St John’s DSG in Pietermaritzburg congratulated Sarah Burnett this week on the news that she had been awarded her Springbok Scout Award – the ultimate award for any Scout in SA.
The list of requirements, goals and projects young scouts must complete to attain the Springbok award is gruelling and tests every facet of their ability, endurance and temperament.
Among some of the more arduous projects, Sarah had to plan and lead a hike in an area unknown to her. In the April holidays, Sarah and four other scouts completed a three-day/38km hike in the Newcastle area, starting from the top of Muller’s Pass, walking along the Drakensberg escarpment and ending at the bottom of Normandien Pass.
This was a challenging navigation exercise, as there were no set trails, with the hike crossing various farms (with the farmers’ permission) and the Ezemvelo Ncandu Reserve.
Another requirement was to lead a group of Scouts in a pioneering project. Sarah designed and built a pivot bridge, linking an observation deck to a tower, with access from a bank. This construction was built using only poles and ropes, with a pulley system to raise the bridge. It took eight scouts two days to build.
Other tasks included completing community service projects and giving talks/presentations.
Last year Sarah was presented with the Bushman’s Thong Challenge Award, the highest challenge award in Scouting and which recognises a Scout who is well-rounded in terms of their skills and interests.
When asked what she loves most about Scouting, Sarah, who started at age 6, said, “I enjoy learning new skills and new experiences, and mostly enjoy the strong friendships that develop with your fellow scouts in your troop.”
The Grade 12 St John’s pupil recently passed her final requirement to gain her Springbok Badge, an interview with the Provincial Scout Springbok committee.