On 5 May 2017, 10 teams of met up at the 1st Bothasig Scout Hall to take part in what was going to be an awesome competition. This year the theme was ‘Mars Colonisation’ – with bases and activities centered heavily around this. A new surprise – for the first time ever we invited Girl Guides to attend the event and were joined by the Bothasig and Cape Peninsula companies. All 10 teams in attendance were fired up and ready to roll – and we as their hosts were ready to oblige.
The first phase of this event, taking place on Friday evening, was ‘Astronaut Training’. Teams had to set up their colonies (this year Roberts was camping themed instead of hiking) and begin some gourmet cooking – this was to be their last meal on Earth after all. After these meals, patrols headed off for some night activities, such as obstacle courses, navigation, walking with Mars shoes and first aid training.
The morning of the 6th was officially the time for the Scouts to head to Mars. Like good astronauts, the first meal was to be cooked in bags – omelets, pudding, and coffee and cooked and served inside Ziplock bags. Teams then had to complete some tasks that they would encounter in space. These included rescuing a ‘spaced’ astronaut, building a DIY fire extinguisher, using a robot arm to remotely pour a Coke and some observation skills.
By noon the teams had managed to crash land on Mars. Their lunch needed to be improvised – using some basic ‘astronaut rations’ and a mixed bag of random ingredients, they needed to come up with their own meal ideas. There were also survival-centric afternoon bases, such as water purification, radioactive waste disposal, making foot sandwiches and space combat. Energy levels remained high; something we are always happy to see.
During all these activities, teams were constantly needing to work on spare-time-activities (STA’s) that had been given to them. This required creativity, but also a strong time-management component (something younger teams can learn from). Some of these were as simple as answering a space quiz or solving a coded message, others were more complex like building a model Solar System or making a wearable Mars Suit. These culminated in teams building their own bottle-rockets and trying to get to space (although we only made it to 50m).
By the end of the day the kids were still having fun, and we were very pleased to be able to end on a high note. Competition was very stiff this year, but 1st Milnerton were able to maintain a good lead right to the end – taking home the Roberts Trophy. Well done! Out Girl Guide guests also put on an excellent effort, taking 2nd and 3rd place respectively. Scouts, we hope this is a sign to up our standards!
We would like to thank the Rovers, Scouters and parents who gave up their time to judge this weekend. Also a huge to the parents and Scouters who backed up their team – it wouldn’t happen without you. We also like to thank out awesome hosts, the 1st Bothasig Scout Group and Bosmansdam High School for letting us use their facilities! Thanks all the Scouts & Guides that made the effort and went out to colonize Mars! Lastly, thanks to the organization team – Shanet Rutgers and Devon Bowen for pulling the whole event off.
More photos to follow soon.