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A Surprise Guest leaves a King … Speechless!

18. oct 2013

“HOW DO YOU MEASURE SUCCESS IN SCOUTING?” – this is a challenge posed by many donors to the World Scout Foundation. Its Honorary Chairman, the King of Sweden, in response, tells a wonderful story of a thirteen-year-old boy he met in 2004, in the Gugulethu Township near Capetown. The young Scout told the King that he wished he could wear his uniform always – because in it, he felt safe – from the gangs.

His Majesty goes on to say that Scouting is the greatest leadership development programme in the world. So what of this young man from Gugulethu? Did he succumb to the gangs – does he run drugs, has he survived the violence which ravages his community – is he one of the long term unemployed with no hope? How did Scouting develop his leadership?

Well, a surprise guest at Tuesday’s Regal Circle dinner helped to answer that very question. (The October 15th dinner was organized in part by the Regal Circle members – WSF’s major donors - to honour His Majesty during his 40th Anniversary year as King).

Forty donors were gathered in the splendid offices of Siegfried Weiser, WSF Chairman, in Paris – overlooking the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower … when a guest entered the room and went straight to His Majesty. The 21 year old was none other than Buntu Tsotsobe, the young man His Majesty met back in 2004!

Buntu is still in Scout Uniform (now assistant Scout leader). He works six days a week delivering vegetables for his step-father, to earn enough money to go to college next year to study business. His only spare time is spent helping others – in the Scouts and with an NGO in Gugulethu.

This bright eyed young South African describes his work with young offenders – “The NGO staff that bring them to Scouts told me I have to be really tough with these kids – otherwise they would walk all over me … but I can’t be tough – that’s not how I learned leadership in Scouting … so I am nice to them – and you know what? They all keep coming to Scouts and they really like me!”

His Majesty was clearly pleased to meet Buntu again and stayed talking about his life in South Africa today, and his hopes and dreams for the future.

“And I was going to use Buntu’s story in my speech this evening”, added the surprised King, “I need to give a different speech, but now, at least, I have another chapter to tell to others in the future. Scouting truly is the greatest leadership development programme in the world – it really works!”

Buntu Tsotsobe was chosen by the members of the Regal Circle to represent all the Scouts throughout the world that have been helped and inspired by His Majesty throughout the years. The wonderful news for Buntu – he’s also been chosen as the first recipient of the “Siegfried Weiser Scholarship Fund”, established in the WSF by Lars and Vibeke Kolind.

Buntu has a very bright future indeed!

Commentaires (21)

Some could think is just a uniform, but is actually a state of mind.

This is quite an inspiring story. Scouting does change lives.

Scouting is more than meetings and camping. It is a value-based lifestyle. Live Scouting Adventures every day.

At the end, it's not scouting who found Buntu, it's the other way around! What a story!!

Congratulations Buntu! Shaking with the King who is the Hon. President of WSF is a great honor of a life-time. May the Scouting Spirit be with you always! Cheers

I was there in Paris and I realized what a difference Scouting Can make to a Young persons life. Buntu is one of 36 Million Young people who will lead building tomorrow's World. Wow!

I was there in Paris and I realized what a difference Scouting Can make to a Young persons life. Buntu is one of 36 Million Young people who will lead building tomorrow's World. Wow!

C'est formidable comme temoignage! QUE VIVE LE SCOUTISME!

I wear the uniform with Pride and to show the world the difference it has made.

Assim é o Escotismo transformando jovens em verdadeiros cidadãos!

it is really my greeting me and messengers of peace from Saudi Arabia for the king of Sweden for H M 40th Anniversary with hope him keep supporting scouting

Youth Programme and Adults
Scouting is a Movement of progressive self-
education for young people. According to
Scouting’s educational approach, each person is
born with a unique potential which can be
developed in a constructive direction. Making
this potential a reality involves developing all of
one’s capacities – physical, intellectual,
emotional, social and spiritual. This is done by
providing a supportive and organised learning
environment which stimulates and challenges
each young person during his or her formative
The essential part of the Scouting experience lies
in the Youth Programme. Youth Programme in
Scouting not only refers to the activities, but also
as to how and why they are done. Overall,
activities are seen as a means rather than a goal
in themselves and create opportunities for each
person to develop skills and attitudes and
acquire knowledge. Young people are the main
players in this non-formal educational process
that also requires adequate Adult Support,
usually provided by adult volunteers.
Scouting is also characterised by the fact that it
is open to all, voluntary, non-political,
independent and relevant to young people of
today. Through the Youth Programme, Scouts
become active members of society and learn to
lead themselves and others. All the while having
fun, because – in the words of Lady Olave
Baden-Powell- “If it isn’t fun, it isn’t Scouting”.
Youth Programme
Adults in Scouting
Child Protection

As our founder once said "When a boy finds someone who takes an interest in him, he responds and follows.” Well done Buntu, you are a credit to your scout assocatition.

Maravilloso ejemplo de lo que el Movimiento Scouts puede forjar! En Venezuela, a raíz de el elevado nivel de inseguridad, hemos adoptado para el lema "Mas Scouts Menos Violencia". Porque creemos que
el modelo educativo scout ayuda de verdad a formar mejores ciudadanos y a "Construir un Mundo Mejor". Saludos hermanos Scouts!

  • Jude
  • De United States
  • 27. oct 2013

Live by the Scout oath in law and you will never go wrong . A game with a purpose.

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