The Boy Scouts Association of Zimbabwe
Province of Matabeleland
The views and opinions expressed by authors do not necessarily reflect the official policy of the Boy Scouts Association of Zimbabwe.
FROM THE PROVINCIAL COMMISSIONER’S DEN
The Annual General Meeting of the Association and the Commissioners’ Conference were this year held in Mutare Manicaland, over the weekend 10 and 11 April 1999. Your Province was well represented by seven Commissioners and on behalf of us all I wish to thank the Commissioners of Manicaland for hosting the Annual General Meeting and Conference and to thank them for extending to us such a warm welcome.
During the Annual General Meeting held on Saturday morning, the Chief Scout presented his report and the Honorary Treasurer his annual accounts. I must state that your commissioners asked numerous questions seeking clarification and made comments on items in the accounts. Hopefully our observations will be acted upon when this year’s budget is re drafted. Following these reports the election of office bearers for the forthcoming year were held. On behalf of Province I wish to congratulate our Matabeleland representatives who were elected onto the National body. They are Mr. Richard Shilling, re-elected Vice President of the Association; Mr. Michael George, Honorary Vice President of the Association and Justice Fergus Blackie who was elected a Trustee of the Association.
The Commissioners’ Conference was held after lunch on Saturday and ended at noon on Sunday. End of year reports were given by National Headquarters and Provincial Commissioners. It was pleasing to note that Manicaland and Midlands Provinces had made considerable progress in resuscitating scouting within their respective Provinces. Only Masvingo Province was not represented at the conference.
Of particular interest, to you the Scout and Scout Leader, among matters discussed, were the issues of membership fees and the on going debate on whether or not girls should be admitted to Scouting. On the question of membership fees, it was the opinion of Headquarters that as Zimbabwe was a member of the World Scout Bureau and therefore we were obliged to pay a membership fee, every Scout in Zimbabwe should pay a membership fee in order to be a Scout in Zimbabwe. To this end, Provinces would continue to be levied by Headquarters and in turn Provinces were to levy individual scouts. As you are aware in Matabeleland Province, each Group pays a levy. This method of paying membership fees will remain but will need to be reviewed each year.
The second issue of allowing girls into the movement raised some lively debate, with the end result being that the majority of Commissioners favoured the inclusion of girls into Scouting. The Chief Commissioner was mandated to prepare guidelines for the introduction of girls into Scout Troops. Once this is completed further discussions would be held.
For your information all your commissioners voted against the proposal of allowing girls to become Scouts, citing very good reasons for our stand. However, if you would like to give your view, either for or against the inclusion of girls into Scouting, then you may write to the Commissioners’ Council, P O Box 929, Bulawayo. All I request is that you give it serious consideration and not just give an emotional view as it is an important issue which will have far reaching effects in the long term.
PROVINCIAL SCOUT COMMISSIONER
FROM THE EDITOR
Either way Scouting will lose!
Scouting is a game for boys and a job for man. This is how Baden-Powell the founder of the Scout Movement viewed it. It is a movement, which moves and accommodates change because of the nature of the games boys play. The extent at which it should change is directly linked to the ever-unpredictable behaviour and interests of young people.
This means that the ‘man’s job’ is basically to study adolescent behaviour and adapt the Scouting programmes and principles to accommodate the boy’s needs, otherwise the association will be rendered useless and out of touch with the needs and reality of the boys. The question is, are the Scouts participating in the development of programmes that spell out their needs.
We are prompted to ask this question for we are made to understand that the issue of introducing girls into Scouting has cropped up again. As usual, due to its sensitivity it is discussed in hush --- hush tones. Well we at Fire-Light have a mandate to inform, and we will set the ball rolling.
We have argued above that the issue of introducing girls into the movement should come from the boys themselves, but be that as it may we believe a lot needs to be done to Scouting in the country in general than spending hours discussing the issue of girls. We believe that when the time comes for girls to join, there won’t be any votes, discussions, it will happen like the process of evolution. Of-course those who are advocating for girls are dwelling on trivial issues like segregation. Why would society accuse us of segregation when a lot of organisations have membership based on gender i.e. football clubs, drum marjorettes, schools, women lawyers of Zimbabwe etc. If we incorporate the girls, then what happens to the Girl Guides movement? Do we let it die down. Finally the million-dollar question is what is the ordinary boy’s opinion? He should be consulted you know.
There could be advantages of introducing girls, but a lot of homework needs to be done, for once it is done, there is no going back.
With all due respect, the World Scout Bureau is in favor of introducing girls and other countries have done it and succeeded, but what is true for Tom is not necessarily true for John. Zimbabwe needs to work out its own pace, and chart its own course.
We know we have opened a pandoras box but what if we are right!
WORLD SCOUTING’S TOP AWARD FOR BADEN-POWELL’S DAUGHTER
The Honourable Mrs Betty Clay CBE has been awarded the Bronze Wolf by the World Scout Committee. The award, which is the highest award in World Scouting, was first awarded to her father Lord Robert Baden – Powell in 1935.
The Bronze Wolf which is worn on a ribbon around the neck, is given solely in recognition of outstanding service by an individual to the scouting movement around the world.
Source: Australian Scout Dec. 1998
Mhlahlandlela Pioneering Competition 1999
Theme: "Pioneering into the next Millenium"
Date: 29-30 May 1999
Venue: Gordon Park, Matopos
More details and entry forms are available from PHQ
1999 MATOPO HIKE CHALLENGE
1ST MATABELELAND CREW EXPEDITION
‘They set out to conquer Silozwi Mountains, capture Silobini and retire in Mawabeni but alas …………’
The weekend of the 16th to the 19th of April 1999,was unlike any other for the Rover Crew, for it was the Annual Expedition weekend. This was the climax of many weeks and days of planning. The expedition was a challenge hike set out through the goodwill of Norman Scott. In theory it was a +60 kilometre hike in the Matobo Communal areas (not anywhere near Gordon Park). We were required to use about 4 maps and hike over a straight line with a one-kilometre deviation allowed.
With all our hike and camp kit we set off for Ovi centre, 24 kilometres from Kezi shopping centre, where we put up for the night. We were all raring to go for we believed we had therequisite skills, expertise, determination and commitment, to fulfil the challenge before us.
Day 2 – On Saturday morning we left Ovi, after having plotted our direction of travel, we trudged in the bush happy to be away from the city with all its hassles. After some distance we checked our map to confirm our position and realised that we were slightly off track. After numerous consultations we were back on track. At 1400 hours our first check point came into full view and we thought it was only a few hours before we conquered it but alas, as we got closer and closer the terrain became even more difficult. We had to cross-large rocky outcrops. Water at this point was getting more scarce. Silozwi Mountain was nothing but a rock or an Inselberg as one of our geography fundis put it. Hence getting to the top was like landing an aircraft at Gordon Park. We got to the peak or at least what we thought was the peak at sunset, coming down required nothing but a stuntman for it was dark but all we wanted was to get down, and get down we did. We immediately set up camp at the foot of the mountain.
We woke up the next morning with plans to reach Silabini at noon, little did we know that our contact with Silobini would be only through the map. We continued reading and analysing the map, all the way. We honestly got to a point where we were not too sure where we were. (If you have hiked before you will appreciate what I am not talking about). It is at this point that I believe we strayed off track, until we met a man (Ndlovu) we nicknamed him ingilosi (angel or our saviour) for he was God sent as he appeared from nowhere in no man’s land and gave us directions!
On Sunday we spent the night at Gwandavale, yes we didn’t get to Mawabeni due to time constraints. But one thing is certain, is that we learnt a lot, over the 3 days we all developed a deeper brotherhood bond, good team spirit, and above all we had fun. We were also afforded an opportunity to test our endurance, commitment and survival during the hike. As expedition leader I have no doubt in mind that we were equal to the task and did our best as required by the scout promise. Our resolution as a patrol is, ‘its not over yet’. In a month’s time we will set off from where we ended hopefully this time to capture Silobini and retire in eMawabeni.
A million thanks to our Provincial Scout Commissioner, Norman Scott who set the challenge for us, indeed a scout of a high order.
The following Rover Scouts participated in the Matobo Challenge 1999.
A detailed report will be available from the crew Secretary in due course.
Guess what! After this expedition we are all going fishing in the Mtsheleli Dam for a change!
Over a period of three weeks in August of the year 2000, the Scouts and Guides of Cleveland, UK will carry out a project in Matabeleland North, which will be to build a double class room block at Dingani School, Dete, take piped water to the new block, renovate existing school buildings, and carry out work on Dete town clinic.
We have been working on this project since it was first adopted by Cleveland in March 1998, and the MISSION STATEMENT of the Boy Scouts of Matabeleland is:
TO DO ALL WITHIN ITS POWERS BY THEIR OWN ENDEVOURS AND THROUGH THE ENDEAVOURS OF WELL WISHERS AND SUPPORTERS, TO ASSIST IN EVERY WAY POSSBILE THE SCOUTS AND GUIDES OF CLEVELAND, UK IN THE PROJECT KNOWN TO US AS ‘CLEVELAND 2000’, WHICH WILL BE CENTRED ON DINGANI SCHOOL, DETE MATABELELAND NORTH. IT IS TO BE REGRETTED THAT FINANCIAL RESTRICTIONS WILL NOT PERMIT THIS SUPPORT TO BE OTHER THAN IN KIND, IN WHICH THE SPIRIT AND ENDEAVOUR OF THE BOY SCOUTS OF MATABELELAND WILL NOT BE FOUND LACKING.
A leader group from Cleveland will be visiting Zimbabwe in August of this year, and will be at Gordon Park on Sunday 8th August 1999.
The Management Team from our end consists of John Gurney, Carlson Nyathi, Themba Zulu, and Bongani Mkorongo, and we are now at the stage where we wish to start putting together our team for the year 2000 project, and to identify potential participants, so that both our own management team and the Cleveland visitors may observe some, if not all of them in camp at Gordon Park over the week end of 7/8 August 1999, and Scouts who wish to take part in this project should submit their names in writing to the APSC(PR), P O Box 929, Bulawayo (Home telephone number 64662). Please supply full postal address, telephone number (if any), together with name of troop and details of Scouting achievements to date, and stating whether or not you will be in camp at G-P on 7/8 August 1999.
Applications to reach to APSC(PR) not later than 30th June 1999.
Scouts taking part in the project will be selected from Bulawayo districts only this is to be regretted, but the very poor communication from many troops outside Bulawayo means that too many difficulties would be encountered by including Scouts from other centres, although it is to be hoped that the actual project in August 2000 will give an impetus to Scouting in Dete.
No minimum age limit has been set for those who wish to take part, all of whom will be individually interviewed, and we will be looking for a good approach to the principles of Scouting, and Scouts who will be a credit to Zimbabwe, not only to Cleveland, but also to other visitors from overseas who will be encountered in the vicinity of Hwange National Park.
ASSISTANT PROVINCIAL SCOUT COMMISSIONER
ST. GEORGE’S DAY
The St.George’s Day service was held on the 20 March 1999, at St Columbas Anglican Parish in Makokoba. The service was well conducted by a long time supporter of scouting, Fr Burroughs. Many thanks to Carlson Nyathi the organiser and 66th St Columbas for providing the venue.
EASTER HOLDIAY CAMPS
While thousands of Zimbabweans celebrated the Resurrection of Christ, a number of Scout groups stole an opportunity to go camping at Hillside Dams and Gordon Park Matopos. Most of the groups used this as an opportunity to train and prepare for the provincial competitions to be held during the 2nd term.
50TH BULAWAYO STEALS THE SHOW AT MPOPOMA SCOUT HALL
About 20 Scout groups gathered at Mpopoma Scout Hall for the Annual Uniform Competition. Patrols were judged on about 10 categories which included among others, (a) general cleanliness (b) badges, shirts and shorts etc.
The event was co-ordinated and run by Vusumuzi Maphosa (District Commissioner for Pumula) assisted by Richard Shilling (Assistant Provincial Commissioner (General)
THE FINAL RESULTS WERE AS FOLLOWS:
1. 50th Bulawayo 33rd Bulawayo
2. 92nd Bulawayo 31st Bulawayo
Since the establishment of Firelight. This column has mainly concentrated or centred on Leader Training. This month will look at ways in achieving training efficiency at Group level.
Training is basically ‘a planned and systematic experience which aims at providing individuals with the knowledge and skills required to perform a particular job. Bates (1996) The main aim of training is to change behaviour.
KEY ELEMENTS FOR SUCCESSFUL SCOUT TRAINING AT GROUP LEVEL
Finally it is important to realise that scouting is based on the ‘learning by doing’ principle, for people learn better by practising various skills.
Remember the future and success of scouting will be determined by the quality and appropriateness of training given to our boys.
DUTY TO GOD
Praying everyday should be an important component of our lives, for it is through prayer that we are able to communicate with our Saviour Jesus Christ, so brother scouts as we pray, let us remember to pray for all the young people for it is us the young people who are fulfilling the prophesy in the bible. The bible tells us that in the last days, wars will errupt, men will fight men, and brother will fight brother diseases will be rampant and incurable.
While one can easily observe the above it is important to realise that it is the young people/ generation, fighting the wars in Kosovo, and other places. It is young people suffering from the Aids pandemic it is young people who are dying so as we all pray let us besiege our God to bring mercy to them. For it is through Jesus that we will be saved, and forgiven!
LEADERSHIP IN TERMS OF POWER AND INFLUENCE
5 sources of power
Bully or the big man.
Organisation. A person’s position often gives him access to information or knowledge.
Popularity e.g. charisma
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