Well, this sort of applies to the 4th day but still, here it is!
We’ve finally made it to the half-way mark of the project!! Here is the progress report:
Element 1 – Surface
Not much work has been done on the surface, except for the mosaic flagstones. These have been hard to make, because of the amount of cement it takes to make all the moulds (3 mixes). Despite that, we also had to fix up some of the moulds because they were rotting or had been broken
Element 2 – Wall
So far, the wall has probably been the easiest element of this project. Despite having the 20L paint drum stolen, and having to buy a new one, it has gone quite smoothly.
Element 3 – Jungle Gym
The Jungle gym hasn’t been a particularly challenging element of this project. The main complications came about when we were taking the monkey bars off and the upright pole snapped. This meant buying a new one and cementing it in. However, this only led to further problems, because it was slightly askew, which made the installation of the new monkey bars, a mission.
The other hardship was the painting of the structure, which we had to do around 5 times.
Element 4 – Bench
The bench is coming along nicely, having just cast the foundations. There was some debate I was having with myself as to whether or not we should cast a slab and the put the bench on top, but in the end, we just dug a hole and put the bricks in that.
Element 5 – Treehouse
“Don’t you think it’s hard to build a treehouse”
Comments from a Junior Scout that I should have listened to. It is indeed hard to build a treehouse and this was the most challenging aspect of the project so far. It took ages to get started, and from thereon, the problems racked up. Unstable bolts, uneven planks, loose ladders, not enough railings, the list goes on.
However, we did it! We managed to build it and make it secure despite making a few deviations from the original plan.
This element is a prime example of being able to sub-delegate, because I often gave the reins to two senior scouts, who oversaw the majority of its building.
Element 6 – Boundaries
Once again, this is another element that I underestimated. Digging the holes proved to be more taxing than expected, as well as mixing the cement. Unfortunately, we only performed a straightness check after cementing, so the railing does a bit of a curve.
We also went to get kerbstones that were left over from some civil engineers. They easily weighed around 100kg each, and in retrospect were probably not so great to use considering the time it took to put them in.
Goals and Objectives
If we look at my original plan, I wanted to have accomplished the following by this stage:
I want to have completed the treehouse, repaired and painted the jungle gym, installed and painted the railings, cast the mosaic tiles, cast the bench foundation and wash the wall and paint its base coat.
Funnily enough, writing it out now it seems so little for the amount of work that we have put in. I am very happy to report, however, that we have completed exactly those items at this point. We have even started the excavation for the path.
So, basically, I am happy with the progress we’ve made, even though, when it’s written on paper, it doesn’t seem like much.
Overall Comments and Conclusion
I would normally do a critical analysis of the different aspects of the project, but I will leave that for the final report, seeing as I’m already behind schedule with handing this report in.
At this stage, all I can say is that I can’t wait for it to be over. This is the biggest task I’ve ever undertaken, for Springbok and life. I don’t know how we are still on track and things are getting done because everything constantly seems to be going wrong yet working at the same time.
I think it is necessary to add that every Saturday takes it out of me, and I am utterly shattered after every work experience. I am probably not wrong in adding that it is negatively affecting my school work.
But, I think it is worth it. To see the happiness it brings the kids, to look at the before and after pictures and SEE the difference, is something that brings me personally great joy. In addition, I feel that I’m involving as many people as possible, from different troops, companies, clubs, etc. I’ve had many comments along the lines of “wow, I never imagined scouts was this cool…” which makes me think that, whilst creating a better environment for those less privileged than myself I am also showing others what the scouting movement does.
So, there ends my conclusion, and I’m not going to lie, it has been very hard. But the support I’ve gotten is amazing, and a lot of the credit should go to other people.
Let’s finish the next three days.
Thanks for taking the time to read it, if you want more pictures, check them here: