From property development to youth empowerment

Kevin Trollip was recently appointed Chair: National Property Committee. We chatted to him about his love for the outdoors, for Scouting, and for fast cars!

“I had never heard of Scouting until I turned 11 in 1968”, he explains. “As a family of 6 brothers we relocated to Walmer in Port Elizabeth. A neighbour introduced three of us to 1st Walmer Scouts. It was only in later years that I found out that my older brothers had been members of 1st Irene Scouts back in the 1950’s. In 1972 our church started 1st St Andrews Scout Group, so I moved over.  Three years later I turned 18 and stood in as the Acting Scout Leader being the only person over 18 at the time.I can still remember my first hike down to the beach. It was only to be years later that I would realise and appreciate what Scouting meant for our youth. In 1976 I stepped away from Scouting as I was selected to train as a pilot at AFB Dunnottar. Unfortunately, this did not last but I remained in the SAAF as a cryptographer until 1983.”

In 2001 Kevin’s son Alden joined 1st Lonehill Cubs. “When he moved up to Scouts I remember standing at the door every meeting watching the activities”, continues Kevin. “After several weeks the Group Scouter approached me and mentioned that if I planned to be there every meeting, I may as well go into uniform. And so … my Scouting journey started again, with my son completing his Leaping Wolf, Springbok and a Bushman’s Thong, as well as attending the Centenary World Jamboree in Chelmsford in 2007″, he says proudly.

I believe in the OUT in Scouting and soon realised the power of camping and hiking in developing Scouts.

As a trained Scouter, Kevin helped out in various positions in Sandton, 1st Lonehill, 1st Bryanston,1st Fourways and in Mpumalanga with 1st Lydenburg and 1st Nelspruit Mbombela. He held positions ranging from ATS to Troop Scouter and eventually Scout Group Leader.

Esangweni Mpumalanga

“I believe in the OUT in Scouting and soon realised the power of camping and hiking in developing Scouts. At home my family and friends said that on my gravestone one day they will inscribe a “trailer”. Over the years I either bought or had various trailers purpose built for Scouting to ensure we could travel to various events with the necessary equipment. In 2007 I was in the fortunate position to purchase a 237 hectares farm in Mpumalanga which quickly became a favourite camping spot for both local and international Scouts. In 2008 Mpumalanga had their annual summer camp with 400 Scouters and Scouts on our farm. Once again I was able to witness and experience the joy Scouting brings to young people and as a family we decided to donate 20 hectares to the Mpumalanga Scout Region. That part of the farm is known today as “Esangweni.”

“I have also had the privilege of attending a number of international Scout events such as the 2007 Centenary World Scout Jamboree in Chelmsford UK, which was also attended by our son. This was followed by camping at Westernohe Scout Camp in Germany with the DPSG Scouts in 2009. In 2015 I was again fortunate to lead a Troop to Japan for the 23WSJ, and then in 2019 visited the 24WSJ in West Virginia USA as a member of the Contingent Management Team, for which I received a Chief Scout Commendation. ”

Kevin has been married for over 40 years to Gail. “As a former Scouter Gail has helped many Cubs grow. She has always supported my Scouting activities, which I believe is very important for any Adult Leader to be successful. I have a daughter and a son, and two granddaughters, one of which is about to obtain her Leaping Wolf”, he says with a smile.

“My professional career started with selling educational programmes for children, followed by a stint in the military, then back to sales in the corporate finance banking world and finally fund management and sales in the healthcare administration industry. Today I am self-employed and still involved in sales related to property development. I am also involved in other family business interests pertaining to property management and a fishing resort that keeps me busy and pays for my Scouting”, he quips.

“When not Scouting or spending time with my family, I indulge in my love for motorsports! My bucket list includes visits to every F1 racetrack in the world! To date I have attended three F1 Grand Prix races. It also includes making Esangweni in Mpumalanga one of the premier Scout camping facilities in South Africa! I would like to see as many youth as possible join the SA Scout Movement and become future ambassadors for our country, and hopefully solve many of the challenges we face today. To do this, Scouting needs meeting and camping facilities that are safe and conducive to developing our youth. In 2008 when Esangweni hosted the Mpumalanga Summer Camp, I witnessed young children arriving without proper personal camping gear and this prompted my thoughts that we need a facility that will not only host the Scouting youth, but also provide them with the basics like a backpack, mess kit, sleeping bag etc. Hopefully I live long enough to see this happen and then I know that I will have made a difference.  I also served on the Delta Camp Committee for 3 years up to end of 2018 so have some insight to how a regional facility can be self-funding and it is my intention to ensure all regional camping grounds become self-funding”, he concludes.

#ScoutsSouthAfrica #Volunteerism #Skills4Life #BePrepared #CreatingABetterWorld #Scouts4SDGs