Scouts share survival tips at Cape Union Mart events

‘Survival’ was the name of the game recently when SCOUTS South Africa partnered with Cape Union Mart to host three Survival themed events around the country.

“A group of some 15 Scouts and Adult Leaders descended on the Canal Walk Cape Union Mart Adventure Center in Cape Town”, explains Scouter Peter Otzen who facilitated the event on behalf of SSA in the Western Cape. “We were fortunate to be joined by Cape Union Mart’s ambassador, Nico Panagio, presenter and host of Survivor South Africa. He entertained the large group of Scout-age guests and their parents with stories of his time on the show. Those included tales of wearing the same clothes for 39 days, or eating only rice for that long! It was then time for the Scouts to present, starting with the very successful ‘Learn It Young, Remember It Forever’ advert which to date has over 6 million views on You Tube. This was followed by an entertaining and participation-based discussion around layering of clothing to keep a hiker warm in even the coldest of conditions – our ‘model’ was promptly put into the ‘Chill Chamber’, a cold-room going to about minus 30 degrees Celsius. The audience then broke off into small groups, each being taken aside by an Adult Leader or a Scout, where they were introduced to some cool survival gear and Scout equipment. They were also taught how to do some basic knots. The fun wasn’t over, as afterwards everyone had a chance to climb the in-store climbing wall. Some of the younger audience members were a little shy and hesitant about climbing the wall, but with some persuasion and a Scout climbing next to them to the top, all the attempts were successfully concluded. Many thanks to all those who assisted and gave up their Saturday mornings – there were smiles on everyone’s faces, so absolutely a successful day!”

At the same time a similar event was being held in Johannesburg. Adult volunteer and Rover Dawn Ledbitter coordinated the Scouts’ presentation at the Cape Union Mart store in East Gate Mall. “It was a chilly morning and I was joined by a number of Rovers from the Prometheus and Orion Rover Crews. Our Cape Union Mart representative started off the morning by demonstrating which clothing to wear outdoors, which included many ways to wear a buff! Then it was my turn. I explained how easy it is to join the Scout Movement and how being a Scout means that you automatically have over a million friends! We then split up into 4 group rotations of “How-To-Instruct” sessions where Rovers Paige Langley and Inge Neumann from Prometheus Rovers in Pretoria were assisted by members from the Orion Rover Crew headed up by Darren van Gool. We had a session on how to waterproof matches, how to make an improvised compass, how to pack a survival kit and how to tie a reef knot and bowline. It was great fun and we appreciated the complimentary gifts provided by Cape Union Mart.”

In Durban Scouts and Scouters showed young guests how to make makeshift stretchers as well as how to administer basic CPR. “Together with a group of Scouts we descended on the Cape Union Mart Store at the Pavilion. We were excited to demonstrate some survival skills that the Scouts had learnt”, says Scouter Mark Francis. “Cape Union Mart allowed us to use equipment off their shelves for our demonstration, this was a big help! We started off by explaining more about SCOUTS South Africa and demonstrating CPR. We then invited the youngsters to try out CPR on resusci Anne. It was a bit slow in the beginning, but the youngsters soon became eager to give it a bash. Although the parents were very hesitant to try, the youngsters soon learnt that it is not that easy to do CPR. We then went into showing them the bowline and reef knot. There were about 50 youngsters and parents in attendance who all received a length of rope. Soon the youngsters and some of the parents were tying the two knots. It was such a hit that we went way over time on this activity! We then made makeshift stretchers, we even got some of the youngsters to try them out. One of the Scouts also demonstrated making a conservation stove. Overall it was an entertaining and educational morning. Both the Scouts, youngsters and parents had fun, hopefully they all learnt something. The adult Scout Leaders present used the time to answer questions regarding Scouting, we took particulars of those parents that wanted to get their youngsters involved and forwarded the details to the Scout Groups in the respective areas.”

It is clear that all three events were fun and educational. We thank Cape Union Mart for this opportunity and are looking forward to strengthening our partnership even more.

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