It is not unfair to say that South Africa played a very important role in the history of the Boy Scouts Movement. After all Lord Baden-Powell (the founder of the Boy Scouts Movement) first rose to fame in his heroic defense of Mafikeng during the Second Boer War. A few years later he wrote the now famous Scouting For Boys manual on which the Boy Scouts Movement is based. It is quite ironic that this world famous, peace-loving movement has its roots in war. It is great to see that the traditions and honour system of the Scouts is alive and well in South Africa.
Oliver’s House was privileged to have the Harmelia Gardens Air Scout Group nominate Oliver’s Village as the project at which many of their Cubs and Scouts carried out voluntary community service. Oliver’s Village is our flagship project. It is situated on the border of Daveyton and Benoni on eleven acres of property. Oliver’s Village is still under development and in its completed state will be home to a wide variety of social services – including a HIV AIDS clinic, pre-school, educational learning centre and a five acre self-sustaining food forest and vegetable farm.
These young Scouts were led by Greg who is currently in the process of earning the highest award a young Scout can achieve – the Springbok Award. In order to achieve this Greg has to perform 40 hours of community service and perform one exceptional task. Greg and his fellow Scouts spent two weekends at Oliver’s Village performing various farming tasks from re-composting soil to general farm clean-up. As his exceptional task Greg chose to clean our hydroponic tunnel – no easy task considering that we are in the process of redesigning it to produce stronger vegetable yields.
When youngsters are prepared to sacrifice their weekends in order to better serve their communities we know that the good old fashioned values of serving your community is a fashion that is still popular. It is great to know that organisations such as the Boys Scouts are still alive and well and that their tried and tested value system is one that is still popular with youngsters. We have such a lot of work to be done at Oliver’s Village and it would be great if we could get more Scout Groups involved in the work that we do. We thank Greg and all the Cubs and Scouts at Harmelia Gardens Air Scout Group for the great effort they put into Oliver’s Village.