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1st BULAWAYO (PIONEER) SCOUT GROUP PIONEER TRAIL Magazine (May-Aug 2007)

       
May - Aug 2007 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

Mr Michael George was called "Home" on Wednesday 11 July 2007.

Mike was a Wolf Cub and Scout of our Group from 1944 to 1952. As an adult, he remained in Scouting, joining the Gordon Park Rover Crew where in due course, he became one of the Assistant Camp Wardens. When "Skipper" Knapman, the Camp Warden retired from Scouting in 1972, Mike was appointed Warden, a position he held until the end of 1976. For some years, Mike went into semi retirement before becoming actively involved in Scouting again, helping with the organisation of gate duties at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair. These duties were not new to Mike, as the Scouts of Bulawayo had been undertaking these duties for all the Trade Fairs since its inception in 1961, and Mike had helped for many years in the past. His interest in the development and maintenance of Gordon Park was never far from his mind, as he and his wife, Liz, regularly attended the monthly church services. In 2003, Mike was appointed President of the Matabeleland Scout Council. In recognition for his long and dedicated service to the Boy Scouts Association of Zimbabwe, Mike was awarded in 2005, The Golden Lion.

On behalf of the Troop, I extend to Liz, Mike's widow, and his daughters Megan and Gwineth, our sincere condolences.

Sadly, we have said farewell to five of our members. To Scott Herbst, Kieran FitzPatrick, Peter and Martin Daly and Dylan Sandwith, I wish you all well. I trust you enjoyed your time in the Troop and that you will look back on your Scouting with us as a time of happy camaraderie.
However, not all is sad news, for we welcomed Declan FitzPatrick and Michael Tipler into the Troop at our Parent's Camp held in July. Already these two new Scouts are enjoying the out door activities we offer in our programme, as they have been hiking and taking part in all activities on offer. Declan and Mike, may your stay with us be filled with many happy and satisfying days to create those memories that you will look back upon with pride and joy in the years to come. Of interest, Mike is the son of Peter Tipler, one of my Scouts of yesteryear.

The past four months have been active for all of us, for we have been hiking, camping and we have progressed in our Scouting skills. We were also involved in two weekends of voluntary service out in the Matopos. Our first "Good Turn" was for the Round Table Clubs of Zimbabwe from 25 to 27 May 2007, when they held their Annual Conference at Gordon Park. Hosting the Clubs on our home territory made our tasks easy and we were able to show the Table members some of our Scouting skills. Our next "Good Turn" was with the Matobo Conservation Society on 16 June 2007, when we joined with them in a litter clean-up day in the Matobo National Park. This term we held our Sausage Sizzle at our meeting place instead of some exotic venue.

Nonetheless, it proved a great time to relax around the braai-fire chatting non-stop about nothing in particular. Thankfully we didn't have to huddle under a tarpaulin as there was no rain this time.
Unfortunately none of the programmed Provincial competitions were held, so we did not have an opportunity of gauging our competence in our Scouting skills, against those of other Troops.

The Troop participated in the National Join-in-Centenary Camp, to commemorate the One Hundredth Year of World Scouting. Scouting started in 1907 with an experimental camp organised and run by our Founder, Lord Baden-Powell of Gilwell, on Brownsea Island, England. Our National Camp was held in Gordon Park, Matopos, to bring together Cub Scouts, Scouts and Leaders from around Zimbabwe to enjoy the fellowship of Scouting under camp conditions. It was one of many such camps being held around the world coinciding with the World Jamboree which was held at Chelmsford, England. From the time the activities opened on Friday 10 to the closing on Monday 13 August 2007, the three hundred and fifty Scouts were kept active in participating in the twenty-one bases on offer. Fun, laughter and sharing provided for a good Scouting mix, in the recipe of friendships made for our future.

Of special significance during the Centenary camp, was the two day hike of thirty kilometres from Gordon Park to Fort Usher and the Nkantola battle site. These two places of historical interest with which Baden-Powell was associated, was without doubt the most exciting activity on offer.

Nowhere else in the world could Scouts have experienced a hike through the rugged fastness of the Matobo hills carrying their kit and camping out under the stars, where Baden-Powell had scouted as a military scout in 1896. The skills he acquired in these hills, and his experiences in the fledgling town of Bulawayo, were to become the cornerstone of the Boy Scout Movement; a movement to instil in boys, initiative, skills, trust,
Click to enlarge:
The new Entrance Sign for the Join-in-Centenary Camp, Gordon Park.
The new Entrance Sign for the
Join-in-Centenary Camp, Gordon Park.

leadership, adventure and peace between all nations. I would like to say a big Thank You to the Chief of the area, Mr June Moyo, for giving us permission to undertake this historic hike in the Gulati Communal Area.

In 1996, the Boy Scouts of Matabeleland Province, with the permission of the National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe, had erected plaques at these two sites to commemorate Baden- Powell's presence, one hundred years before.

The Centenary Church Service was held on Sunday 12 August 2007, beginning with the parading of the National, Scouting and Troop colours into the open air St. George's Chapel, high up above the parade ground among granite kopjes. During the service, which was conducted by Father Benno Holtz CMM, Patrol Leader Leon Wuyts was presented with his Sable Award, by the Chief Scout Commissioner of Zimbabwe, Mr Nelson Sakala.

Congratulations Leon on gaining this prestigious award. Of interest, Leon is the seventeenth recipient of the Sable Award since 1972, when the name of the award was changed from that of Queen Scout Award. Leon also received his Gordon Park Hat Band at the May Church Service held at the Park, in recognition of a year's Service to Gordon Park.

Sable Scout, Leon Wuyts and I represented the Troop at the Centenary Celebration Dinner, hosted by the Matabeleland Scout Council. The dinner was held on 18 August 2007, at the Bulawayo Club. The guest speaker was Dr. Eric Bloch, a well known Zimbabwean economist. Dr. Bloch preceded his speech by recalling his, his late father's and two brother's membership of the Boy Scout Association and that he and his brothers had been Scouts in the 1st Bulawayo (Pioneer) Scout Group. Mr Hans Bloch had been the Public Relations Commissioner for the Province of Matabeleland.

And now, it is back to my hammock beneath my favourite Pseudolachnostylis MaprouneifoliaPseudolachnostylis maprouneifolia with my floppy hat pulled over my eyes as I dream of the fun to be had during the activities in celebrating World Scouting's Centenary year, in the closing months of 2007.
N. Scott
Scout Leader

Gali Hike - again!

4th May 2007 - 5th May 2007
Click to enlarge:
The whole bunch of us together at the Park. Mike, Decklin, Chris, Brendan, Leon, Dale & Norm.
The whole bunch of us together at the Park.
Mike, Decklin, Chris, Brendan, Leon, Dale & Norm.

We met at Christ the King at quarter to 5, though this time it wasn't Norm who was taking us out to the Matopos, it was Mr Tipler, because Norm was at a meeting. We drove to Gordon Park, and waited for Norm. Whilst Pete and Leon chatted, we played a game of Raven's Hill. It was quite dark already, so we had our supper which we had brought already cooked.

When Norm arrived, we drove to Gali, over a very bumpy and dusty road. We climbed to the top of Gali in the dark, and everyone seemed to have their own ideas on the 'right' way up. We luckily found the way to the top without falling and found a decent campsite in the trees, rolled out our sleeping bags, and went to sleep. All I can remember about that night was that it was freezing!!

We woke up early the next morning, had breakfast with Dale arguing with himself, before setting off on the hike. We stopped at a dam we found, and skimmed stones for a while. We carried on, and a little further down the path a young man called Nobile showed us some cave paintings and grain bins. We didn't stay here long, as we could see Shumba in the distance.

We stopped for about 15 minutes on top of Shumba, though it was very windy and cold. We climbed down Shumba, and walked along the road back to GP, and the end of our hike.

Decklin FitzPatrick

A Night-Hike

1st June 2007 - 3rd June 2007
The hike was fun, although a bot cold and drizzly on the Saturday.

Our hike was, Christopher, Dale, Decklin, me and Norman. We started on Firday night at Rowallen after our dinner. As a full moon came up, Christopher led us off on a two kilometre hike that he had to do for his Adventurer Badge. For this test, he had to complete a night hike using the stars to find his way across unkown country for one and a half kilometres. We all joined him. It was great hiking through the Mopane forest between Rowallen Park and the main road leading to Hazelside National Parks offices. After one and a half kilometres, Christopher's guess, Norman said that he was to continue for another half a kilomtre. This we did and ended up on the tar-road as it passed round a kopje. Norm was pleased with Chris' wayfinding and estimation of distance. Leading us back to Rowallen Park, Chris retraced our steps. Well done Chris for not getting us lost.

Saturday morning was cloudy and windy. We had our breakfast, packed our kit and headed off for a kopje named Gwangwazila in the Gulati Communal Land. Hiking was easy as we followed foot paths. Not long after setting out it started to drizzle.

The bare granite ridges were slippery and dangerous. Nearing Gwangwazila, Norm decided that as the drizzle had wet the rocks we could instead head straight for Gordon Park. Soon, Shumba Shaba came into view and by the time we reached the eastern side the drizzle had stopped. We decided to climnb to the top. It was really steep. It was great resting at the top and looking down at Gordon Park.

Having had our rest, we went down to the bottom, where Norm headed along the road back to Rowallen Park to get the Landie. The rest of us, led by Chris, headed in the other direction for Gordon Park.

At Gordon Park we had lunch and played cricket until my dad came to fetch me. I had to attend a school event that night. The others stayed until Sunday before going home. The hike including our night hike was about 10 kilometres.

Michael Tipler.

A Night under the Stars - Parent's Camp

9th June 2007 - 10th June 2007
Although we have visited Gordon Park as a family numerous times over the years, and occasionally 'camped' in comparative luxury with the Cubs and Beavers, this was our first time to camp in tents at an authentic Scout camp site. There was an eager sense of excitement about setting up camp once we had been led to the 1st (Pioneer) Scout camp site. We had only ever walked through the site before and it had not looked very impressive, but today it was nicely prepared with the official flags and signs at the entrance, tarpaulin awnings, campfire area swept with the fire set ready to be lit, and the kettle already boiling on the fire stove, giving it a very welcoming and professional appearance.

Click to enlarge:
The Investiture of Decklin FitzPatrick.
The Investiture of Decklin FitzPatrick.

We were the first family to arrive so we set about choosing the tent sites and started erecting the tents one by one. We soon found that we were the source of entertainment to the other families as they arrived and sat down to have tea - they were not planning to camp the night so had no tents to erect and our inexperience with tents was obviously evident. Having completed the task it was time to relax while the children went off to the White Rhino Caves and then to 'Mini Maleme' where they found there was no water but big tufts of flattened grass were it is said that the rhinos sleep.

After tea the adults took a short walk to view the scenery over the Mtshelele valley, before returning to start preparations for the braai supper, which was a typical social gathering with each family having their own specialty prepared on the fires - potatoes cooked in the coals still seem to be a common delicacy.

It was soon time for the campfire and so families gathered around the area and waited in the dark in anticipation. Even though we have attended a few camp fires before, we were a little unsure of what to expect but Declan and Michael were certainly excited about being invested. It was wonderful to see families loosen up and take part in the antics and singing of the campfire songs, and then it was time for the serious part of the whole camp - the investiture. The effort taken in the preparations and the importance of the occasion became abundantly clear as Norman went through each stage of the proceedings and explained their meaning and significance. The relationship between the Centenary Celebrations of Scouting, Lord Baden-Powell's time spent in the Matopos, and the camp made the Investiture even more momentous. It was also very significant that Norman involved the parents at various stages during the investiture.

After the investitures of Declan FitzPatrick and Michael Tipler and promotion of Christopher McKenzie to Assistant Patrol Leader came the hot chocolate and Milo with Christopher showing his cooking skills in preparing vast quantities of flap jacks on the plate over the coals of the camp fire. After consuming a fair share of flap jacks, out came an equally generous helping of marsh mallow fish for roasting which topped the evening off beautifully. Then the other families decided it was time to drift off home leaving those remaining to chat briefly before heading for their tents. Everyone had been reluctant to camp because of the very cold weather during the previous week, but the camp site was warm and sleeping was no problem on the foam mattresses borrowed from the Lodge!

Click to enlarge:
Atop-Shumba-Shaba
Atop Shumba Shaba

We woke (not as early as originally planned) to Norman's 'two-minute' call and quickly prepared for the climb of Shumbashaba. It was still not so cold at the camp site, but the wind made it a different story on the top of Shumbashaba, so after briefly resetting the stone inscriptions of 1st BYO we made a hasty return to the camp site for a breakfast prepared by the Scouts.

After tidying up the breakfast dishes the Scouts went off to prepare the Chapel for the Monthly Service. Meanwhile the hot shower behind the Stables was found to be an excellent alternative to those in the ablution block.

The service was taken by Rev. Noel Scott and brought a fairly sizable crowd of other Scouting parents and followers who later continued down to the Stables for the traditional social braai followed by a generous 'bring and share' tea & cakes which the children always look forward to!

After returning to dismantle the tents and clear up the camp it was time to pack our bags and head home after a wonderful and fulfilling experience away from the many stresses of our times. One has to realize how much was learned while having fun during this camp and what superb opportunities are available to our children while scouting in the Matopos through the hard work of a few extremely dedicated individuals.

Our sincere thanks to Norman, Leon, Dale and Brendan and all other others who took part, for making the camp such a memorable occasion.

John FitzPatrick
Parent

Once in a Blue Moon

30th June 2007
The phrase, "Once in a Blue Moon" is a common one and it is used when the same event happens infrequently. I have used it on a number of occasions, but I had never given any thought as to its origin, like so many sayings we all tend to use. I came to know of how it originated only about two years ago, and it refers to the second full moon that occurs in a calendar month. For this to happen, the first full moon must occur on one of the first two nights of the month and then the second one will occur on the second last or last night of the month. The month of June 2007, had two full moons. The first was on the 1st and the second occurred on the 30th.

The monthly Troop hike for June was originally planned for 8 - 9 June owing to a Provincial event having been set for the first weekend of the month, when we would normally have held the hike. However, the Provincial event was cancelled and so I brought the Troop hike back onto the traditional first weekend, the 1-2 June. Later in the month, I realised that the next full moon was to occur on 30 June. Ah! brain cell swings into action mode, we were to be treated to a Blue Moon. It had so happened that the first full moon fell on a Friday night, which by coincidence by virtue of the Provincial event being cancelled and our hike being brought forward to its traditional slot of the first weekend of the month, we had hiked when the moon was full. Now, a little bit of cheating. To take advantage of the Blue Moon, which was to occur on the last weekend of June, I had to bring the July hike forward into June. No real problem, as the July hike had had to be programmed for the second weekend of July, as another Provincial event had been scheduled for the first weekend. So a unique opportunity arose, which I doubt will ever be repeated. Mathematicians might like to prove me wrong. Anyone willing to try must remember that the hike is traditionally held on the first weekend, i.e. Friday - Saturday. The next full moon, the Blue Moon, would occur on a Saturday - Sunday, also a weekend.

Only one Scout turned up for the hike at the appointed time for the hikers to meet. The reason for only one Scout, was because the mock 'O' and 'A' examinations were being held, along with end of term school examinations. A most inappropriate time to go hiking. The lone Scout realised that he would not have as much fun on the hike if his friends weren't going, so he decided not to hike, instead he would stay at home and prepare for his class examinations. I was determined not to let this unique opportunity slip past, and so I headed off for the Matopos on my own. I didn't have to worry about exams.

I had no sooner entered the Matopos National Park when I had my first exciting moment. As I drove along, a Bushbuck doe came out from the grass at the side of the road and stood in the middle of the road. She just looked at my vehicle approaching. I stopped and we looked at each other for a moment and then she just ambled off, as much to say "Thank you kind sir, for giving way to a lady". After a light supper at the Park, I spread my sleeping bag out under the leafless branches of the Ochna pulchra on the Skipper Knapman Training Ground. The full moon had already risen, bathing the granite hills in it eerie light.

The night had been cloudless and cold, but a clear morning dawned and the warm kind sun soon pushed the chilly air up. I lay in my sleeping bag, there was no need to rush I would be on my own on the hike, listening to the various birds welcoming in the new day. After a fine warming breakfast of oatmeal porridge, a slice of bread and some hot coffee, I rolled up my bush camp and rambled off along the road past the Naomi Conolly Lodge, heading for the White Rhino cave paintings. As I neared the Lodge, I was greeted by five very surprised warthogs, two adults, one immature and two piglets of about six months. Suddenly they took fright and rushed off for cover in the dense bush. Following the track passed the flag pole on the Bowl parade ground, my mind turned to the hike route I had chosen for the hike. A short hike of about ten kilometres. The Scouts, if they had been with me, would of enjoyed it. But, they were not with me. Thinking of that fact, I decided to change the route, in fact why do a hike, why not do an "expedition", explore a particular area?

Changing course, I went through our campsite and as I did, a duiker bounded off in front of me. My new route took me over the dwala behind our campsite and down across the little stream, now dry, that passes behind the headquarters of Gordon Park where I had left Inguluvane, my Land Rover. I soon crossed the main road leading to World's View and Maleme dam. Once back in the bush, I found an animal track and what was more there were recent spoor left by a small herd of zebra. I followed these, albeit in the opposite direction to their line of travel. Another buck broke
Click to enlarge:
The conquered grain-bin...
The conquered grain-bin...

cover and scurried off into thicker vegetation. A while later to my right, the sound of hooves of a heavy animal pounding the hard dry surface of the veldt revealed that I had disturbed another buck, I guessed it to be a kudu or waterbuck which took flight at my presence. Soon I rounded a bend in the track, where I was treated to a fleeting glance of a small herd of zebra. On reaching the base of a long ridge of kopjes, I decided to spend some time exploring these, as there were many inviting crevices to look into, to clamber through and generally lose myself in.

The end of my journey through this jumbled mass of granite boulders brought me out to a set of grain bins I knew of. Only one bin is still in fairly good condition, the others having been broken over the years. I guess the bin to have been constructed about one hundred and fifty years ago by a clan of the Shone tribe, to hide their grain in from the recently arrived Matabele nation.

The sun was reaching its zenith by the time I had finished exploring the immediate surrounds of this location, so I started on my return journey to Gordon Park. I took a much easier route through the bush, hoping to see more game. Alas, no further animals were seen. It was almost mid day when I arrived back at base. It had been a very different hike and so it should have been, after all, it was a "Blue Moon" experience.

Norman Scott
Scout Leader

National Join-in-Centenary Camp

10th - 13th August 2007
Call out the cavalry!!! Oh, I forgot, the Burchell's Zebra have taken a vacation and are on the other side of the Matopos visiting relations. Well then, call out the light brigade. Oops, I have just realised that the Impala are more inclined to scarper than take on this seething mass of humanity. I guess that leaves just big brave ME. Go, fetch. Huh!!! How come my feet are suddenly glued to the granite dwala? That reminds me, my granny used to say, "that discretion is the better part of valour". I will just wait here and see.

Oh, I have jumped ahead. Sorry. You see, it all started a few days previously with the arrival of the Camp Commissioner and a bus load of Scouts, well, maybe a truck load of Scouts, O.K. just Ingulungunda, you know that Land Rover station wagon of his, with eight Scouts. Some fairly big, mean looking chaps I may add. They had come out in the morning on Tuesday 7th August, 2007. Arriving latter in the afternoon, was Ken Nortje and Andrew .......... from Mutare. Ah, that's something to write and tell you about a little latter.

Well, the next few days were a tad hectic. You see, from my vantage point I had the opportunity of witnessing all the scurrying around as activity base after activity base was set up. To add to the pandemonium, fire wood by the truck load miraculously appeared on the Silver Boar site, the Mike George Camp Ground and at Park Headquarters. That brings me to where I started, Friday 10th August 2007, when my Kingdom, my Kingdom by Jove, was invaded from early morning until, well early morning the next day, by literally hundreds of Scouts. There were big Scouts and small Scouts, young Scouts and old Scouts and some funny looking Scouts in dresses.

Click to enlarge:
Gordon Park Rock with the International Representation of Flags beneath it.
Gordon Park Rock with the International
Representation of Flags beneath it.

Those arriving early on the Friday soon discovered that some of the activity bases were already operational, and so the fun began. By Saturday morning the Park was humming with activity. The official opening was held at 15.00 hours. The Scouts paraded on to the Skipper Knapman Training Ground, to be addressed by the guest speaker, Mr Alvord Mabena, a prominent Bulawayo businessman. Standing on the ledge high up on Gordon Park Rock overlooking the parade ground, Mr Mabena's message of inspiration and hope for the youth attending the Centenary Camp, was loud and clear. The opening ceremony over, the Scouts then went back to continue with the base activities.

The sixteen bases in camp were, Jumping Jupiter, (Trampoline); Meteorite, (pellet gun shooting); Re-entry, (Foofyslide): Spider's Web, (Basketball); Flight Food, (Pan cakes); Space Gym, (Pillow Fight); Space Walk, (Commando Bridge); Galaxy Crawl, (Ladder Bridge); Milky Way, (Waterslide); Umbilical Cord, (Abseiling); Escape Hatch, (Fireman's Pole); Weightlessness, (Games); Space Navigation, (Orienteering); Moon Walk, (Ski Race) and Fuel Leak, (Water Tower) It was such a pleasure to see the Cubs and Scouts enjoying themselves, their daily worries left far behind in the cities and towns across Zimbabwe, for they came from Mutate, Harare, Gweru and Bulawayo, all 350 happy smiling faces. Now, 350 Cubs and Scouts, may not sound such an impressive number for my readers in other countries, but you have not the slightest idea of the situation in Zimbabwe at this time. But, I have no intention of dwelling on our plight, for we are a resilient nation, a peaceful nation and a nation determined to weather the hardships currently prevailing. Our Scouting spirit will win for us a bright future.

Then there were four hikes out of Gordon Park. For the Cub Scouts and the less energetic, (count me in on this one) about ten kilometres each, there were hikes to Shumbashaba, The White Rhino cave paintings and World's View. For the Scouts, well a real treat, for they had the opportunity of an overnight, thirty kilometre hike to Fort Usher, the Nkantola battle site and back to Gordon Park. These are three places that Baden-Powell was associated with in 1896 during the Matabele uprising. Nowhere else in the world could Scouts have had the opportunity of hiking through the rugged Matobo hills, where Baden-Powell practiced his scouting skills he was latter, in 1907, to incorporate into the programme for the first experimental Scout Camp on Brownsea Island. You chaps were really privileged to be part of this camp.

The sound of the Kudu horn being blown woke the campers each morning at 06.00 hours. At the morning parade at 08.00 hours, after prayers and the morning notices, the camp news letter, "Matopos Mumblings", was distributed. The news letter had been published in camp in the early hours of each day. I can testify to that, as the thud of the camp generator having woken me up at some unearthly hour, even before the birdies started to sing.

The camp came to a climax at mid day on Sunday 12th, when all gathered in the open air, St. George's Chapel in amongst the kopjes behind Gordon Park Rock. As the National, Scout, Gilwell Training and Troop colours were paraded into the Chapel, the congregation sang an entrance hymn to the accompaniment of guitars. Joining in with those in camp were sixty visitors from the
Click to enlarge:
Father Benno conducting the Centenary Service.
Father Benno conducting
the Centenary Service.

city of Bulawayo. The Centenary Service was conducted by Rev. Father Benno Holtz, CMM. During the service, the Cub Scouts and Scouts Reaffirmed their respective promises. Patrol Leader, Leon Wuyts, of the 1st Bulawayo (Pioneer) Scout Troop, was presented with his Sable Award by the Chief Scout Commissioner, Mr Nelson Sakala. A most fitting presentation, during this, the Centenary year of World Scouting.

After the service, the congregation regrouped on the Skipper Knapman Training Ground. This was the setting for the cutting of the Join-in-Centenary celebration cake. Having the honour of cutting the specially baked and iced cake fell to three Scouts. Leader Trainer, Ken Nortje, with seventy-two continuous years of uniformed service to Scouting, Leader Trainer Rosemary Moody, with sixty-one years continuous service to Scouting (Guide Service included) and six year old Beaver Scout, Josh Maidwell, with two months service. Following the cutting of the ceremonial cake, each Scout received a piece of cake. Oh, how I would have liked to have had a piece, but I was watching from afar, high up on Gordon Park rock.

Sunday night saw the last of the campfires. All the hikers had returned to camp and although tired, no one wanted to miss this, the final campfire. Having had four, fun filled days, getting up early to prepare breakfast and then involving themselves in the activities on offer, the Scouts were tired. Lights were out by twenty-two hundred and my Kingdom was guarded over by the creatures of the night watch.

Monday 13th August 2007, the last day in camp. The bases closed for the last time at 10.00 hours and then the packing up got under way ready for the final parade at noon. A short closing parade, thanking everyone for making the effort to attend and extending to them an invitation to attend Zimbabwe's Centenary year of Scouting in 2009.

As the last Scouts left the Park, I too folded up 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 of a coming summer, however, I may add, no floral design. Was it my imagination, or did I hear the voice of Baden-Powell....

"I believe that God put us in this jolly world to be happy and to enjoy life."
It could have been, for he was with you.
Well, until the next time we meet ....
The Silent G.P.Observer

A Thought of Inspiration

Away from the turbulence of town
Remote from all the social rush
The silent pathways
Meander through the tranquil bush

No noise is there, no strident bark
Yet the night air holds expectant breath
For high on the kopje above the Park
Life clings to life near fearful death

The leopard on a long low bough
Dark dreaming of his prey
The handsome sable with lofty brow
Silently grazes on the vlei

From princely height on smooth grey rock
The bubbling water goes gurgling by
The eagle soars skywards taking stock
Then glides towards the Stables braai

Far from Bulawayo's hollow cheer
Harsh glare of streets in electric light
The brash bright colours disappear
In clean cool peace of Matopos night

Another day is ushered in
Untouched and freshly new
What joy to wake in Gordon Park
To sound of birds and Piet-me-frew.

Written by a lover of the Matopos


1st Bulawayo (Pioneer) Scout Troop

100 Years of World Scouting
One World - One Promise

Troop Programme of Activities for May to August 2007

September
7 - 8 Monthly Hike
9 Gordon Park Service: 12:00 noon
14 Troop Meeting: Mabukuwene
21 Troop Meeting: Mabukuwene
22 Provincial Cook-Out Competition
28 Troop Meeting: Mabukuwene

October
5 Troop Meeting: Mabukuwene
6 William Arnold Carnegie Assegai Competition
12 - 13 Monthly Hike
13 - 14 Parent's Camp: Gordon Park
14 Gordon Park Service: 12:00 noon
20 - 21 JOTA/JOTI
26 Troop Meeting: Mabukuwene
27 Provincial Swimming Gala

November
2 - 3 Monthly Hike
9 Troop Meeting: Mabukuwene
11 Gordon Park Service: 12:00 noon
16 Troop Meeting: Mabukuwene
23 Troop Meeting: Mabukuwene: Sausage Sizzle
24 Chuck Wilcox Art and Craft Competition
25 Voluntary Service: Matopos Conservation Society A.G.M: Gordon Park

December
1 National Tree-Planting Day
6 Schools Close
7 - 8 Monthly Hike
9 Gordon Park Service: 12:00 noon
14 Troop Meeting: Mabukuwene - Last meeting of the year

Additional Activities may be added to the Programme

Pantomime Duty dates to be advised



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