Scout to build a bridge for charity

Rebecca Sprang.

A scout from the 1st Claremont Scout Troop will be building a bridge at Keurboom Park this Saturday to raise money for an after-care centre.

Rebecca Sprang, a Herschel High School Grade 11, joined the scouts in 2015, as she was attending an all-girls school and wanted to work with girls and boys alike.

And now, four years later, Rebecca is hoping to earn her Springbok Scout Badge – the top award a scout can get.

On Saturday June 1, Rebecca and a team of scouts, ranging in age from 11 to 17, plan to build a thriftwood unilock bridge, more commonly known as the banana bridge, over one of the rivers in Keurboom Park, Rondebosch.

Rebecca says the funds raised during the bridge building will be used for her 40-hour community service project: upgrading the Happiness Haven Centre in Westbank, an after-care centre and soup kitchen that serves hundreds of people daily.

She’s doing the bridge building to raise money because to get her Springbok badge she also needs to lead a team in building a pioneering structure.

“Secondly, I am using the building of the bridge itself to draw attention to the area in which we are working, because on site there will be more information about the community service initiative and an opportunity to donate.”

Rebecca says Keurboom Park is the ideal venue for fund-raising, as it has been a hub of scouting activity, is a popular place for exercising and walking pets and has a great river to build a bridge over.

“The event is centred on the building and the lifting of the bridge. But on the site of the bridge, there will be stalls and face-painting, as well as scouts giving information about the service project,” she says.

“This will also be a day of training and achievement, as the scouts learn to tie lashings to the standard that large projects demand.

“The practice of pioneering is something deeply important in scouting. It involves taking a tangle of poles and ropes and creating something functional and beautiful.

“Pioneering is also used as a vessel to teach leadership and teamwork skills, as it takes a lot of people working together to build a bridge or tower.”

With the money raised, Rebecca and some fellow scouts will do some DIY work at the Happiness Haven Centre.

“Their main building was never finished, and does not have a roof,” says Rebecca.

Rebecca has been determined to get her Springbok since joining scouts.

“It means using what I have to train other scouts and using the incredible platform scouting has given me to impact other lives. Because essentially, Springbok gives you the ability to impact the lives of others through training and service, starting from a really young age.”

Rebecca says she has learnt many things during her time as a scout – cooking, navigation, first aid, survival and much more.

“But in fact, these practical skills are simply vessels for other, more applicable skills: the importance of working as a team, how to be a leader, how to lead younger kids. The skills I most value are learning how best to use the resources I have at my disposal (be it my skills, physical resources, or people I know though scouting), and how to organise and run events, hikes and camps,” she says.

The fund-raiser will take place throughout the day, for more information or to get involved, contact Rebecca at rebecca.sparg@gmail.com or 079 232 1099.