Master the Scout Law and be sorted for life!

Written by Thozamile DIngaan, SSA Youth Influencer Northern Cape Region

There are many incredible stalwarts in Scouting that have empowered and inspired thousands of children along their many years of service. One such Adult Leader is Mr John Cedani, who is one of the longest serving adult volunteers in the Northern Cape Region. Mr John Cedani also known as “Mr C” is currently the Regional Team Coordinator (RTC) for Adult Leader Training.

Earlier this year “Mr C” received his 50 year Long Service at the Regional Awards ceremony, as well as gifts from the Regional Team and the Isago Scout Group for his service to the Movement.  It was my honour to talk to him about his Scouting journey.

Can you tell us more about yourself and your Scouting journey?
My name is John Cedani and I am a retired Occupational Health nurse. I joined Scouting in 1962 at the St Boniface Scout Group in Kimberley. All my friends from school were Scouts and I always wanted to join them as they went to their Troop meetings. They belonged to different church groups, but in those days it was just not right to join a different church group. It was better to belong to your own church. When I joined my church group, I stepped into the Scout Group and the rest was history, Since I was appointed Assistant Troop Scouter I have attended many trainings, completing various Warrant, my Woodbadge and Adult Leader courses. I’ve served the Movement as Troop Scouter, District Commissioner and Adult Leader Trainer in the Central Division and Northern Cape /Free State Province. I’m now a Regional Team Coordinator for Adult Leader Training in the Northern Cape.

What was your most memorable Scouting moment?
I had the chance to attend the 17th World Scout Jamboree in South-Korea in 1991. This is one experience that I will never forget. It was under a difficult time, yet I got the chance to experience international Scouting. Here I got to see that there was more to Scouting and what it really is. It was more than what I had ever imagined, and what I had seen in my daily life. It was really a remarkable experience! The South African Scout Association as it was known at that time, were known to be the pioneers of unity, diversity and inclusion. I remember the friends we made. Also, what is a Scout without badges! So we also ex-changed many badges and scarves. My campfire blanket looks amazing because of this experience. I also managed to attend various National events ranging from the Senior Scout Adventure in the Cederberg, Cub Pow Wow, SANJAMB,  and I staffed on many Gilshort PLTU’s. In my advancement I remember I was very close to what we used to call the Queen Scout badge. Then the conversion came and I couldn’t finish this.  From there I then started the Fatima Group.

What have you gained from the Scouting experience?
Scouting is the only organisation that has given me a life experience. It is the only youth organisation that can offer such life time experiences and opportunities for young people to learn and to grow. Scouting has taught me discipline and also how to become a responsible parent. But mainly discipline. The skills I’ve learnt I’ve been able to use and put into practice throughout my life. The 10 Scout Laws are a solid foundation and are applicable everywhere you go. If you live by them, you will then go very far in life. Everything that is done in the 10 Scout Laws is done throughout life in general. Once you can master these 10 Laws you are sorted for life. You will never fail .

What do you believe Scouting can do for the young people today?
Scouting can build the youth and turn them into better leaders of tomorrow . If there is any organisation that can do it, then Scouting can. It is the only organisation with a very broad and inclusive reach that does not limit anyone. They organise youth all over the world. I remember hearing about a story in 1965 or 1966 where people had to jump out of the subway . Sadly many people died, but the 12 people who survived were ex-Scouts . This shows that the skills we are taught in Scouting are able to save and prepare us for the world out here.

I also spoke to Mr Lucky Maarman, Scout Group Leader of Isago Scouts and asked him what Mr C has meant for the Group. “We will always be grateful to Mr. C and the impact he has had on us all. I feel that it is very important to show our appreciation to members like Mr, C while we still can. ”