Scouts fight off cold weather in annual raft-building competition in Benoni

The Morningside Scout team on their raft.


The recent cold and rainy weather did little to dampen the spirits of about 1 000 Scouts who participated in the annual Kon-tiki raft-building competition held at the Arrowe Park Scout Camp in Benoni.

This year’s edition attracted entries from 57 Scout groups from all over Gauteng.

The Sandton District was also well represented with an all-girls raft team entered by the 1st Morningside Troop, as well as entries from the 1st Rivertrail and 1st Fourways groups.

1st Hellenic Scouts get into the theme during the competition.

Inspired by a Lego blocks theme of ‘Let’s Build’, the Scouts were encouraged to incorporate this idea into both their raft design and construction.

Teams arrived on Friday afternoon and began setting up their camps and started building their rafts. To ensure safety, the rafts were inspected continuously until they were ready for launch on Saturday.

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The teams had to spend the next 24 hours out on the lake on their rafts, which had to be equipped with the necessary cooking and sleeping equipment.

During this time, the teams also had to complete a number of tasks to test the mobility and seaworthiness of their rafts.

Due to the extreme weather conditions, fewer teams elected to spend the night out on the water.

For the shore-based supporters, a number of other activities and challenges were also provided which included a cooking competition and the judging of campsites.

Sandton’s 1st Morningside Troop was well placed in the competition, winning the team spirit trophy as well as the raft cooking and raft safety awards.

The team came in fourth place overall, with the 1st Eagles Scout Troop from the West Rand crowned the eventual winners of the competition.

For the event organisers, it was pleasing to see the real Scouting spirit displayed by all the teams – who persevered despite the uncomfortable weather conditions.


Did your child brave the cold weather on the rafts? How was your experience? Post your photos and comments on the Sandton Chronicle Facebook page.

Chronicle Reporter

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