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The Boy Scouts Association of Zimbabwe
Firelight Magazine

Province of Matabeleland

Being a Scout in Matabeleland is fantastic

The views and opinions expressed by authors do not necessarily reflect the official policy of the Boy Scouts Association of Zimbabwe.

April 1999



The Zimbabwe International Trade Fair takes place from 27 April to 2 May 1999. This is a high level event which brings together traders from all over the world. The occasion integrates all the continents into the global economy.

The Boy Scout movement is part of this wonderful experience because of the services that we offer in manning the gates during the Trade Fair. It is no mean achievement that we have been associated with the Trade Fair for many years. In fact, our role magnifies the importance of human relationships in contemporary life. Our participation continues to enhance our role in society.

It is for these reasons that we must stress the importance of being responsible during this fair. All those Scouts and their Leaders participating in the event must not put the name of the association into disrepute.

We are also aware that there are some groups that only function when its close to Trade Fair these groups should not be involved with the fair. Our image is at stake, and only those groups that we believe are going to be good ambassadors for Scouting must participate.

As for those who participate, they must be guided by our law and promise. They should at once enter a campaign of honesty, courtesy and civility. The public is quick to recognise and appreciate our commitment to service.

Good Scouting during the Trade fair and God bless.




The current macro-economic conditions are not conducive for the growth of Scouting. So said a Senior Scouter. I personally beg to differ with the above statement. The problem with all of us is that we all want to blame our shortcomings on the devaluation of the Zimdollar. Instead of sitting idle let us all do something ie. Fundraise.

Scouting needs money but not lots of it. The subscriptions, the levies etc. are not enough to cover some of our needs as groups . Hence the solution lies in fundraising.

We at 50th Bulawayo are embarking on a raffle to raise funds for our group. We hope to reap the amazing benefits of fundraising.

In order to fundraise effectively at group level it is important to ask the boys what they really want and will enjoy doing when raising money.

Finally remember the harder you try the lesser you fail so give it a try. Remember a Scout is thrifty.

Well that’s it for now fundraising.




Basic Scout Woodbadge Practical Course

"Did you know that success is an attitude". A number of young Leaders attended a Basic Scout Woodbadge Course at Gordon Park, Matopos on the 27th-28th of February. They covered topics like camping skills, the patrol system, knowing the scout, law and promise among others. It is my hope that those who attended will pass the information on to their scouts and help to keep the spirit of scouting in the fast lane in Matabeleland.

Many thanks to the organisers and the various tutors who facilitated the interesting sessions. Sincere thanks to Percy Makombe who travelled all the way from Gweru.





If you have never been to a Jamboree then you really missed out on a ‘makeshift’ of this which turned out to be the Millennium Count-Down: Camp II at Gordon Park, Matopos over the weekend of 20-21 February 1999.

By sunset on Friday 19th the Bowl camping site was packed full of Cubs, Scouts, Leaders and a few lay people who had all come to join in the fun towards the 21st century. Many more kept arriving through the night until the next morning.

It was at the opening ceremony that we really observed for the first time in ‘so many years’, the Bowl area was over populated by the campers who had in less than twenty-four hours, established a dense, clustered settlement. The CSO (Camp Statistical Office) was later to announce that there was a record breaking five hundred and fifty in camp over that weekend, and these were drawn from places like Bulawayo, Plumtree, Hwange, Mguza, Gwatemba and one visitor from Harare.

No sooner had the excited scouts changed into camp gear than they readily thronged onto the bases that had been set up to provide a purpose for the camp – FUN, FUN and lots of FUN! These had been divided into three base areas namely Charterhouse (Knapman training ground), Malta (the Bowl) and Mafeking (across the donga).

So what did the base areas have to offer anyway? Well, Charter house, being the school to which B-P went, offered some form of education but this time in the form of games since B-P himself designed some of the scouting training needs to be accomplished through the playing of various games.

There was the ‘Popcorn Race’ to see who could munch up the most popcorn from a plate at a given time. Well, I did not know eating could be so tough in a race with the salt sticking to your gums.

Then came the ‘Apple Race’ to see who would be the first to eat up a floating apple without any help from your hands and didn’t it keep on bobbing up and down with every try? Maybe this game was really designed for those wide-lipped scouts who can finish an apple in a single mouthful.

It was a good time also to generate interest in some sport and to provide the facilities to those scouts who unfortunately do not have access to certain kinds of equipment hence there was ‘Ping-Pong’ (commonly known as Table Tennis) and ‘Veld-Volley’ too. The normal rules for Ping-Pong applied and veld-volley was just an adaptation of volley-ball for the veld though normal rules of the game applied. One interesting note was that the veld-volley pitch had to be moved each time bases took a break in order to prevent extensive damage to grass cover.

After playing so many games, one only needed to walk back to his/her campsite with a good smiling face and this was made better by the presence of a ‘Face painting’ base nearby which was really a large make-up kit.

Malta which once gave B-P what one author called the ‘Mediterranean Interlude’ was meant on the camp to provide a lot of muddy activities but the rains not having been so good in the Matopos area this past season, activities had to be twisted around a bit hence the moving of the base area to the bowl.

There was the Rocking House’, which really was a sack fight (pillow fight using sacks) on a rocking horse hence who ever fell off the horse would have lost the bout. It wasn’t easy balancing on that ‘horse’ especially as the saddle was made of straw to reduce stability.

Another base whose name was so complicated that I would write something else trying to spell it here, required scouts to complete a course in four stages – a potato and spoon race, a stilt race, walking across a horizontal pole and a wet sack race.

The hit of Malta was, however, a base known as ‘Blue Whistle Blow’ which could also have easily been called Mud Wrestling. Here two teams of each stood in a pool of mud with a blue whistle tied to the bough of a tree above their heads. Each team had to try to blow the whistle while making every effort to stop the other team from doing so.

Mafeking, a place where B-P spent a rather long time during his career and you would really spend a long time at the camp ‘Mafikeng’ well want to know?

There was Bush Cricket in Mafeking and quite some time could be spent looking for the ball after a good batsman had given it a shot. What fun it was to see scouts combing the bushes in search of the ball while the opponents ran until they lost count.

The Trampoline was also there for those who wanted to practice or display acrobatic skill, which was either whipped to perfection or otherwise not present at all. After some bumping, jumping spinning, shaking and dancing up and down one would go to a seemingly tiring but very exciting base, the spongy race.

Here scouts in their patrols (two at a time) have to go on a relay to fill up a bucket with water from a big basin ten metres away. Quite an easy ordeal, you might say but not if you had to carry the water using a sponge that only covered your hand, and had to climb up a rope ladder to get to the raised bucket. To make it more fun, if you did not tread carefully the bucket could just turn-over anytime, spilling all its contents on your head!

After a hard day of fun, slimy sport, mud bathing, make-up and more fun, one only needed a good bath under an open-air shower and a good meal before the campfire would take him to bedtime. Well, wasn’t it a glorious sight to see all those cooking fires on which supper was prepared as the sun turned down into the deep horizon of the Matopos hills. There was really a true jamboree feeling hanging thickly in the air as the Camp Commissioner Mr N Scott was later to say "There has been a jamboree feeling from the time the first few troops checked in right through the end of the camp", and he wasn’t wrong I tell you.

Talking of the Campfire, I don’t think I should call it that anyway for it was just in a class of its own. I have been to many campfires and some with just as little as fifty people turned out to be highly undisciplined but this one, with eleven times as many people, was the most jolly well organized and disciplined campfire I have been too. Well, its speciality didn’t end there nor did it start there either. The campfire lighting for a start took everyone by storm. After everyone had found a lovely seat to glue onto and seated themselves comfortably in it, one of the Smurfs was heard coming, going, coming, going …. Oh no, he was probably going on his own business but of particular interest was the fact that he was harmoniously whistling his favourite tune. No sooner had he begun his tune than it seemed to have invited a ‘man from heaven’ to emerge from a tree, a huge tree adjacent to the campfire circle, wielding a burning torch. As soon as he had flown into the circle, he immediately declared that he had brought with him some bright light, not only to light the campfire bright but to also give us some bright light in our thoughts for Zimbabwean and world wide scouting in the next century. Well, upon his landing a few young scouts felt like making a dash for their lives or letting out the loudest scream but no, not with more than five hundred people about, they would not let out a shimmer.

After igniting and declaring the campfire lit, the ‘man from heaven’ turned out to be dear old "Ishu’ out on one of his favourite stunts. Well, how did he fly in then? Through simple but tactful use of a foofy slide and abseiling equipment from the 20th century. Quite a dare devil act to be done only by the craziest ‘applied pioneering’ stuntman.

Unfortunately, the campfire had been programmed to last only one hour hence not all scouts presented something but those who did, presented so perfectly well to the great amusement of all others present. I guess I must however make mention of a parody sung by a group of scouts from Hwange. I do not know if they brought the jamboree feeling in a bag and released it as soon as the camp opened or merely perfected it for their jamboree song at the campfire really stole the big show. They had to sing it for us again towards the close of the campfire – by public demand.

The next morning (Sunday) saw a continuation of bases then everyone tidied themselves up before filing quietly up to the chapel for the Baden Powell Day Service.

The Chief Scout’s B_P Day message was read by the visitor in camp from Harare, Mr Fanuel Chivandire who is the HQ Commissioner – Administration and Chairman of the NQH Finance Committee. Later towards the end, the following awards were presented.











It was a sad sight to look at the scouts slowly but tactfully removing all their belongings from the park on a journey back to their respective homes, siting an end to what had been a two-day model jamboree.

I must however not close this report without on behalf of all that were present, conveying the most sincere gratitude to Ntokozo Ncube for organising such a first class camp. His team of young base area managers, though small, is not to be left out. Thank you for co-ordinating the various base areas to Melusi Lusaba at Charter House, Gary Mushaya at Malta and Kevin Xaba at Mafeking. I have of course not forgotten all those of you who helped by volunteering to put up and to man the various bases. There were so many of you that I can’t mention each one by name but all the same THANKS! THANKS! THANKS!.

To all the Cubs, Scouts, Rovers, Leaders and lay people in camp remember – IT’S YOU WHO MAKE SCOUTING GREAT !!

Let’s meet at the BIG ONE!





Yes, it’s a great pleasure to announce that Seeonee Pack meetings are getting back to life again after some poor support in the past few months.

The months of February and March have seen an increase in the number of Leaders attending. It would be more fun to have more leaders and yes, Cub Instructors are also in demand and this could give them a lot of training since they may not attend adult courses.

With the turnout promising favouably, we will soon be having a lot of different people coming to help every month says APSC Training, Mrs Rosemary Moody who co-ordinates the meetings on the first Wednesday of every month.

So just put on your uniform and come join in the fun at 5.30 pm – Provincial Headquarters every first Wednesday of each month.




Six hundred Beavers, Cubs, Scouts,

Leaders and parents joined in the fun

At the Millennium Count Down: Camp 2

Which also included the Annual

Baden-Powell Day Service.



    1. Easter Troop Activities
  1. Seeonee Pack Meeting : PHQ: 5.00 pm
  1. Gordon Park Service : 1200 noon

27 to Trade fair : Gate Duties

2 May

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