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Its Modern Scouting
By Gordon Caw, Matabeleland Assistant Provincial Scout Commissioner (Scouts)
EXPAT '72 (meaning Expedition Preperation and Training) is an event that illistrates the type of scouting for which todays young men are looking.
It is a combination of expert instruction and testing adventure calling for leadership and initiative. It will provide many valuable experiences in decision making, co-operation and self reliablility in difficult circumstances.In fact, the whole of Expat '72 will emphasise the very basic ideal of the Scout Movement - to train boys to become better citizens through a program of training in an outdoor environment.
Although the Movements basic ideal has not changed since the beginning of Scouting in 1908, its method of presentation has changed considerably. Gone are the days of simple knot-tying, standardised first aid and lighting fires with two matches. Many fathers would not believe their sons belong to the Movement they remember of 20 to 25 years ago.
What then, have the Scouts at EXPAT '72 been doing for the last few days? Shortly after thier arrival in the Matopos Hills they received sealed orders which gave map references and compass bearings for a tough 50km hike through some of the most rugged country the Matopos has to offer.
They prepared their own meals and compiled reports on the country they traversed on such subjects as conservation problems, areas suitable for aircraft landings and historical finds not previously recorded. This hike had two main objectives:-
1. It was a toughening up exercise
2. It highlighted any deficiencies in the training the Scouts had previously received.
These shortcomings were observed by qualified "hike tutors" who accompanied the Scouts. On their return to base camp at Gordon Park (the MOvements 112 hectare training ground in the Matopos) the Scouts settled down to an exacting daily programme that ran practically non-stop from 06.00 hours to almost 22.00 hours for six days.
During this period there were a few moments of ligth relief. such as campfire or film evening, but at all times they had to "Be Prepared" for any emergency. For example, on one evening they had to cope with a difficult "Recsue"; on another night when there was no moon-light, they were sent out on a cross-country exercise with only the stars and a compass to guide them. Then there was that morning at 04.00 bours when they had to evacuate camp within minutes! (continue next page...)
The Chief Scout Commissioner for Rhodesia, S.D.O'Donnell, ICD, writes:
In this era, one of the shining examples of the permanency of principles is that of the Scouting Movement. The principles of Scouting have survived change mainly because they are outward looking and have nothing to do witht he selfishness of individual organisations or even countries.
The principle of having a duty to God and to ones country is basic to everyone and, after all, these two things are the whole basis of Scouting. They are the basis on which we as Scouts comit ourselves to think of others rather than our own selfish interests.
I envy all the Scouts who will ahve the opportunity of participating in EXPAT '72. I know that they will find the program and the challenges ahead of them one of the most stimulating experience during their whole scouting life.
I am sure that as a result of this testing period, they will achieve standards which they did not themselves believe were within their capacity. On the other side of the coin, I congratulate all those who have had anything at all to do with the planning and preparation and the conduct of EXPAT '72.
Skills for the adventurer in the open air -
Left: An excercise in estimating heights (in metric units) with lying Ian Durandt (15) of 10th Salisbury Scout Group, and Steven Lonie (15) of the 8th Salisbury, and Malcolm Boulter (15), of the 20th Bulawayo.
Right: Peter Edwards (14) of 20th Bulawayo, "Chimneying" during a rock-climbing session.
Teamwork as Scouts bend their backs to test with block-and-tackle the strength of a log-and-picket holdfast, a type of anchorage used in loose ground.
Ack: Supplement to the Bulawayo Sunday News 10th Sept 1972