Kingsway High School grade 12 pupil, Dylan Lightfoot was awarded the title of Springbok Scout.
This is the highest award a Scout can achieve.
To be eligible for Springbok status, a Scout must complete at least 40 hours of community service, lead a hike over 30 kilometres in unfamiliar territory, and plan and construct a pioneering project.
Eighteen-year-old Dylan has been a member of 1st Amanzimtoti Scouts for 10 years. “The Scouts were doing a fundraiser at the shops when I was younger and handing out pamphlets,” he said. “It mentioned hiking, which I was keen on. When I told my dad Craig I wanted to join, I found out he was a Scout and my grandfather Donald was too.”
For his community service Dylan offered his help to Linda Weldon-Church, who started the non-profit organisation Purr-fect Rescued Cats.
“I helped a friend with the cats for about 40 to 45 hours, but wanted to give my time to help Linda with everyday things, such as fixing whatever needed fixing – things she didn’t have the time to get to.”
In total Dylan completed about 130 hours of community service at the organisation.
He led a hike to upper Mafadi from Njesuthi, on the border with Lesotho in the Drakensberg. He also climbed to the top of Mafadi, the highest peak in South Africa.
For his construction project he built a triangular tower with triangles in the middle and top, with guide lines.
The 5m high tower took him about seven hours to complete, with the help of five junior Scouts at the Scout hall in Drake Road.
“I used 15 four-to-five metre poles and more than 20 two-metre poles for the platforms. And a lot of sweat and tears.
To get Springbok colours for Scouts is not about your ability, but rather that you can lead people to obtain a goal.
Scouts has made me become a leader and it teaches values, which is important.
The biggest thing it has taught me is SA is amazing. The people who live in the city are not aware of how beautiful the country is.”
At his award ceremony in Pinetown, he was privileged to meet Sibusiso Vilane, who has climbed the seven highest peaks on each of the seven continents, a feat Dylan is keen on achieving himself.
“I would like to follow in his footsteps and it was an honour to meet him.
I like the outdoors, so another of my goals after school is to do the Otter Trail in the Eastern Cape, although there is a 12-month notice period.
After school I want to study geotechnical engineering (the branch of civil engineering concerned with the engineering behaviour of earth materials). Hiking in the Berg and seeing the rock formations has peaked my interest in the civil side of it.”
Dylan is also a keen badminton player, having represented his school’s first team and is a prefect.
“Scouts is my life though. The bond between Scouts, including past Scouts, is amazing.
I was born in East London and moved to Toti in grade 3, so I didn’t have any friends. All my friends I’ve made through Scouts. The reason I stayed is because it is my second family. Scouts is my life.”