#rhinoshoutout CHALLENGE

CUB AND SCOUT WEEKEND

On the dawn of 31st July 2016, an estimated crowd of a thousand people gathered in WESSA's Umgeni Valley Nature Reserve, with Cubs and Scouts from across KwaZulu-Natal in the tradition of a parade and Scouts Own ceremony, for the unveiling of the Scouts #rhinoshoutout Cairn.

in partnership with,

Dedicated to all our fallen rhinos, and to the memory of Sharon Price, Dr Mark Stead (Group Scouter of 1st Howick Troop and friend of Sharon Price), gave a moving tribute to this remarkable lady who devoted much of her life to conservation, cubs and scouts.  Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife’s Honorary Officers Air Battalion, who are at the forefront of anti-poaching efforts in our game reserves, broadcast their support for the Scouts #rhinoshoutout from the plane cockpits during the fly-by.  Richard Mabanga, ambassador for Project Rhino KZN, then proceeded to tell the gathering of the importance of the Isivivane in Zulu culture. All the cubs and scouts walked silently past the cairn and laid a stone in tribute.

The walk from the cairn, through the forest, led the cubs and scouts to the impressive TVG geodesic dome tent, base for the informative talks and presentation ceremonies that followed. In the opening address by Sibusiso Vilane, South Africa’s Chief Scout and famous for being the first black African to summit Everest, he recalled his former years as a game ranger.  Discovering a lifeless poached rhino moulded his commitment to fight for conservation through his adventurous lifestyle.

Chris Galliers, Chairman of the Game Ranges Association of Africa, spoke of the important role we all can play in conservation.  Although there are many who are faced daily with real danger, he spoke of the need that we never lose sight of the target – the protection of Africa’s wildlife. He urged cubs and scouts to withhold the traditions as defined by Scouts Founder Lord Baden-Powell.

The Lasher Scouts #rhinoshoutout programme resembled that of the previous World Youth Summit organised by Project Rhino KZN in 2014. During breaks between guest speaker presentations, cubs and scouts enjoyed the privilege of Qadasi and Maqinga, also ambassadors for Project Rhino KZN, playing maskandi music. There were also a few planned interruptions when Zulu motivator Richard Mabanga, rehearsed the call-to-action phrase for the #rhinoshoutout… Siyabathanda Obhejane-Save Our Rhino!

Sheelagh Antrobus from project Rhino KZN, gave a well-rounded synopsis of the importance of the World Youth Declaration.  The way in which this amazing journal, sponsored by Melvill and Moon, is to travel globally to Cubs and Scouts in many different countries, taking with it the #rhinoshoutout message as far and wide as possible.  As head of Project Rhino KZN, she handed this important document over to SA Chief Scout, Sibusiso Vilane, together Grant Fowlds and Richard Mabanga as members of the inspiring Rhino Art Team.

The main event of the day was the united shout out against rhino poaching and wildlife crime. Adorned with purple and white buffs, and filmed from the air, cubs and scouts put into action the call-to-action chant that had been practised throughout the day.  In the midst of the South African winter grassveld, the voices of more than 600 youth performed the first ever Scouts #rhinoshoutout challenge.  The purpose of which is to challenge Scout groups across the globe to follow with their own #rhinoshoutout challenges, therefore spreading the message across the globe in what is the world’s largest youth movement, Scouts.

It’s not only about rhinos.  The #rhinoshoutout challenge is a message against rhino poaching and all forms of wildlilfe crime!  Pippa Hankinson, producer of Bloodlions – a documentary which has received major attention on the world stage, spoke to the cubs and scouts about the atrocities of canned lion hunting.  Seemingly innocent scenarios whereby some lion cubs in petting zoos’ end up in canned hunting facilities, is a reality! As with the #rhinoshoutout initiative, Simone Dale from Wildlands is heading the Bloodlions Youth Programme, the purpose of which is to promote no petting of wild animals.

As part of the #rhinoshotuout challenge, youth are encouraged to incorporate Rhino Art as part of their declaration.  With all drawings completed before arriving at the Lasher Scouts #rhinoshoutout Challenge weekend, more than 400 entries were examined by the panel of judges prizes were awarded to each school grade age group. 

 

The gathering of Scout groups from across the province also provided the opportunity for Sibusiso Vilane to present Leaping Wolf and Springbok Badge awards.

An event of this size cannot happen without the support of people and business, those who share our passion for the conservation of Africa’s wildlife and the important role of our youth as the influential leaders of tomorrow.  Our main sponsor, Lasher Tools, provided much excitement with the Lasher Tools Games. Scout Groups pitted themselves against each other in physically exhausting but wonderfully entertaining, tool and structure building challenges.

'In the words of Vincent Van Goch, “Great things are done by a series of small things brought together”.  We would also like to thank our other sponsors, whereby in combination with each other’s contributions, 1st Howick Cub and Scout Group were able to host this event of global significance.  Thank you!

  • Lasher Tools (title sponsor) - Operations and prizes

  • The Ventures Group (TVG Megadome) - Tent

  • Wired Media - Audio Visual

  • WESSA, Umgeni Valley Nature Reserve - Location

  • Earth Touch Media - Filming

  • Barrows - Outdoor media

  • Husqvarna -  Operations

  • Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife - Operations

  • Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife Airwing - Filming

  • Dargle Poles - Structures

  • Bush and Bundu - Prizes

  • Bright Lights Electrical - Electrical

  • Dartat - Site

  • Rapid 3D - Printing

  • Wildlands - Operations

  • Pinetown Printers - Printing

  • Global Learning Services - Operations

  • Tsonga - Operations

“We are in serious danger of loosing one of the most iconic animals to have ever walked the face of this earth, the rhinoceros.

My appeal is to reach out to you, as I believe young people are the future of conservation.

I need you to be the hero’s and help me to save the rhino”.

 

– Bear Grylls, Chief Scout

© 2016 by 1st Howick Cub and Scout Group

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