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Top Guiding award for city matriculants

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“Since they started Guides in junior school the two girls have matured into young ladies with an inner core of self-confidence, a love for the outdoors”

TWO KIMBERLEY 2019 matriculants, Shaneen Calvert and Melissa Blassoples, from 1st Kimberley Girl Guides, were recently awarded their Protea Awards, the highest award a ranger can achieve in the guiding movement.

The two are among less than a handful of Kimberley pupils to receive the award, the first being Chloe Eascott, followed by Ugashnie Pearce, last year.

Clare Hubbart from 1st Kimberley Girl Guides, who presented the awards to the two recipients earlier this week, explained that in Rangers there were eight different adventures, such as leadership, outdoors and community service.

“A ranger needs to complete eight clauses from each adventure to reach level four. Previously this was known as a Diamond Award. To get the Protea Award, however, the recipient needs to do an additional clause in each adventure, so 72 clauses in all! They are also required to complete a service project, plan and organise a regional event, gain the ranger camp permit and hold peer education training,” said Hubbart.

“In addition, the recipients are also expected to give an oral presentation about their Guiding path to a non-guiding audience, attend a panel interview and provide feedback to the relevant parties on their experience of the ranger programme and lastly to submit a portfolio of all the clauses, activities and planning done throughout her guiding journey. Rangers is started in Grade 9 so the recipient has only four years to achieve all of this.

“Since they started Guides in junior school the two girls have matured into young ladies with an inner core of self-confidence, a love for the outdoors, compassion towards those less fortunate, someone who will stand up for their own beliefs and injustices towards others.”

Besides completing their school work, which saw Melissa coming 11th in the list of top 20 matric achievers last year, these have also, amongst other things, learnt how to change a car tyre and jump start it, know how to cook successfully in more than one way in the outdoors, put up a tent, make a flag pole and hoist a flag.

They know how to run a committee, chair a meeting, the importance of working in a team and how each individual has their own strengths and weaknesses.

They have researched carbon footprints and understand the importance of looking after the planet, eating healthy, substance abuse and peer pressure, along with first aid and self-defence.

They can change a light bulb, wire a plug, light a camp fire and work with gas.

They can find their way using a compass and have completed several night hikes where they have had to walk 15km in the veld, in the dark, with heavy backpacks.

In addition to all of this, the two have also completed more than 75 hours of community service each.

According to Hubbart, both Melissa and Shaneen have embraced their guiding experience and ended it on a high note by completing the very challenging Protea Award.

Melissa leaves Kimberley soon to study medicine at the University of Cape Town, while Shaneen will be studying graphic design at Vega Design, Marketing and Branding in Johannesburg.