The 2021 Race to Space!

Written by Dylan Cloete, SSA Youth Influencer Western Cape

Earlier this year the lockdown restrictions eased and we were able to resume some of our Scouting traditions and competitions, such as the Gordon’s Shield.  Scouts throughout the Western Cape returned to their “new normal” with the first Regional camping competition of the year.  Almost 100 Scouts braved the rainy weather to partake in the  competition.

However, this edition had a slight twist as there were two different locations to ensure the National Covid Regulations of no more than 100 people per event was met. The Hawequas Scout Adventure Centre housed 14 teams and the Rotary Youth Campsite in Glencairn hosted 15 teams.

The two campsites ran identical programmes full of activities that challenged the participating Scouts to put into practice their leadership, problem solving and project management skills.

This year’s theme was “Race to Space” and cleverly explained the separate campsites. “The rocket’s booster system failed midway through the stratosphere, causing the two halves of the transport module to jettison and land in separate locations across the Western Cape Scout Region.” The Scouts had to compete in space-themed activities such as launching bottle rockets and creating solar system models.

They also needed to work in teams to complete a number of tasks at hand. These included pitching and sleeping in their own individual tents, whilst ensuring they were comfortable and dry despite the heavy rain. The teams had to cook a two-course hot meal for dinner over a fire in a potjie or Dutch oven. They had to build pioneering gadgets – including a table with seating, a flagpole, a gateway to the entrance of their campsite and a kitchen with washing up stand. In addition to this they were tested on their Scouting skills such as first aid, knots, code breaking and their fire-starting abilities.

Well, done to all the teams that competed. A special Congratulations to 6th Rondebosch for winning the Gordon Shield. Well, done to 2nd Bergvliet for coming second and the 1st Fish Hoek Ranger Guides for coming third.

Thanks to Michael Ketterer for being the Chief Judge based at Hawequas and Jason Raad based at Glencairn and their teams for running the competition.

The Gordon Shield competition was introduced in 1915 and is the Western Cape Scouting’s standing camp competition.



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