Cub Pow-Wow

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A History of Cub Pow-Wow's in South Africa

As Cubbing developed, a need arose for Pack Scouters to meet and exchange ideas throughout the country and the South African Cub Pow-Wow was initiated.

The following record was created by the Scout Heritage Team and was researched using documentation mainly from the Western Cape Scout archives. We hope you will enjoy reading about 'times past'.

There are some gaps (Badges and Reports) in the recorded history of Pow-Wows and should anyone have more info on Pow-Wows, it would appreciated if you could contact the Scout Heritage Centre via
Year Details logo

Cape Town 27 December 1937 to 2 January 1938
The first South African Cub Palaver was held at Bishops Preparatory School in Cape Town. Apart from the many discussion sessions there were outings to Cape Point, Stellenbosch, and a trip up the Table Mountain cableway. The Mayor of Cape Town paid a visit as did other Scouting dignitaries and a Cub's Own was held at Gilcape in Diep River. A quote from New Year's Eve: - "At midnight when the bells were ringing in the New Year, we renewed our Scout Promise and sang 'Auld Lang Syne'...and after toasts to the King, Chief Scout and visiting delegates, the evening was brought to a close with community singing".



Pietermaritzburg 11 to 12 January
Pow Wow was held at Lexden Camp, Pietermaritzburg. The Natal Witness of Monday, 13 January 1942 carried the following caption to a photograph on which 53 people appeared: "Cubmasters and mistresses from all parts of South Africa gathered on Saturday and Sunday for the National Cubmasters Pow-Wow - the first since 1938".


Pietermaritzburg 11 to 12 January
Pow Wow was held at Lexden Camp, Pietermaritzburg.

The Pow Wow took place at the same time as the Scout SANJAMB was being held at the nearby Chase Valley. Read about the combined activities Report


East London 8 to 10 April
Held at Gilwood, East London and celebrated the Jubilee Year of Cubbing. It was attended by 78 delegates and the Camp Leader was Mrs J. Jesson.


Durban 9 to 12 April, Easter
Held at B.P. Camp, Durban - 66 delegates were divided into 6 groups named in colours. The Camp Leader was Mrs E. Berry-Smith.


Port Elizabeth 20 to 23 April, Easter
Hosted by Cape Midlands Division - 77 delegates were divided into 10 groups, once again named in colours. The tents that the delegates were accommodated in were named for the indigenous trees of the Eastern Cape. The theme was "Our Green Heritage" and the Camp Leader was Mrs H. Cohn. The Chief Scout at the time, 'Chas' Martin, attended the whole Pow Wow.

The camp was situated in the Humewood Sea Scout grounds, Port Elizabeth adjacent to their Scout Hall. Meals were enjoyed in the adjoining nursery school. The camp was right on the beachfront, so sea bathing was popular. A dawn Scouts Own was held on the beach on Easter Sunday.



Rustenburg 28 to 31 March, Easter
Held at the Congress Centre in Rustenburg and was hosted by Northern Transvaal Division. The theme was past Jamborees and the 9 groups were named after them. Camp Leader was Mrs Dolly van der Bank and 73 delegates attended.

There were opportunities for nature rambles and a trip was made to Bophuthatswana to see Scouting and Guiding in action. A contingent from Rhodesia was present. The occasion was attended by Chief Mangope. There was the usual lengthy discussion on uniform and casual dress for Pack Scouters.


Cape Town 8 to 10 April
The camp was held at Glencairn and hosted by Cape Western Division with Miss Renee Hawes as Camp Leader. The 45 delegates who attended this Pow-Wow were divided into 6 'shoals' named for the fish found in the Cape waters.

Delegates were taken on a drive around the Peninsula as far as Cape Point, which ended in a visit to the fishing harbour and packing house at Hout Bay, which included a trip by boat around Seal Island. On Easter Sunday and Easter egg hunt was held in the grounds at Glencairn. The banquet was held in the MOTH hall at Fish Hoek. More talk on uniforms.


Florida 13 to 16 April, Easter
The theme "Mining - Gold Rush" was used for this Pow-Wow hosted by Transvaal Division held at Gilwell Park, Florida in the Transvaal and attended by 47 delegates. The 6 groups were named after the types of rocks encountered in underground mining.

A visit to Simmer and Jack Gold Mine which included an underground trip was one of the highlights of this Pow Wow. There was a 'gold rush' around Florida Lake, the gold being chocolates wrapped in gold paper.



East London 17 to 19 April
Once again hosted by Cape Border, the Pow-Wow was held at Gilwood, East London. The theme was "Constructive Cubbing". 81 Delegates attended and were divided into 8 groups, named for the indigenous flowers of the area.

News sheets were published on daily events and news. The merger of the four Scouting Movements in South Africa had taken place and we were pleased to have Black Scouters from Transkei and Natal Kwazulu Area with us. A mayoral reception was held at City Hall. A special request was made to consider having future Pow Wows over the Ascension weekend.


Natal 12 to 14 May
The first Pow-Wow to be held over the Ascension weekend was hosted by Natal Kwazulu Area. 94 Delegates were divided into 7 groups, named after places in B.P.'s life history. The theme of the Pow-Wow was "The Spirit Lives On". Camp Leader was Sheila Surgeson.


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Kimberley 16 to 19 May
Hosted by Central Area and held at the Youth Hostel, Kimberley, the theme of the Pow-Wow was "Diamonds". This Pow-Wow was the biggest ever, being attended by 140 delegates.


Port Elizabeth 28 to 30 May
Not to be outdone, Cape Midlands hosted an even bigger Pow-Wow at their training grounds, Gilsands, in Port Elizabeth. The theme was "1820 Settlers" and 176 delegates attended. The Camp Leader was Sheila Morgan.


Pretoria 4 to 6 May
The Pow Wow was hosted by Northern Transvaal Area and was held at St Albans College, Pretoria. The theme of the Pow-Wow was "Jacaranda City". The groups were all named after indigenous trees found in the area (with the exception of the Jacaranda tree, which is not indigenous at all).



Stellenbosch 9 to 12 May
Held at the Okkie Jooste site in the beautiful Jonkershoek Valley just outside the town of Stellenbosch. The programme included walking tours of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, and coach tours of the peninsula. Trips up the cableway and a boat trip to Duiker Island.



Johannesburg 20 to 22 May
Held at the Jeppe High School for Boys in Johannesburg and the theme was 'Our Youth is our Wealth'. Outings included trips to Gold Reef City, the Stock Exchange and the Carlton Tower Panorama. Guest of honour at the 'Mining Magnates Dinner' was Peter Robinson of Gencor. Day 3 was spent at Gilwell, Florida with bases full of ideas, dinner and a campfire.



Durban 28 to 30 April
Held at the beautiful setting of the Uthongathi School in Durban. Quite heated at times, especially discussions around the introduction of Girl Scouts, Campfire with ashes of previous ones, outings to Dolphinarium and a sea trip.



Roodeplaat 1 to 3 May
Held at the F.R. Tomlinson Camp at Roodeplaat Dam. Cost R300 with travelling provided to and from camp from Pretoria (excludes travel to Pretoria). Sleeping was in tents with beds.



Pow Wow 2000 was held at Okkie Jooste in Stellenbosch. Outings included trips to the V & A Waterfront, a picnic on Blaauwberg beach, Butterfly World with a final stop along the way with a take from the Bird Man. Throughout the week-end there were bases on Craft ideas, Interest badges and Advancements. There were lots of ideas and fun had by all. The meeting of old friends is always a highlight. At the opening there was a space ship with a message for the Scouters and the week-end ended with a banquet that was out of this world.



Port Elizabeth 17 to 21 April
Held at Woodridge College, 35 km west of Port Elizabeth and the theme was "Pow-Wow in the Jungle". It was attended by 150 delegates from 6 Areas, namely Cape Eastern, Cape Western, Central, Gauteng, Kwazulu Natal and Tshwane.

Pack Scouters came together to share ideas, have loads of fun, make new friendships and renew old ones. The strength of bonds formed was evident at the closing banquet by the many hugs, embraces, tears and promises to meet again.


Gauteng 24 to 26 April
Held at Heronbridge, Gauteng and was attended by 188 Pack Scouters representing Gauteng, Cape Western, Cape Eastern, KwaZulu Natal, Mpumalanga and Central Areas. As part of the gathering, the Scouters participated in skills training activities to provide new ideas and skills, which can assist them in training their youth. The Pack Scouters visited places of interest in the vicinity of Heronbridge.



Durban 24 to 26 September
Held in Durban – KwaZulu Natal Based at Durban at Glenwood Boys School, activities included trips to the Temple of Understanding in Chatsworth and Shaka world.


Stellenbosch 1 to 4 May
Held at the Okkie Jooste site in the beautiful Jonkershoek Valley just outside the town of Stellenbosch. The theme was "Carnival of Friends 189 Pack Scouters attended from all over South Africa.


Port Elizabeth 23 to 27 April
Held at Sumcay Youth Centre on the banks of the Swartkops River just outside Port Elizabeth. The theme was 'Mystery Safari' filled with lots of outdoor action. Chief Organiser was Veronica Davies.


Johannesburg 27 to 30 April
Held at Heron Bridge Retreat with accommodation at a private college, Johannesburg in Gauteng. The theme was 'The Star in You' and once again an event filled with laughter, ideas, games, new friendships made with a mini tour of an African Museum, Science Centre and movie house thrown in. There were 33 members from the Western Cape Contingent in attendance. Chief organisers were Jill Dickinson and Joy Hutchinson.


Stellenbosch 30 April to 3 May
Okkie Jooste Cultural Centre on the banks of Eerste River in the picturesque Jonkershoek Valley, east of Stellenbosch and next to the Nature Reserve. A spectacular setting amongst the towering Boland mountains was chosen for these years Cub Pow Wow hosted by the Western Cape 'Anchors Aweigh' was the navy theme for the event. As always it was refreshing to get more ideas for Cubbing and meeting up with Scouters to sharing ideas. A stunning event attended by over 130 Scouters and the next one will be held in 2016 in Durban.


Johannesburg 6 to 9 August
Given that this was the Centenary year of Cubbing, it was decided not to hold the traditional biennial Pow-Wow, but rather to celebrate the 100 years of Cubbing. Held at Wag 'n Bietjie Campsite, Olifantsfontein, Johannesburg.



Kingsburgh 22 to 25 September
Winklespruit, Kingsburgh, KZN


Virtual 26 September 2020
Gauteng 24-25 September 2021
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and uncertainty, an online Pow Wow Get Together was held in 2020 attended by about 75 Cub leaders, and Pow Wow was postponed until 2021.


Western Cape 8-11 August