PowWow: 1993 Report

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Cub Pow Wow 1993

Theme: Our Youth - Our Wealth.

20 to 22 May - Jeppe High School, Johannesburg

Three days of carefully planned activities was enjoyed by all. It was no small event. No less than a personal welcome from the Mayor of Johannesburg (complete with wife and chain) to start us off. We prayed together for guidance; we discussed; we listened; we watched; and whenever possible we ate.

The opening ceremony, honoured by the presence of Councillor & Mrs Les Dischey, the Mayor of Johannesburg

An officer from the Child Protection Unit presented some sobering facts about child abuse. During 1992, there were 3 571 reported cases of Assault and 7 774 reported cases of Sexual Abuse. Pack Scouters need to be on the lookout for such problems, and report them via the toll-free number: 0 800 11 12 13.

The main setting was Jeppe High School for Boys, founded in 1890 and now a national monument. The 170 Pow Wow participants came from all over South Africa, and the theme was Our Youth — Our Wealth.

Wealth featured strongly on the second day, as we set off in buses to visit the City of Gold. Our group went first to Gold Reef City, where the wealth came from; then to the Stock Exchange, where the wealth is traded; and finally to the Carlton Tower Panorama, to view how that wealth had been unevenly spread around. We take Cubs to places of interest. It made sense to go exploring ourselves.

Our "Mining Magnates Dinner" had Peter Robinson of Gencor as guest of honour. He questioned whether the youth of today were our wealth or our downfall? He pondered on the uses of such wealth: to improve our environment? to create a peaceful South Africa? to teach people how to love one another? Education brings knowledge. But it is still up to the individual to use that knowledge. Scouting and Cubbing bridges that gap. We can provide the motivation for individuals to go through the many doors which are now being opened for them.

Gilwell Florida was the setting for the third day — full of bases demonstrating craft ideas, a clue -solving conservation walk, some hard thinking, and a riotous raucous dinner with entertainment and campfire.

The full delegation

Practical ideas: Candle-making, creating shapes rather than conventional candles — crook-legged spiders, shrouded ghosts, lumpy-bodied worms. The results looked like iced treats. How could, anyone bear to light the wick? Countless creations from Plastic two-litre Coke bottles — hats, space-rockets, string holders, Father Christmas, funnels, vases, piggy banks and moon buggies. Plus Silk-screening, Belt branding, Bonsai trees, Bookmarks and mobiles from old negatives, and Tree knowledge. But the brainwave of the day was the simple Kaleidoscope construction.

The Cape Western delegates

The final discussion session produced some deep thinking and some strong agreements. If Scouting is to present a new image in the New South Africa, then a new uniform will probably need to be part of it. Certainly, it was felt that our present khaki risks putting our boys in danger, for reasons of presumed political affiliation. (It was even suggested that unwanted khaki uniforms might be sold off to the AWBO We also need "Boy Scouts of South Africa" stated clearly somewhere: the scarf and fleur-de-lis are well-known to ourselves but not enough to the general public. There were revised ideas for the Leaping Wolf and Link Badges as well: a feeling that there should be more practical Scoutcraft in both. All these are still only ideas: they must be presented through the "correct channels" before anything is decided.

The attendance at each Cub Pow Wow has increased. It's a reunion, a rejoicing and a rejuvenation. This one (thanks to infinitely detailed planning by Carol Olive and her Transvaal team) was also incredibly cheap for what it offered. Make sure that one of your Pack Scourers enjoys the Pow Wow experience next time around.

See Also