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Maretlwane Camp

By Riaan Marx

On Saturday 26/11/2005 the SOAPkidz Crew packed the bus and headed off to Danville to pick-up 19 boys for our one night camp at Pretoria Boys High Maretlwane grounds in the Magalies berg. The trip there was fun and we all stared bonding from the word go.

On arrival we all divided into groups for the camp and each group had the fun task of pitching their own tents. Although “how to” manuals would’ve been of great help – it didn’t take the boys long to figure out the wonder of the different colour dots on the tent poles. We then set out on a hike to the kloof for lunch. The hike there was fun and we all had a chance to enjoy the freshness of nature around us. We also had the opportunity to give something back to nature by identifying and removing objects that does not belong in nature.

Each team had their own black bag and the competition was on! The team with most rubbish will walk away with a prize!Lunch in the kloof was awesome! All of us were jumping off the rocks in to the water and had a great swim. Some of the boys had their first swimming lesson ever. We had our own little fishing team – catching fish with their bare hands and they thought that their lunch boxes made perfect fish tanks. We all headed back for camp later that afternoon.

The competition continued all the way back with the black bags just getting fuller and fuller! Back at the camp we went down to the river to swim some more. There was a big pool inside the river where we could swim with a slide that runs down into it. Everybody had major fun! There was a pole that ran across the pool where we had our own little pole walking competition.

I was determined to be the pole master and beat the boys by balancing on the pole the longest – but they all were too determined and tested their team work skills to the limit to get me off. Sorry to say – I had to walk way head down and give the title up. Dinnertime we all gathered around the fire. We had a few future chefs identified with the stick bread and boiling eggs in oranges.

The kids sat packed around the fire waiting impatiently to taste their handy work.Later the evening Rob took the boys out to stalk the lantern. This kept them all busy for at least two ours. Jacques turned out to be the lantern thief after all. He got within two meters of the lantern without letting anyone noticing anything!

Sunday morning was an early rise and shine for the morning hike. The objective was to be as quiet as possible so that we can try and spot some wild life. Well, as quiet as a herd of elephants.

After the hike we all had some breakfast to build our super powers for the task ahead . . . DE-WEEDING!!!!! The magalies berg area is invested with the Mexican Devil.

This plant is taking over in streams and rivers in that area and is killing the other plantation, which is bad for the well being of the rivers. One of the staff at Maretlwane came to teach the boys about the Mexican Devil and what it looks like.

The boys set their minds to it and the de-weeding began. The boys worked hard and the satisfaction of making a difference was definitely visible on their faces. Together we made a difference! Back at the camp we had our final swim and slide before lunch.

After lunch we all packed up and set off home! All exhausted after this wonderful weekend!!

Thanks to all the sponsors and volunteers for their contribution to this amazing weekend.

Special thanks to Karen for her hard work and dedication in organizing this event.

Once again SOAPkidz managed to make a difference!

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