Rayner Trophy 2003 Report
Route: Villiersdorp mountains
The Rayner Trophy was held in the mountains above Villiersdorp in the western most section of the Riviersonderend mountains. The hike started out on Boskloof which is an apple farm above Theewaterskloof Dam. The route then took the competition over Silver Stream, Ratelfontein and finished up on the farm Kleinfontein some 10km north of Villiersdorp. This was an entirely new area to the Rayner, totally unknown to the Scouts and was all on privately owned land. Landowners are in general, usually happy for people to cross their land as long as they are asked obviously, and understand the full implications of the competition. This includes the number of Scouts, Scouters, number of vehicles if any and precautions to be taken to avoid fire. The latter being, of particular concern given that February/March is the height of the fire season in the Cape fynbos. Environmental Awareness
The route took the competition through the centre point of the Cape Floral Kingdom which thus meant that this is where the species richness is the highest in all our fynbos. This fact did not escape the orqanisers and a section of the competition called Environmental Awareness was created. This worked well, although some Patrols may have been surprised at its inclusion in the competition. Vegetation plot, Flora Report, Bird List, Protea Identification and the Outdoor Code were all activities which contributed towards the Environmental Award. The night base, Footprint Recognition, was not included in the Environmental Awareness tally although it could be argued that it should have been. This is documented under "Competition Results" in the Rayner Trophy 2003 file fully. However, a summary of the top ten positions is shown below for the Rayner Trophy and Environmental Awareness.
|1||2nd Bergvliet A||321|
|4||3rd Pinelands A||268|
|5||2nd Fish Hoek||261|
|6||2nd Somerset West||260|
|10||1st Strand (Boys)||218|
The judges of course are essential in the running of the Rayner, most of whom should be asked to help out again at future Rayner's. I am therefore very thankful to these people. The judges are documented in the Rayner Trophy 2003 file under the "Judges Instructions" tab. I am indebted to Dr Tony Rebelo of the National Botanical Institute at Kirstenbosch and who is the scientific officer for the protea Atlas Project, who walked with me to recce the route. In addition, the Protea Atlas Project also, provided colour maps and made five copies of a field guide for proteas, SASOL Proteas, available to the competition and to the top 5 Patrols in the Environmental Awareness section of the competition. In addition, the help on fairness of tests, the distribution of marks and timing that I received from Richard Goldschmidt was invaluable in ensuring a better run competition.
- Future Chief Judges should look at using private land for the Rayner to avoid ever increasing Cape Nature tariffs.
- It is imperative that first time Chief Judges consult a previous Rayner Chief Judge so as to learn from his experience and not to repeat the same old mistakes. In so doinq, the Area gets better and better at running the Rayner.
- Preliminary mark sheets were handed to each Patrol Leader at the end of the competition before the presentation of the Trophy. The competition total was not filled in. This is not a new concept to the Rayner but I believe a very important one and should be repeated in future Rayners. A few problems were pointed out by the Patrol Leaders and these were corrected before the presentation of the Trophy. Sometimes this can highlight an injustice done to a top team and the best time to fix this error is before the final presentation.
- Not many photographs of the competition were taken and consideration should be given to getting a dedicated photographer. This was considered for the Rayner 2003 but was dismissed by me. I regret not having a good photograhic record of the Rayner. Some photographs were taken by Mark Schumann of 1 st Edgemead (see their website) and these are included on the CD.
- All documentation from the Rayner should be placed on a CD for the use of future Rayner Chief Judges.
- Such a CD is therefore included in the Rayner Trophy 2003 file.
- Scouters are asked by invitation only to judge on the Rayner. Generally, and there can be exceptions, most judges should be warranted and active Scouters from "good" Troops. However, keen Scouters whose Troops may battle with the Rayner standard, should also be invited in an attempt to show these Scouters what is expected of the Scouts, so as to raise the standard of Scouting in the "weaker" Troops.
Chief Judge: Nigel Forshaw