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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.





Front Cover:-
The Silver Elephant - Matabeleland’s Provincial Award -for "Service of the most exceptional Character"


1 Seeonee Pack Meeting : PHQ : 5.00 pm
11 General Information Course : PHQ
12 Gordon Park Service : 12.00 noon
18 Environmental Day
21 International Day of Peace



Mr Editor I am of the opinion that the Scout movement should make arrangements to display its activities at the Trade Fair. A number of voluntary organisations do exhibit their activities. This indeed goes a long way in marketing these organisations.

Surely, Scouting has what it takes to make an impact to all Zimbabweans.

Lets do it!!!


Scouting Is Unique

I have always tried to explain to many people, the power of scouting, its uniqueness ....... no one has believed me, the people at work, the kids I teach. People just don’t realise what scouting can do. A few days ago, we entered into a room full of scouts from Sussex in England, who were staying at the Hilltop Motel. They had never seen or heard from us, what they recognised was the Scout uniform.

Suddenly the house was full of Comrade, fellowship, brotherhood. Such warmth and hospitality is reserved for royalty. We all got talking as if we had known each other for years. We discussed politics, geography, social science, history and even visited the future.

The atmosphere was electric, all feelings of doubt, pessimism and scepticism which characterise all first meetings were totally absent. Indeed God was in our midst. Brother Scouts we got to know more about scouting in England in 2 hours that we could from reading books for days.

The truth is I can hardly remember the names of some people that I spoke to, but what I will never forget is their humility, frankness and true scouting fellowship. All present felt very strong at that meeting and we still do today. For scouting is powerful, it moves people. If only the world would stop and see what scouting has done and continues to do.

It is my hope the scouts, in our various groups will experience and appreciate the power of scouting as some of us did that day.

God bless!


The Millennium Count Down Camp One or as it has been more commonly referred to as "The Big One" lived up to its billing of being, "the biggest and best camp to be held in Matabeleland". The emphasis of the programme was on learning and fun for all participants whether they were Beavers, Cub-Scouts, Scouts, Rovers, Leaders or parents and fun there certainly was in abundance.

Co-ordinating the programme of activities for the camp was District Scout Commissioner, Harry Ncube, who along with the other Commissioners, Scout leaders and the Rovers of the 1st Matabeleland Crew, provided a wide and varied array of activity bases. I was proud of the way in which the whole Province rallied together to ensure that the planning, preparation of Gordon Park and support of the camp for its three day run, ensured for a most successful outcome. Supporting the activity bases was a well stocked camp shop filled not only with food items but t also specially designed souvenirs for the camp. It was also a pleasure for us in Province to play host to a 40 strong contingent from Mashonaland Province who thoroughly enjoyed the camp and who stayed on in Gordon Park for a few extra days.

During the Millennium Camp Service on Sunday 8 August, which was attended by four visiting British Scout Leaders, the first three Provincial Awards of the Silver Elephant were presented. The recipients were Mrs Rosemary Moody, Assistant Provincial Scout Commissioner (Training), Mrs Aurielle Wilcox, Provincial Secretary and Fr Odilo Weeger, a member of the Matabeleland Scout Council. The Silver Elephant is given for "services of the most exceptional character to scouting" Together the recipients have given in excess of 70 years of inspired service to scouting in Matabeleland Province. My heartiest congratulations to them on receiving this award.

Another historic moment of the camp was when an area of the Bowl, where the scout camp sites are located, was named "The Mike George Campground" this honour was bestowed on Mike George, a former warden of Gordon Park, in recognition of his 56 years association with Scouting in Matabeleland.

And so it is with great pride that I congratulate you all, whether organiser, helper or participant in ensuring that we in Matabeleland, through the Millennium Count Down Camp programme, there being four camps in the last two years have made a positive and practical contribution in celebrating the end of the 20th century in the true scouting spirit of fun, friendship and learning. Our founder, Lord Baden-Powell would have been delighted to see you all enjoying the game of scouting as he envisaged scouting to be, and what is more in one of the best camping environments in the world, Gordon Park, which he visited in 1936.

As we prepare now for the last school term of the year and of the 20th century, take what you have learnt at the Millennium Count Down camps into your daily living so that we all enter the 21st century with confidence, hope and a desire to continue and promote the ideals of scouting, not only in our troops but towns and the whole country.






The words Welcome, Semukele, and Mauya greeted those who entered Gordon Park on the 6th to the 8th August 1999. For indeed it was a privilege for one to be part of the "Big One". The mood was jovial, the atmosphere gave all those present a Jamboree feeling, truly representative of the "Dawn of a New Century". In brief this was what characterised the Millennium Countdown Camp.

Over seven hundred Scouts, Cubs, Beavers and Leaders, converged at Gordon Park, in the heart of the Matobo National Park, to celebrate in the last of the Millennium camps, whose main purpose was to provide , Scouts, Cubs and Beavers with fun unlimited.

All participating groups were grouped into 3 subcamps, namely Ikhwezi, Ilanga and Indosakusa.

The "Activities Menu" for the weekend was set and designed for scouts of all ages. The bases were divided into four.

Venture 2000 - In this activity centre, scouts were offered a chance to abseil and engage in the breathtaking obstacle course. One needed more than guts and strength to successfully complete the course. A number of scouts also had an opportunity to go horse riding. Orienteering was a delight getting the route correct meant a packet of sweets awaited you!

The Grubmasters - This activity base was generally for personal achievers - apple eating, bucket ball race, etc. "Hulk Hogan" the wrestling superstar was made to look like an amateur, when scouts engaged each other in a mudwrestling match. This was tough as the two wrestlers would be slippery due to the mud.

Popcorn eating was also a delight as it required nothing more than a big appetite. Indeed this was a base of fun and cheer.

The next Century may require us to have hands on skills, hence the inclusion of the craft centre (Vukuzenzele) managed by the "Dodomasi" Scouts had an opportunity to use their hands in screen printing , origam, paper mache, and knitting among others. We trust that the skills acquired will go a long way in helping scouts in the next millennium.

Not to be outdone were the Cubs and Beavers whose painted faces, reminded one of the Red Indians, from the West, it was indeed a delight seeing them munching their pancakes, and competing in the apple eating competition.

Brother Scouts, it would be sheer irresponsibility to report on the Millennium Count down Camp and leave out the opening ceremony. This was indeed in a class of its own. It entailed all the three subcamps, marching to the Knapman Training Ground at the sound of a Kudu Horn, blown from the top of Gordon Park Rock. This is where Justice Fergus Blackie stood to officially open the camp.

On arrival at the training ground the subcamps formed the numbers 2000 to signify the start of the new century. The view from above was amazing, Angels must have smiled at such beauty.

The success of such a camp cannot be laid squarely on any human capability but glory should go to God. Hence on Sunday, scouts gathered at the St. George’s Chapel to re-affirm their faith in the almighty. The service was conducted by Fr Odilo Weeger, a long time supporter of the scout movement.

In recognition of their exceptional and outstanding service to scouting. The following were awarded the Silver Elephant (equivalent to the Golden Lion) this is an award, conferred exclusively by the Provincial Scout Commissioner.


1. Mrs Aurille Wilcox (Provincial Secretary)

2. Mrs Rosemary Moody (Assistant Provincial Commissioner, Training)

3. Fr Odilo Weeger (lay supporter)

Congratulations to all of them, they indeed deserve recognition.

Finally it is my submission that it is not possible, to fully articulate, narrate and report on a camp as unique and fulfilling as the millennium count down. You had to be there to experience it.

Many thanks to "Harry" the co-ordinator, and all those who stood fort, and never moved until victory was achieved.




Dear Pastor

My father should be a minister. Everyday he gives us a sermon about something.

Robert Anderson

Age 11


A chain of cars was seen heading for the Bulawayo Airport on Saturday 24 July 1999, to meet the ‘Silver Queen" The arrival of the plane was important because it is the first plane which opened the airwaves in Africa before it crashed at Ascot, Bulawayo in 1920.

More than five thousand people were at the airport by 11 am ready to welcome the Silver Queen, as she was expected to land at the airport at 12.00 noon. It was later reported by airport staff that the Silver Queen was expected at 4 pm. Despite the delays, people never lost hope as they were kept entertained by the marimba Bands and Scottish Pipers. It was later announced that the delay had been due to heavy wind currents travelling at 75 knots.

The arrival of the Silver Queen was history, in the making. Many thanks to all scouts who provided services at the airport.




I have just browsed through the July Edition, No. 72 of Fire-light and would like to commend you on the wonderful work you and all contributors do every month for the benefit of the scout movement in Matabeleland. Keep up your good work, never tire and may God bless you and give you a rich reward for all your labour and dedication.

The only criticism I have is the odd spelling mistakes, and the occasional faulty punctuation which make reading a wee bit slower. Needless to say that the sketches on the front and the quotations on the back pages are always superb and both exciting and inspirational.

Best wishes!



Many thanks, for your letter, we will endeavour to improve the quality of the magazine.

God Bless


Six Cub Scout Packs converged at the Highlanders Club House on the 24th of July 1999.

Underdogs 67th Bulawayo of Pumula District emerged winner. They beat the otherwise more enterprising young stars at Luveve’s 42nd Mtshingwe Primary. The final score was 4 goals to 1.

Nkululeko "Shuto" Tshabangu of 42nd Mtshingwe was voted man of the match and walked away with a trophy for his efforts.

Many thanks to Bhekimpilo Mpofu, who offered to referee most of the matches.

Participating Teams

Group School District

1st. Hwange Thomas Coulter Primary School Hwange

13th Bulawayo Robert Tredgold Bulawayo East

33rd Bulawayo Mzilikazi Primary Mzilikazi

42nd Bulawayo Mtshingwe Primary Luveve

67th Bulawayo Zulukandaba Pumula

110th Bulawayo Mpumelelo Primary School Mpopoma






Well brother Scouts I have thought of sharing with you the great life that one experiences in being a Rover Scout. I have been a Rover for the past 2 years now. First as a member of the 1st Matabeleland Crew for a year. I can proudly say that where I was introduced to Rovering. I still have great moments that I treasure from that crew. Its one of a kind and worth visiting. I am a Rover in my group crew now.

On Rovering let’s talk of the crew itself :

1. It is a group of young men aged between 18 and 30 years.

2. It is the senior section in our movement.

3. It is the place where the big boys play.

4. Above all its a place for fun as it exposes you to great challenges and high adventure never encountered in life.

What does it take for you to have a crew as well. For a crew to open only three young men (18+) are needed to come together. This is the minimum number of members in a crew. Who runs the crew? A crew can run either with or without a Leader. If it is does not have a leader the crew council directs it. This council has three members who are, the Rover Mate, the secretary and the treasurer. (If there is a Rover Leader he chairs its meetings). a crew without a leader will have one member emerging as its natural Leader. In his book "Ideas for Rover Scouts’ Jack Cox says ‘a crew without a leader will have one member assuming the role of the R S L and it is usually the Rover Mate or the Crew Secretary" If you have been a Rover before you will definitely agree with him here.

A Rover crew like any section in the movement can be part of a group or stand independently. Good examples of which are 92nd Emakhandeni crew and 1st Matabeleland respectively. In our Scout Groups we have a lot of boys turning 18 years. Where are you dumping them as they can no longer legitimately belong to the Troop? Surely you are not appointing all of them to Assistant Leaders. Even if that’s what is happening it is not a reason for them not being Rovers. I guess most of us usually show them the exit door out of this wonderful movement. Let me talk of a group with a Pack and a Troop. Here there is usually the Scout Leader and one or two Assistant Scout Leaders, the Cub Scout Leader and one or two Assistant Cub Scout Leaders. We have an average of 5 leaders in such a group. What are you then waiting for? For scouting’s sake please start your group crew. Do not worry of the training scheme, it will be out soon. At the moment get hold of books like SCOUTING FOR BOYS, IDEAS FOR ROVER SCOUTS, GILCRAFTS ROVER SCOUTS, ROVING FOR SUCCESS and many others that deal with rovers. Roving for success by Baden-Powell and ideas for Rover Scouts by Jack Cox are actually the best for new crews. You can also use the Australian scheme which Zimbabwe is currently using to come-up with our local one.

Matabeleland has been known for its great strength and good Provincial scouting. Truly we can not confidentially boast on that with only two crews in the Province. We need more Crews to come up so as to fully enjoy what roving has to offer. Moots, inter-crew adventures and Provincial if not National rover challenges will definitely start appearing in our calendars.



There is to be a General Information course on Saturday 11th September 1999. It will be held at the Matabeleland Boy Scout Headquarters, starting at 8.30 a.m. and finishing at 4.30 pm.

This course is the first part of the Wood Badge Training Course for Adult Leaders, Assistants and non uniformed people interested in learning the fundamentals of Scouting.

We are especially appealing to Teachers who are given the task of overseeing Scout Groups. The knowledge gained on this course will help them to understand the nature of scouting and so make it easier for them to advise the young leaders who are under age and often left to run the group on their own.

We also receive letters from Rural groups asking for advice about how to start a new group. This course is specifically for people like you, so do try to make an effort to come in to Bulawyo on this Saturday.

Those of you, who are lucky enough to have Group committees, should also urge these parents especially the Chairman to come to this course.

The course includes such sessions as: ‘What is Scouting’, ‘What Scouts Do’, ‘Fundamentals’, ‘The Adult in Scouting’. There will also be some very preliminary instructions including such skills as knotting, flag ceremonies, and tent pitching.

In order to keep Scouting going at the same high standard, we need to train our leaders, but besides being of benefit to the boys in your care, you will find that scouting will bring you immense pleasure and it will be so much easier to give your boys the right training once you have attended some courses.

We look forward to seeing you on Saturday September 11th 1999. Please being your own lunch, tea and biscuits will be provided.






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