I am Roxanne Willemse, a Rover Squire at 1st Walmer Rovers in Gqeberha, South Africa. I joined the Scout Movement when my family moved from Johannesburg to Gqeberha in 2011. I was a Cub at Humewood and Algoa Sea Scouts, then I became a Scout at 1st Walmer Scouts.
I have had many great moments in Scouting but I’ve had the most fun during community service projects. Community service projects provide such a great opportunity for genuine human connection and emotional development, while also being full of fun because you are surrounded by friends and are making new friends. I also really enjoy the outdoor activities that are a part of Scouting. I have fond memories of building rafts to race on a lake and going on plenty of hikes in nature.
Community service projects provide such a great opportunity for genuine human connection and emotional development
Hiking challenged me when I was younger because I, like many young girls, felt insecure about my body. The exercise of hiking exasperated my fears of being too fat or too unfit. However, Scouting provided a safe and supportive community of friends and leaders who challenged me to face my insecurities. With the help of my fellow Scouts, I have learnt to be more appreciative rather than critical of my body, because it is what supports me in whatever adventures I go on. Scouting has made me more confident in myself.
I joined because my mother felt that it would help me by teaching me practical skills, fostering a connection to nature, and exposing me to different people, which would teach me the value of diversity. I stayed because I found friends and learned skills that I never would have met or learnt otherwise. In Scouting, I found a community that supports me to reach my potential and I had plenty of fun. Scouting has opened doors for me to make a change in my community by connecting me with other people that are passionate about helping and serving people too.
I love Scouting! It has changed my life for the better by helping me develop confidence in myself, and I hope to help develop that same confidence in younger Scouts by supporting them.