation, speaking of father Odilo’s life, his missionary work, Father as a man, and his impact on the people of Bulawayo. Mass continued with the Holy Eucharist. All in all a moving service attended by 65 people of various religious denominations and made more memorable by the guitar group from Christ the King Church.

The giant candles burnt down to a glow as the service drew to a close. Simultaneously a waxing moon inched its way over the Tandale range on the other side of the Mtsheleli valley, silhouetting Gordon Park Rock looming over the St George’s Chapel. A fitting climax to a candle light service in the Matobo Hills, to honour the work of a missionary priest, a Scout of the highest order. One could not miss the message conveyed at that moment. The earthly life fading as the candles consumed themselves, as Father had consumed himself in God’s service, whilst a new dawn awakening in the rising moon. Surely God at work.

Quietly moving out of the chapel, some people headed back to Bulawayo, but a good number gathered at the campfire, where yet another ceremony was about to take place. This I gathered was part of the programme for the 1st Bulawayo (Pioneer) Scout Troop’s Parent’s Camp. It is a tradition in this Troop to conduct the investiture of new Scouts at the campfire, whilst the Scouts are in camp. This was a special camp, which would make this investiture all the more memorable.

Although it was now 10:00 pm, the standard bearers were called to parade and then, one at a time, the new Scouts, Brendan Judge, Dale van Aarde, Shaun Francis and Leam FitzPatrick came forward to make their Scout Promise in front of all present. Mums and dads took an active part in their investiture, so demonstrating that Scouting is a family commitment. The promotion of Scouts Kieran FitzPatrick and Dylan Sandwith to the rank of Assistant Patrol Leaders of Cheetah and Eagle Patrols respectively, concluded this solemn procedure. Those who had not yet had their evening meal proceeded to cook their food. And so the merriment continued.

Nobody had yet noticed me in my deckchair, high up on the platform beneath Gordon Park Rock, watching the

Click to enlarge:
Leams invetiture into the 1st Pioneer Bulawayo Scout Troop-2006
Click to enlarge:
Brendans invetiture into the 1st Pioneer Bulawayo Scout Troop-2006
Click to enlarge:
Shauns invetiture into the 1st Pioneer Bulawayo Scout Troop-2006
Click to enlarge:
Dales invetiture into the 1st Pioneer Bulawayo Scout Troop-2006
Four new Scouts: Leam, Brendan, Shaun and Dale
invetiture into the 1st Pioneer Bulawayo Scout Troop-2006

ceremony below with deep nostalgia. How Baden-Powell would have been so proud to see these young men make their Scout Promise with such dedication in the very hills that he had practiced and honed his scouting skills in a century before. For him it was a time of hostilities, but now it is a paradise of peace, where boys can grow into manhood in complete safety in this bush and boulder land where wild animals roam freely.

It was past midnight when the last visitors returned to their tents or simply lay their sleeping bags out under the stars. The Park was left once again to the animals of the night watch: predominantly the leopard and the white rhino, the later leaving ample evidence of his patrolling.

Up at 5.00 am, the energetic few joined the Camp Commissioner on his Sunday ritual of climbing Shumbashava. Breakfast was at 8.00 am, and then the clean up of tables, benches and all the other equipment was attended to.

The last item on the Parent’s Camp programme was a few hours of abseiling, a favourite activity of the Troop. Then after a late afternoon tea everybody headed for home. Fortunately, I discovered, the weekend coincided with the school’s midterm break, hence the arrival of the party of three on the Friday.

Four new Scouts: Leam, Brendan, Shaun and Dale PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www.pdffactory.com 10 Having witnessed such as eventful weekend of activities, the erroneous belief that Friday the 13th is associated with bad luck is a sheer myth. However, I do need a rest after observing such an active packed weekend. After all, moving my deckchair around is no easy task at my advanced age. Now that my Kingdom has returned to normal I can set up my deckchair tomorrow in a cool spot to regain my strength, and perhaps, err my sanity.

Well, until the next time we meet..

The Silent G.P. Observer

The Chiming Rocks and Maleme River


3rd - 4th November 2006
We met at Christ the King Church on Friday afternoon, and stopped at Retreat Shopping Centre to get some food, and then we carried on to the Matopos. When we got to Gordon Park it was about 6 o’clock. We checked our stuff and put it into the landie. We then picked up Mr and Mrs Ross, who were staying at the Park over the weekend, and Norm drove us to Maleme Rest Camp where we left the landie. Mr Ross then drove the landie to the start of our hike, close to Whitewaters. We then started our night-hike, and we did 8 kms in 1 hour and 45 minutes!

Click to enlarge:
Dale, a monster called Brendan and Leon at the Chiming Rocks - 2006
Dale, a monster called Brendan
& Leon at the Chiming Rocks

At the end of this, we ate chips and sweets for dinner, and then went to check for water in a nearby stream, which Norm wanted, to bath in, but the water was too dirty. Then we talked a lot while we changed and went to bed. The lightning was bad while we slowly fell asleep.

We got up at 5:30 and Norm and Leon were still fast asleep! We never had breakfast because we were too lazy! We then went and threw stones for a while, before playing with the two chiming rocks, which make a noise when you hit them with a stone.

We then started hiking at 6:10. We were headed for Maleme Base Camp. We hiked along the river, and decided to have a swim in a pool. After we started hiking again, Brendan nearly stood on a snake, which Norm thinks was a cobra. Then we rested a bit and Norm showed us where we were on the map. We had hiked about 5 kms. It started raining - we all got wet until we eventually put on our raincoats - except Leon, who was a very rugged pixie. The rain got harder and harder and some of us got cold.

Then we had some oranges - they were nice and sweet, and feeling all juiced up we raced off at a high speed. We were three kms from a road, which we were to cross eventually before following a path over a hill, which led to the worker’s compound at Maleme Rest Camp.

Click to enlarge:
Drip, drip, Drip
Drip, drip, Drip

There we got in the car and left for the Park. We went bundu-bashing first though, and we saw warthog, klipspringer, kudu, wildebeest, duiker and impala. When we got to the Park we slept for the rest of the day.

We stayed at the Park for the rest of the weekend, and on Sunday we went through a long tunnel on Everest with Norm, where we went slipping and sliding all over the place, because it was wet from the rain, and tore our shorts!!

Dale van Aarde and Brendan Judge

Matopo Conservation Society’s AGM and Field Trip


19th November 2006
Dale, Dylan and myself met at nine o’clock at Retreat Shopping Centre, where we waited for Barry to arrive and collect us for the field trip to the Matopos with the Matopo Conservation Society. It was their AGM, which was to be at the Farmhouse on the Kezi Road. Barry arrived and we climbed into his little truck. Off we went, along the way we saw some vultures eating a dead cow on the side of the road.

When we arrived, every one was having tea outside, before the AGM started. Soon Norm and Leon arrived from the Park. At the AGM, they discussed several things: the state of the National Park, the status of World Heritage, and dealing with the Matobo Committee. Several changes to the constitution were also ratified, all being passed unanimously. After the AGM, the lady in charge of the Farmhouse gave a short talk on her company, and the work they do within the National Park.

After the AGM meeting all the people went for a walk around the place to see if they could see any animals and to look at the rest of the place: it was a very nice place but had no animals. We had lunch and after which we all went to look at Bambata Cave. The road was not made for Barry’s little truck but we made it to the car park area. It is a long walk to the cave: about 1 kilometre from the car park, the three of us went first and reached the top fairly soon and had a good look around. When the rest of the people arrived, a man gave a talk about the cave and it’s paintings, which was very interesting. We found out that the Bambata Cave paintings are the second best in Africa, the best are in Egypt. I think the paintings are remarkable.

After leaving the cave we stopped off to GP to see Norm and Leon and have a nice hot cup of tea, on the way we saw lots of game: Impala, Wildebeest, Zebra, Kudu and Baboons.

In all it was a very nice day and thanks to Barry for taking us out.

Christopher Mackenzie

Sausage Sizzle


24th November 2006
Click to enlarge:
Humm, I'm hungry
Humm, I'm hungry

On Friday 24th November, the troop went to the home of Mr & Mrs. Vermaak, who are the Uncle & Aunt of Patrol Leader, Leon Wuyts of Eagle Patrol, who had offered us the use of their home for this term’s Sausage Sizzle.

"Sausage sizzle" is a term used for a very quick social braai for the guys as the event is held during the normal troop meeting time. One is held each term. Our Supporters are very good in allowing the Troop the use of different venues, making the event more exciting and interesting for the guys.

Norman & Leon went to the house before 7.00pm to organise the braai, while I collected the boys from Mabukuwene in my trusted "little pick-up", my Ford Bantam. The ford is not as strong a Norman’s Landie, but it did the trick. With 7 boys in the back and I in front, we set off for the Vermaak’s house at 7.05pm.

Click to enlarge:
Splish, Splash. Last one in!
Splish, Splash. Last one in!

On arrival, we met our hosts. Mr. Vermaak, it seemed had gone to a lot of work the week prior, cleaning out his pool, so the boys could swim. He had also planted fresh grass, so "instructions" were given not to traipse soil into the nice clean pool.

The boys had great fun however, diving and splashing in the pool with great gusto. Back flips and forward flips and side flips and upside-down flips - all the while, keeping an eye on their braaing sausages. Along with the braai, our hosts had supplied a nice pot of sadza & tasty gravy. We ate, chatted and enjoyed ourselves and before we knew it, we had run out of time. Norman gathered up the boys and we then thanked our hosts. I then took the boys home.

Unfortunately, my wife Vicky & I are leaving Zimbabwe for England at the end of January so I know I won’t make the next "sausage sizzle", but the memories will remain. In the short time I have assisted Norman and the boys I have enjoyed myself thoroughly.

Yours in Scouting,

Barry Duplock

Hiking Trio


1st - 2nd December 2006
Click to enlarge:
There’s nothing like breakfast in bed.
There’s nothing like
breakfast in bed

The last monthly hike of the year was a very fun one as there were only three of us, namely Dale, Norm and myself. Having left town at 5:05 pm, on time for a change, we started our hike from Gordon Park at 5:50 pm on Friday evening.

We hiked over the wall of Lake Scott, across the main road to follow the National Park Warden’s track north up the Mtsheleli Valley. Just past a small dam with very little water, we found the remains of a wildebeest - inkonkoni.

It was now getting dark and so we made our camp just outside the National Park by IMadzi Mountain. During the night we heard frogs and crickets making a noise and now and again gun shots from what Norm said was the police training grounds at Cardross Park nearby.

Having had an interrupted sleep, because of the gunshots and mosquitoes and ticks pestering me, we had our breakfast at 5:15 am - wow that was early for Norm!

Having had a look at the map, we headed off into the rising sun and scattered clouds. Our first stop was at Mr Ngwenya’s house that we chatted with and asked directions to Gwangwazila Kopje. The second stop was to watch one of the local farmers ploughing his fields. The oxen were named Peck, Midge, Meg and oh dear I have forgotten the fourth. The farmer pointed to Gwangwazila and off we went.

Sitting on top of Gwangwazila we could see for miles in all directions, even Mount Shumba Shaba, the next main kopje on our route. We took three pictures, had some buns, jelly babies and an apple. We then headed down the kopje for Shumba Shaba, about five kilometres away. This time we met a man named Daniel who showed us a short cut over a small kopje, which saved us about a kilometre of walking.

It was not long before we were enjoying paddling in the pools on top of Shumba Shaba where we also found tadpoles and freshwater shrimp. Below us was Gordon Park. It was now getting hot so we headed for Gordon Park and had an early lunch.

Our hike ended at 10:50 am, having walked 18½ kilometres. Super fun!!

Shaun Francis

Parting Thought:


"I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody."
Bill Cosby

1st Bulawayo (Pioneer) Scout Troop
100 Years of World Scouting
One World - One Promise

Troop Programme of Activities for January to April 2007


January 1 - 4 G. P. Challenge (28 Dec. 2006 to 4 Jan. 2007)
5 - 6 Monthly Hike
9 Schools open
12 Troop Meeting: Mabukuwene
14 Gordon Park Service: 12:00 noon
19 Troop Meeting: Mabukuwene
26 Troop Meeting: Mabukuwene
27 Provincial Sports Day

February
2 - 3 Monthly Hike
9 Troop Meeting: Mabukuwene
10 - 11 Parent’s Camp
11 Gordon Park Service: 12:00 noon
16 Troop Meeting: Mabukuwene
23 - 25 B-P Camp: Gordon Park
25 B-P Day Service: Gordon Park: 12:00 noon

March
2 - 3 Monthly Hike
9 Troop Meeting: Mabukuwene
10 Boy Skills Course: Provincial HQ
11 Gordon Park Service: 12:00 noon
13 Africa Scout Day
16 Troop Meeting: Mabukuwene
23 Troop Meeting: Mabukuwene
24 Provincial Uniform Competition
30 Troop Meeting: Mabukuwene: Sausage Sizzle

April
1 St. George’s Day Parade
6 - 9 Provincial Cub Scout Camp: Gordon Park
7 - 10 Easter
8 Gordon Park Service: 12:00 noon
12 Schools Close
13 Troop Meeting: Mabukuwene
18 - 22 P/L’s Camp: Gordon Park
27 Troop Meeting: Mabukuwene

Additional Activities may be added to the Programme


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