Scout’s honour for young Bok Earning highest achievement took grit

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FOR the first time in 10 years, a young man is the recipient of the pinnacle of scouting achievement, the Springbok award.

After a challenging process, Steven Medcalf, of First Cambridge Scouts, will be presented with his Springbok award at a ceremony early next month.

“I started scouting because my parents were very involved.

“They always spoke highly of their scouting experiences and as soon as we found out there was a troop in East London, I joined,” Medcalf said.

Starting out as a cub almost seven years ago, Medcalf has worked his way up through various scouting advancements to ultimately complete the requirements to become a Springbok.

The requirements include various tasks, such as 40 hours of community service and a construction project.

These requirements need to be completed before your 18th birthday in order to qualify as a Springbok.

“I had to cook a three-course meal on an open fire, plan an entire camp for my troop and organise the toughest hike I’ve ever done,” Medcalf elaborated.

“He made an excellent apple pie,” mom, Debbe Medcalf said.

For his community service requirement, Medcalf designed and executed a project to help a children’s home.

“I made playground items out of tyres for a children’s home in Fort Jackson.

“It was quite fun building these items, and I was really glad to be able to give the kids something cool to have fun with,” Medcalf said.

TRUE TROOPER: Steven Medcalf, from First Cambridge Scouts, received the Springbok Award after completing various tough requirements Picture: MADELEINE CHAPUT

For Medcalf, the hike was the most physically and mentally challenging requirement.

He and his team hiked 30km just outside of Uitenhage, in an area which he had never hiked in before.

“As per the requirements, the hike had to be the toughest hike I had ever done, and it definitely was.

“I had to really push myself to get through it,” Medcalf said.

The pressure of organising and planning is also no small feat to overcome.

“The closer you get to the set date for your camp or hike, the more pressure you feel.

“I had to do everything right and make sure everything was planned properly,” Medcalf said.

In December last year, Medcalf also attended the 21st biannual Cederburg Senior Scout adventure, where he was the patrol leader of his group.

“The Cederburg Adventure is so much fun, you get to meet scouts from all over the world and hear their stories, while doing all sorts of activities, from rock climbing to archery,” Medcalf said.

“Scouting is not just learning how to tie knots.

“It has taught me so much about true leadership and how to interact with different people,” Medcalf said.

“Becoming a Springbok means a lot to me, you feel so accomplished and proud of yourself, I feel like now that I have achieved this, I can do anything.”

For anyone interested in joining scouts, there are now three different age-groups available, the Cubs (7-10 year olds), the First Cambridge Scouts (11-18 year olds) and the recently started Rovers (18-30 year olds).

For inquiries e-mail: scoutsbcm@gmail.com.

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