History of First Claremont Scout Group

The Oldest Scout Group in South Africa


In early 1908 in Cape Town, South Africa, two brothers at the Claremont Public School read about Baden-Powell's new book Scouting for Boys in Pearson's Weekly, and waited eagerly for the first installment.

When it arrived on the bookstands, the brothers, Fred and Charles Stern, approached their headmaster, Mr George French, and persuaded him to become Scoutmaster of their Troop.

The first meeting was held on 3 March 1908, and the 1st Claremont Scout Troop was born: the first Scout Troop in South Africa.

George French's son Cyril became Assistant Scoutmaster, and later took over running the Troop. Frederick Stern was the first Patrol Leader, and later Troop Leader, while his younger brother Charles was his 'Corporal'.

The first camp was held that month on Bolton's Farm, Lansdowne Road, and many other camps and outings were held on the beaches of the Cape Flats. One of these outings was reported in the Cape Argus in July 1908. Later they held a 300-mile trek through the Cape mountains, using mules and a cart during 3 weeks of travelling.

This is just the beginning of the history of 1st Claremont, the oldest Scout Group in South Africa...

George French

First Claremont's registration certificate. Although the Troop first met on 3 March 1908, the certificate was only issued in July 1909 once a national structure was established.


History of First Claremont Scout Group