Senior Scout Adventure: 1974 Cederberg
2nd National Senior Scout Adventure – 1974
Report by the Cape Argus
MORE than 200 Boy Scouts are facing a challenge to test the veldcraft of even the most skilled backwoodsman on a demanding adventure course covering 600 square miles of rugged terrain in the heart of the Cedarberg.
The 10-day National Senior Scout Adventure began a week ago when four railway buses left Cape Town with 200 scouts from South Africa and Rhodesia. Only 150 km later the scouts had a taste of what was in store when the winding, narrow mountain truck proved too much for the buses.
Late that evening the last dusty scout tramped into the base camp after several hours of unscheduled hiking.
Their trip had brought them north-west of Citrusdal and more than 1000 metres above sea-level to the wilderness area of the Cedarberg where the original inhabitants, the Bushmen, have left their records painted on the walls of the sandstone caves. This part of the Cedarberg is occupied now by leopards and buck and a handful of farmers.
One of the farmers, Mr, P. L. du Toit, owner of 'Driehoek,' agreed to have the scouts' base camp on his farm.
He was somewhat apprehensive at having nearly 300 people on his farm. 'But,' he says in a broad Boland brogue, 'if nobody bothers me, I don't bother anyone.'
The 200 scouts have been divided into 22 patrols that are operating from 10 bases in the 600 square mile area.
The activities include sailing, survival training, archery, a commando course, bridge building, rock climbing and shooting.
The camp chief, Scoutmaster Mr Esmond (Fatty) Rutter said: 'The adventure course is an extension of Scout training for senior boys. It gives them opportunities to learn more skills and of course there is the physical challenge.
Now that we are in a wilderness area, the scouts can learn to appreciate nature.
The Scouts ages range from 14 to 18 and for some of the younger ones there is much veldcraft to be learned. Two of them were drawing water from a stream. One was scooping with his scout hat 'These hats are supposed to hold water,' he said. 'No they're not,' replied the other, 'they're made in London.'
At the heart of the organisation sits Scoutmaster Cyril Hardy in an army tent with R15000 worth of radio equipment loaned by the Cape Town City Council. He uses it to co-ordinate the whole operation.
Things come a bit unstuck when teams push too hard and overlap. This co¬ordination can only be done by radio,' he says.
The scouts got New Year greetings and matric results by radio. Mr Hardy mans the base from 5:30 am to midnight.
One of the most popular men is Pinelands scout Graham Boschard, the chief cook. 'Cooking for more than 200 people every day in the middle of nowhere is certainly a job. They say it's the only job here that's no fun, but it's not so bad really,' he said.
Another job that didn't seem much fun was running the first, aid station, the lot of Mr Norman Osburn, a Cape Town attorney.
The Orienteering Base
Report by Scoutmaster Fred Harris of the 3rd Claremont (sacs) Group
The Orienteering Base was established after a dusty, bumpy journey on 27th December at Heuningvlei. The early arrival was necessitated by the work required to establish the orienteering courses accurately.
The team of nine consisted of the Base Leader, Kevin Wall) assisted by Fred Harris, Dave Lawson, Piet van Schalkwyk, Pierre Molenkamp, Ian Appleton, John Gray, Lionel Gerber and Gregory Lacey. This team was kept extremely busy, plotting, measuring with theodolite and compass and with the numerous jobs that setting up a base camp entail, until the arrival of the first expedition team on 29th December 1973.
Two courses were laid, one for line orienteering and the other for score orienteering. The line course was used purely for instructional purposes and for preparation for the competitive score course. Time allocated for each team to complete the 28-control point score course was two and a quarter hours and the distances of the control points from base varied from 235 metres to 1900 metres. The maps used were 1:50000 enlarged to 1:10 000. These were amended by the base staff to include more up-to-date material.
Altogether fifteen teams participated in the orienteering competition with an extremely wide range of results. The lowest score recorded was 235 out of a possible 920. The winners of the trophy, made especially for the occasion from Spanish cork-oak and copper, were the Scouts from Pietermaritzburg and Rhodesia who formed a Patrol under the leadership of Rod Crompton. Their score of 818 points narrowly 'pipped' the 816 points gained by the composite team from Somerset West, Gordons Bay and George led by Owen Gardner.
On completion of orienteering, some teams enjoyed the view of sunset and sunrise From the top of Krakadouw. Those who did not avail themselves of the opportunity of climbing this mountain certainly deprived themselves of seeing breath-taking scenery. Teams were guided to the top by members of the base staff who took the opportunity of Escaping from base-camp life.'
Generally, the moral of the teams visiting the base and competing in the competition was high. It was very noticeable that the more successful a team was in the competition, the more enthusiastic were its members towards orienteering work.
One comment received from some Scouts was to the effect that if map reading was More like orienteering it would be more fun working for the Map-reader badge.
Those in charge of the various departments of the 1974 Adventure were:-
- Camp Chief - Fatty Rutter
- Registrar /Trading Post - Impie Bryant
- Trips Planner - Colin Inglis
- Grubmaster - Richard Goldschmidt
- HQ Cooking - Graham Boshard
- Radio - Cyril Hardy
- CT hospitality - Peter Barnard
- Publicity - Norman Osburn
- Treasurer - Richard Day
- Transport - Jimmy Slater
- Admin - Alan Shinton
- Archery/Karate - Greg Gordon
- Clay Pigeon Shooting - Trevor van Rensburg
- Commando Course - Paul Cabu
- Conservation / Ecology - Hugh Dent
- Dutch Oven Cooking - Errol Kotze
- Orienteering - Kevin Wall
- Pioneering - Hugh (Buzz) Macey
- Rock Climbing - Bob Reinecke, Gabriel Athiros (MCSA)