The 1st Randburg Scout Group represented Randburg in the Gauteng Kontiki challenge this weekend (4 to 6 March 2011) at Murray Park, Springs.

Kontiki is an annual raft-building competition for Scouts and Girl Guides, which has been run in Gauteng for 27 years.  The aim of the competition is to build a raft from scratch on the Friday and launch on Saturday.  The Scouts remain on the raft overnight, cooking a meal and completing other activities on the dam.
1st Randburg finished 18th in the Raft completion and 22nd overall (out of 46 teams).  A Girl Guides team from America and a Scouting team from the Western Cape (who finished 3rd overall) also participated in the Gauteng challenge.

The teams showed great spirit and innovation in building their rafts.  Decoration and design are important as well as the necessary function and safety.  The theme was the Roman Empire and thus rafts that looked like chariots and galleys were the norm for the day.

Cubs may be too young to stay on the rafts but many participated in the supporters (or land-based) teams and others completed various “Beaver” challenges in order to earn their special Kon Tiki badge.  1st Randburg also has a young group called Meerkats, aimed at 5 to 7 year olds and even these smallest members got involved in the action.

Scouting has a long tradition and is an organisation that is still going strong after 104 years.    Girls and boys of all races and ages are now part of the organisation, part of a 28 million strong worldwide membership in 160 countries.   It is no surprise that Richard Dean Anderson (better known as MacGuyver) was a Boy Scout but many famous sportspeople, leaders and entrepreneurs were also part of the Girl Guide or Scouts organisation in their youth (such as Bill Gates, Mohammed Ali, Celine Dion, Steven Spielberg, etc.).

The 1st Randburg Scouts group started in 1946 as 1st Ferndale Scouts, in Riverside District. They later joined with 1st Brinkpark to form 1st Randburg and are the oldest group in the Randburg District.

Other teams from the area who competed and excelled was Robin Hills (winners of the 2011 Kon Tiki Challenge) and 2nd Randburg Rangers (who came 2nd overall).   Greenside from Emmerentia finished 4th, Blairgowrie finished 12th and Craighall finished 24th.   The Randburg area was thus well-represented at Kon-Tiki and are looking forward to next year’s challenge.