This page is an archive of Hawequas Updates from 2012 and before. For the latest updates, see the Hawequas Updates page.
Hawequas Update December 2012
2012 is fast drawing to a close, and before we know, we'll all be rearing to go again with another new year, jam packed full of new adventures, new challenges, new resolutions, new ideas and new history being written, as we plough ahead smiling and whistling.
By then Hawequas will also be sporting some new looks and completions, some of us are not stopping to smell the roses, but will be working right through turning super dreams into reality.
We have recently taken into our care, 26 various species of animals and birds at Hawequas, in preparation for the new hands on Jungle Background Course being launched next year, the first of its kind in the world. And before you jump onto a white horse and start galloping at high speed towards me, remember to smile, whistle and never always believe everything you read.
We are very happy to report that our badly smashed cabin has now been fully repaired and restored to new, with no one making use of the half price for half a cabin' offer. We had quite a job getting the huge tree out of the cabin, it took two very strong female chain saw specialists working with utmost precision and one male standing on the side doing nothing but give advice to eventually get the two separated.
Another piece of astounding news we wish to share, is that people have been turning up by the hundreds to picnic and cut their own Christmas trees for the ridiculers price of R100 for small to R200 for large Pine Trees. If you wish to make use of this amazing offer, you'd best hurry, as our Warden reports that we only had 326 325 324 323 322 trees left on the plantation this morning, and this figure is dropping as fast as I write.
The main field is finally finished, totally level with planted embankments, grassed and steps. A remarkably astounding and absolute superfluous achievement. Now when you take that group photo on the Main Field, it will be totally level on the photo and not skew to one side as in the past. The Parade Ground next to the Ole Schroder House underwent a similar exercise.
At our Provincial AGM last night, the floor was absolutely astounded after being informed of yet another Hawequas achievement as far as money matters go. For the first time in ? years, Hawequas has broken even, and ended the financial year with a massive profit of R1 859. You can only but imagine the ongoing celebrations taking place since the announcement. We are happy to announce that prices will be increasing substantially from 1 February 2013 - the new bargain prices will be out shortly. Even more terrific news is that people who have already booked and paid deposits for 2013, will get their booking at the present price. We hope everyone is absolutely delighted with the news as regards prices and price freezes.
We are now entering the 'in season' period, where Hawequas usage steps up to maximum. At the same time we will be pressing ahead to meet deadlines with the upgrades. We ask that you please be patient and assist us to work around possible work in progress. After all, you are getting better and improved facilities to which you are normally accustomed, AT TODAY's PRICES!
Lastly, may you all have a wonderful festive season, possibly enjoy a well-earned holiday, always drive safe with eyes wide open and focused on the road, everything of the very best for the new year and may 2013 hit you with awesome new adventures and abundance of energy.
All the very best to all Cederberg Adventurers and to our participants in the Cape to St Helena Bay yacht race on board JML Rotary. Viva SCaR!!
Use Hawequas tell others about this mega-magnificent site!
Hawequas Management we're there for you!
Hawequas Update November 2012
At present we are experiencing gale force winds at Hawequas, never seen before since 2000, when half our buildings were damaged or ripped apart. At night it can be pretty hair raising as various new scary sounds are produced by the ferocious force of the wind. An excellent time now to be out there, trying out that new kite or windsurfing from the dam, gathering momentum at the upper parking down to the new sunken level main field, where with careful maneuvers, one can lift off and fly straight across into the terrace campsite, landing on the lush soft green forest now flourishing there.
The winds have also caused a major catastrophe recently by twisting and snapping a 16 year old bluegum, sending it through the air and crashing down onto one of our cabins on the plateau, totally wiping out half the cabin thankfully not in use.
This cabin is now still available for hire at half the price, until repairs can be carried out, which we hope will be soon. So make use of this special offer to get half a cabin at half the price.
Then as you all know, Christmas is fast approaching, and soon all the decorations will again be hauled out, and those who are fortunate enough to have one, will put up their lush green man made plastic tree again how boring! Why not make a difference this year and get a real Christmas Tree? Wake up in the morning in your house / flat / pad / shack to the genuine smell of Pine Hawequas real tree Pine.
As another special offer, bring the whole family out to Hawequas FREE (via HQ) for a day, have a picnic in the gusting winds filled with many challenges and absolute exciting adventure for the whole family, watch the windsurfers and other airborne objects fly past. Then round off the day with a leisurely walk up to our future spectacular breathlessly windless viewpoint, armed with a saw or chainsaw, and return with your own lush green pine smelling tree (cutting and approval must first be obtained from our on-site Ranger).
Small trees require only a R100 donation to Hawequas and larger ones a mere R200, these are absolute giveaway prices. The money will be used for buying new trees and improvements. Make sure you get a receipt, otherwise you're in for an immediate thousand Rand spot fine when you sign out with the Warden at the gate and... could be imprisoned as well for theft by our on-site friendly patrolling armed SAPS.
Enquire at HQ for more special offers on group and bulk bookings, Hawequas Gift Vouches for AGMs, friends and family from R20 to R500 and many more offers always available.
Use Hawequas - tell others about this mega-magnificent site!
Hawequas Management we're there for you!
Hawequas Bridge Upgrade
We are desperately looking for assistance / a company that can assist us in upgrading our existing bridge over the Spruit River into Hawequas,
as part of our Development Plan for the farm for the next official opening in 2025. If anyone can assist with advice or doing the job or
recommend someone / company to us, please reply to this mail. We have limited funds to achieve this, but would be pleased if the upgrade tended
more to the "Donation" side - for SCOUTS South Africa and was done by a professional reputable company.
The thoughts are for some stable side supports, welding and boxing a steel frame on top of the existing (we have much of the steel already),
and filling the "box" with strong concrete. The existing bridge can carry about 18 tons max, is 3m wide and 18m long. We would like to widen
it to 5m with the new thicker slab and increase the carrying capacity to possibly 50 tons or more (solving our problems for the next 150 years
Alternately, remove the existing bridge and do a new one but we prefer the first thoughts above, as this may be cheaper.
17 Oct 2012
Opening Hawequas Back Road
We would like to re-open the Hawequas Back Road to the farm, this was the original farm entrance in the late 1800s for cattle, wagons and horse riders, and later into the 1900s. Over the years it became far less used, until today it has become a mere track only accessible by high or rough terrain vehicles.
Since planning this project, all our contacts in road building have either gone into other career fields or left the country. We now have the possibility of funding this project and need someone / a company to step forward and run with this project.
It involves clearing, grading and compacting about 5km of existing track. We are not looking at building a smooth tarred freeway into Hawequas, just a descent wide farm road suitable for today's low and or other vehicles. The existing entrance would then become an emergency entrance.
We own the 18m wide section shown in yellow, all the way out of Hawequas to Cumming Street in Wellington. This will also bring to a permanent end any disputes on our current servitude entranceway over Olyvenboch Farm and constant gate headaches we've had to deal with which I must add, with much success in our favour! In addition, with the Back Road open, we would be able to bring in heavy machinery, busses and more into Hawequas, and not be restricted by bends, a 5m wide restricted roadway or an 18 ton max bridge (slowly disintegrating) as existing at present.
If anyone can assist us, or you know of someone we could approach, please let us know as soon as possible, so that the project can get underway. Failing this, anyone who wants to assist us in any way, be it supervising the opening of the road, advice, manual labour, etc, please contact us as soon as possible every little bit helps. (A word of warning, we are not talking about millions of Rands funding here, we have a very limited budget, so this must not be seen as a quick-fix way of making some fast money off us sorry, but this had to be mentioned here).
At present we are busy setting up a meeting with all farmers involved along the route, to clear the way forward and possibly get their input as well, as they stand to gain from this new roadway as well.
If we can level the Main Field, a small little field at Hawequas, build new roads to Cabins, clear a forest for a new campsite, then pushing through and building a little road through the mountains should be a piece of cake!
Development at Hawequas
Hawequas Scout Ranch was bought in 1985 (from the sale and great loss of the old training ground Gilcape, Eersteriver), by some of our highly visionary Scout pioneers at that time - a property we can all be very proud of, probably worth many millions on the open market.
It is a non-producing farm (something incomprehensible by various authorities) totally owned by Scouts South Africa, situated in the mountains outside the town of Wellington and managed by our Western Cape Provincial office. The site is mainly used as training and citizen development ground for all youth (not only Scout youth) and adults, the latter more a support role.
The property boasts two rivers flowing continuously through it, is 235ha in size, has 10km of hiking trails and two actual life size huge natural hills on the property. It lies nestled below the old historical Du Toits Kloof Pass on the slopes of Hawekwa Mountains, dwarfed by the sheer cliffs of these mountains behind our hills, is adjacent to Dal Josafat Forest Reserve and just 7km outside the town of Wellington.
In addition 197ha is registered as a voluntary Nature Reserve with Cape Nature, who in turn link to the World Wildlife Fund and the preservation of sensitive world sites. Our site also boasts an ant farm being studied for years now by the Centre for Invasion Biology of Stellenbosch University, whereby we even know what species of ants we have on the property. Now that it's spring, one can only but marvel at the colorful display of flowers now awaking inside the reserve area, some so tiny and delicate to huge boasting Proteas coming to life, not forgetting all the spiders and other creeping creatures moving about at this time.
Attached is a small map, just to show the immense size of the property, compared to the small purple section we currently use not even a quarter of our entire farm, in fact someone once worked out that we only actually use about 15% of our entire ground. Please bear all this in mind when we mention 'development' taking place. Any and all development taking place is well within the designated 'high use' area, or is the rejuvenating of existing areas previously worked / planted and / or used. We are well aware of all the sensitive nature areas that need to be covered and considered. Any developments are scanned by Cape Nature and other conservation bodies. There are strict laws concerning developments and buildings and these have to be adhered to. If you have concerns, address them to the correct authorities, but please first check all your facts first!
Scouts using Hawequas are welcome to post any observations of plants or animals or fungi on www.iSpot.org.za. This applies not just to lovely pictures, but any observations you may have. Including things that you don't know and would like an Identification or more information on; any flower or goggo or snake or baboon.
12 Sep 2012
Hawequas Update September 2012
You will all be very pleased to hear that the heavy machinery part of lowering the main field has now come to an end and the grass returned.
And no, to those who asked, we are not ploughing the field (so to speak) to now start farming, we have simply leveled the playing field (so to speak).
Remaining is some hand-work, watering and tractor light scraping to get that perfect smooth finish of a bowling green. Please stay off the embankments.
Use only the stairs we will be installing shortly for your convenience and use. If anyone has small bushes, shrubs, creepers they can donate, we need
them to plant on the embankments (not trees, because then we will have to move the spotlights eventually). Thus with time, the impossible has now been
achieved to get a level field at Hawequas.
Due to no vehicles now allowed on the mail field, we are busy opening, clearing and improving the upper parking area (way above the barn and accessible
past Tigers Village). Please make use of this area now for parking, in this way cars will also not hinder field activities as in the past, and / or get
damaged. The upper parking is safe and secluded with only one entrance and exit (on route to the dam). We have topped the trees here, and they are now
sprouting out very nicely to provide lovely shade as well as looking green and lush, compared to the poles with some leaves that they were. There are
still a few more on the list to be topped.
The Parade Ground next to the Ole Schroder House has also been leveled and the grass needs to return to this patch again. We are giving it the necessary
attention to achieve this, thus if possible, try not to use this area too much until the grass returns.
There is still a lot of work waiting at Hawequas to be done, especially hard physical labour, but we are slowly getting there. Things not in our favour
is the fact that the entire site is sloped, there is constant soil erosion that needs combating, constant road wash away. The ground is as hard as
concrete virtually everywhere and trees and shrubs wage war on us constantly and need to be cut back. If you are out on site and see something needing
attention, speak to our Warden and get it sorted out. We have no cleaning staff, so would appreciate you cleaning your own mess (or forfeiting your
deposit), every little bit helps to achieve great results.
At present we have a huge canyon forming on our site (a possible tourist attraction?) that requires serious erosion combating measures. If you have
chunks of concrete at home, broken paving slabs, broken vibrecrete pieces, half bricks, clean builders rubble (no garbage / glass / wood / plastic
just rubble), rocks, anything in this line that you don't know what to do with or want to get rid of bring it to Hawequas for us. We need about 200
tons to sort out a serious problem developing. Speak to the Warden and she will gladly show you where to dump it for further attention by us. Every
little bit helps, bring bits and pieces with each of your visits. Rent a truck and bring your stuff we have a use for it.
Otherwise progress on the upgrades and other improvements are progressing at a steady pace. Everything can be hired and is still there as in the past,
we will work around our users to achieve the goals already in place. October is going to be an awesome month with major activities every weekend at
A comment by a Scout overheard "Wow, every time we come to Hawequas there's something changed..."
Use Hawequas it's your flagship campsite!
Hawequas Update 21 August
More excavations have been taking place at Hawequas, the latest and proving to be the greatest challenge yet, is the leveling of the Main Field. We were hoping to have this task complete, with rolling lawns, sprayers going and butterflies hovering over the fresh grass, for the coming Gordon's Shield. However, due to all the storms, rain and digger loader machine availability, we are now just short of making this goal. Please bear with us and assist us, in exercising extreme, yes extreme patience this weekend with the dropping off and picking up of teams for the Competition. We need to work around the field no longer being available for traffic? (still debating this) and any aggressive drivers will be removed to the Utopia Zone - so keep smiling and whistling in and out of our main gate.
On a lighter serious note, thanks to funds kindly donated by the Abe Bailey and Robert Hall Trust Funds, we have managed to get ceilings into the Barn and Bunkroom and are in the process of skimming and painting them. New light fittings are being fitted, the barn floor has been tiled (we ask that you do not drop heavy objects or drag furniture across the tiles), new bunks are being made for new mattresses to go in shortly and lots more.
The ablutions are also being re-vamped, broken bowls replaced, cisterns being replaced and as more progress is being made, we will report on this. In the Ole Schroder House we have now tiled the kitchen walls, which immediately made a huge difference to the appearance, and the scullery outside the kitchen is coming along nicely.
We envisage starting in September with building work, enlarging the Ole House Dining Area, removing the bathroom, renewing the bunks, building in a fireplace and braai and eventually tiling out the whole house (floor). The Barn under roof will also get a huge built braai / fireplace, Barn, Bunkroom and all ablutions will be re-vamped. We hope to complete most of the work by December and the Ole Schroder House by April 2013. We will work around our users, not the other way around, so please bear with us.
We have been asked why the changes are taking so long, and here's the ugly truth. The last builder we used (on Robert Hall Campsite), caused us to go way over budget and (tried to...) cut corners everywhere. We then took 9 other builders and renovators through the Ole Schroder House, Barn, Bunk, etc, each with a list of specs (the same list) we wanted done. We got quotes from R864 000 to the lowest of just over R380 000, and that was without all the extras (appliances, mattresses, light fittings, shelving, etc). Each were hopelessly overpriced on their quote, comparing to the actual work we wanted done. We now have a highly recommended builder with one assistant, we've seen his work, he single handedly with one assistant built an entire large house over a year (to mention one project), he takes pride in what he does, and came in well within our budget, on condition that we did not rush him and that he would fit us in-between other projects. We can rest assured of quality work and to date we have had no disputes. Now you know why we are progressing at the pace we are.
We are very pleased to report that Hawequas is running well, being well used, receiving praise from most if not all users and being used by people from as far as England, America and more recently China, the latter absolutely loved the site.
Use Hawequas it's your flagship campsite!
Hawequas Update 24 July
Hawequas is slowly becoming the most talked about and used venue, not only by the Scouting fraternity, but by many other youth groups and adults alike. It's great with each visit seeing our youth heavily busy with highly organised activities, ranging from cooking (one of the favourite pastimes witnessed around a fire), hiking, exploring, constructing pioneering projects, relaxing and above all having fun with lots of laughter something some of us older "youth" can learn from. On the other hand, it's not that much fun visiting and seeing everything standing vacant, unused and quiet, which admittedly, is becoming less frequent with time. We are definitely well on the way in achieving our Vision, part of which states... To have Hawequas running as an International Scout Centre with life on site 24/7 by 2025. Scouts, Cubs, Rovers, Scouters, visitors and all others using the facility, must want to be there, must enjoy being there and above all must not want to leave after every visit, which must be a life-building and memorable experience.
As an incentive to advertise and show thanks to all, every year since 2004, we have a Hawequas 'Open Weekend' in October, falling this year on Friday 19 to Sunday 21 October (also the Quinn Trophy Competition). On this weekend, all camping (bar building hire and deposits) is FREE. You still need to go through the normal channels of booking and obtaining permits, but your campsite overnight costs are free. Groups, Troops, Patrols and Crews are encouraged to make use of this weekend, bring your Pack out free as well for a day visit (Sat or Sun).
As you all may know, we have a piano in the Ole Schroder House what a joy this past weekend hearing someone playing the piano, it's as if the mere sound adds more life to the surrounds. Just imagine (for those gifted with imagination) what an evening sing song will sound like coming from the house, with a fire going and the rain gently falling outside. Is there someone who can restore and tune this piano properly for us later once house alterations are complete? Please contact me.
Then briefly... some gripes and moans from us few trying to keep focused on the Vision; When you use poles from the Pole Store, return them again after use back on the rack where they belong. Thanks to 3rd Pinelands Troop giving up valuable time this past weekend to pack the poles back that someone used and simply threw back all over...
We do not have the workforce at Hawequas to continually rectify such a laborious task of replacing these heavy poles. If you mess in the fridge, microwave, under the gas cookers, wipe and clean it up straight away (or you will be fined!). The pots and pans in the Ole Schroder House are meant for the gas stoves in the house, NOT to be taken out of the house and used on fires. The new sink in the house (modern 1st World), DO NOT scour it or scratch it, wipe it clean with a soft sponge or cloth, otherwise you will remove the thin protective covering. The sinks outside are for washing up, the inside one is for light work and preparing food. The new mattresses are meant to stay on the beds. Switch off lights not being used, help us save electricity for our country and those who cannot afford to pay for it. If you put rocks / poles on the Main Field for a game, remove these when finished. Any vandalism, you will pay to repair and ...will get you banned from the property... for life!
Other news: The 'old fridge' and freezer from the House is now under the Barn covered area with locks and chains. These can be used by campers shortly, keys must be obtained from the Warden. Bear in mind at times, more than one camper can use these at the same time learn to share AND only take / use what is actually yours!
Finally: A Scout recently had a near heart attack, when he accidently sent a steel tent peg through a high pressure water pipe in the Pine forest. He came tearing up to the Wardens place in an absolute state of shock because of what he had done and thought our water account was now running sky high. PLEASE inform your Scouts about the Roman Water System we have on the farm (previously reported). We are very fortunate in not having to pay for our water. The little guy took quite some calming down before he smiled again.
Hawequas Update 14 May
We've been rather quiet with updates on Hawequas, thus it's time to again bring everyone up to speed on happenings as far as development progress goes. The April 1 email caused quite a stir with that amazing helicopter story, with many actually believing it. I only wish it were true, we would have had no trouble fundraising and the campsite development would probably have sped up overnight.
Although progress is slow, we are steadily reaching our goals. We have been extremely fortunate in securing funds for various projects, the latest being with extreme thanks from the Abe Bailey Trust of R80 000. We have now already started on the projects being funded from this fund, being the Bunkhouse (new ceiling, bunks, floor tiles, electric plugs and general revamp), Barn (new ceiling, floor tiles, electrical work upgrade and general revamp), Barn and Field Ablutions (general revamp and floor tiles), new built braai area under the Barn Roof open area (where the half drum braais normally stand), revamp the Barn sink outlet away from the parade ground and roads on the property (50+ tons of G5 Sub-base will be trucked in, spread on our roads and compacted down to solid surfaces). We are trying and have secured the best prices for all the work being done.
We ask that you bear with us when hiring the facilities at present, no facilities will be 'closed', we will work around the hiring. However, at some point the Bunkhouse bunks will be ripped out and new standard bed size one's built in (to take the new mattresses). During this time, people hiring the Bunkhouse, will get the Barn as well at only the Bunkhouse price for both (so that you can bed down on the floor), should there be no bunks for a few weeks. HQ will be informed if and when this happens.
The new Ole Schroder House kitchen is virtually complete bar tiles, more stainless steel tops and final finish, so it looks a bit unsightly at the moment, just pretend not to see too deep into the mess and wall conditions at present, we will get there soon. The new Ablutions are also nearing completion, after which the pantry will be completed and internal bathroom removed. The Scullery behind the house will follow to completion, so there will be a time when you will find the stoep roof missing (we are using the sheets at the back and new sheets will replace these once enclosing the stoep starts).
When will the House be finished? We were aiming for October, but with more projects being tackled and only one builder, we are now looking at having the house totally finished at the start of next year. The rest mentioned from the latest funds, has to be completed by end November.
The new 3 ton steel support structure Pole Store is now complete, we're just waiting on an acetylene torch to trim the support poles to the same height. The new store was constructed with thanks from an idea (sketch) by management, by Warden Tess as the go-between in charge, Tiger's welding skills and farm assistant Jacob's steel cutting and construction skills. Thanks to all the effort these three put into getting the store complete, especially working with such heavy steel. All we ask is that if you use the poles, then please return them again. The old pole store has since been demolished.
Otherwise Hawequas is running well, usage has picked up dramatically which is most pleasing to see and we're well on track to reaching a world class facility by 2025.
Take responsibility - switch off all lights not needed when using our site.
Hawequas Update 27 February
It is with great jubilation and enormous thanks to various people involved, that Hawequas now has much needed camping equipment. John Freeman (ex-commissioner in Banstead District, Surrey, UK, now Group Chairman of 1st Tattenhams (St. Marks), has been canvassing Groups in his District and County for second hand camping equipment. This, after he and Table Bay DC Greg Stopford met and started communicating via mail over a year ago, when John brought 25kg of new and second-hand books to SA, the new books cost £240 (R2 700), being purchased by donations from Banstead District UK for 1st Milnerton Group and the Table Bay District. Since then John managed to collect over 400kg of tents, groundsheets, poles, sleeping bags, general camping equipment and a large selection of books, which UK Groups collected and donated this time to Hawequas. Huge thanks to British Airways Community Investments, the goods were flown to South Africa by BA last week at a cost of £3 436 (R42 000), which they donated towards the cause, fortunately this was arranged and possible as the Chairman of Banstead District, Colin Griffiths, is employed by BA.
John's son Darryl received the goods at Cape Town International Airport, saw them safely through and handled all the customs formalities, then went even further in organising the transportation thereof to Hawequas. John will be coming out to South Africa 14 April to 11 May for the Official Handover and another visit. Amazing what can be achieved through determination, planning, contacts and teamwork, but most of all due to the high esteem Scouting has throughout all communities throughout the World.
John informs us that he already has more books and promises of more camping equipment, which Scouters from all over the UK are sorting out for him, through the Kindred Lodges Association, a youth support group, and which should be handed to him when they next meet in September. Coupled to this is the next challenge, getting the goods over to us again. Does anyone work for or have contacts with SAA that could assist with getting the goods to us at zero cost? Please mail me if you can assist in this regard and do what BA has just done for our youth.
Hawequas now has a Facebook page (still busy adding to it), where everyone can follow regular photographic updates on various improvements and other. You can find it on Google or in Facebook by typing any of these key words: "Hawequas Scout Ranch - Wellington Western Cape" or using the link to reach it www.facebook.com/groups/247167655365723
This page will be the "Gallery" of our website at www.scouting.org.za/westerncape/hawequas
This is just another way of sharing our excitement as widely as possible, by showing as many as possible what we are doing in creating an awareness and advertising the best Scout facility in SA.
Recently installed in a central position and to bring Hawequas up to 1st World status (our 2025 Vision), is a Wireless Router, or "Hotspot". In simple English, this will enable you to sit in any building / tent at Hawequas within the normal usage area with any computer / cell phone with wireless capabilities and surf the net via our booster. This service is free to Hawequas users and uncapped, when you search for the signal, you should pick it up as "Scouts" and away you go - no other codes needed. However, should you misuse the system drastically by downloading music or movies, then the supplier will slow the system down, possibly causing your download to crash. For normal internet, mails and surfing... go for it and enjoy this new facility. On the same note, remember to always keep an eye on any valuables (laptops, etc) you may now bring to Hawequas.
Finally, often we see people trying to crush full garbage bags of "air" into cars, sometimes there's more garbage than equipment (one of the Hawequas rules due to non-garbage collection, you need to take your own garbage home with you or fork out a R50 fine per bag). Why are you producing so much garbage? Did you know that cardboard boxes can be torn up or burnt. Tins can be smashed flat, big plastic bottles can be crushed small (if you take the top off, otherwise it's like a re-enforced balloon)... glass (well, nothing you can do here but wash clean and recycle)... bottom line, why don't you compact your garbage before throwing it into the garbage bag. A weeks camp by a Patrol should produce half a bag of non-disposable garbage at the most. Impossible you say try it and see.
Take responsibility - switch off all lights not needed when using our site.
Hawequas Update 13 February
Of interest to all, we have a research project "Iimbovane: Exploring SA Biodiversity and Change Outreach" going on Hawequas by the Stellenbosch University since 2006. The Project runs to 2014 and in plain English, involves the study of Ants, their population, movements, impact on the environment and a string of other studies. There are 36 sites in the Western Cape, the main site situated at Hawequas (out of our high use area in a secret location). To date 10 different species of Ants have been discovered on our farm, the most popular being the Pheidole sp.21 and the rarest Ants being 5 other species of only 1 Ant each found. So if you are ever around and see people in white outfit space suits (like in the American movies), going into the mountains, do not be afraid... we 'humans' can learn a lot from the ants, especially when it comes to organisation, teamwork, leadership, adaptability and living together. Remember, Ants have rights too!
The Ole Schroder House upgrade is progressing well, gas geysers have now been moved or installed in the new ablution section. The kitchen burners have been totally re-conditioned, re-sprayed and re-mounted to look new again. Please when you mess on them, wipe them clean immediately with a hot damp cloth, we got enough grease and grime off them to service an 18 wheeler truck!
Work is now taking place in the Kitchen area, with the building of counters, stairs and shortly breaking through the new door and more. The electrician will probably also be making a start soon on re-wiring the entire house, so walls and floor will be cut open for pipes, plugs and switches. Thanks for all the house users being so understanding during the work-phases and 'simply going along so long'. We have recently opened a 'Complaints Office' at Hawequas, where, if the service offered is not up to 'your high standard', please feel free to voice your opinion. The office is on the second floor above the Barn, with the entrance around the back.
Hawequas is 'going green' with waste water, the Barn Ablutions are already feeding the plants with shower water, now the house will do the same shortly. A new pipe bypassing the septic tank has been laid behind the house for the existing and new showers. We had to chop up some of the brickwork to achieve this. This area will eventually get a new smooth concrete screed surface, so for now, just step over the 'covered trench'.
The new Pole Store is progressing nicely, the main uprights are all in after quite a battle with the heavy ironwork. The concrete base and Iron supports will follow shortly, and yet another dream will become a reality. The new store will not involve 'pushing poles in', but rather 'just walk up and place the poles on the supports'...
The popularity of Hawequas is increasing tremendously, and some buildings now need to be booked weeks and months in advance, with a deposit to secure your booking. Camping is not a problem. This past weekend we had a film crew from 'Hectic-9' TV Show on site, they finish off tonight, filming a 'Survival' series. Thanks to Brendan, Quintin and all the other highly charged and enthusiastic guys among us (offering up their leave), out there assisting with the production and great advert to Scouting. More details on when it will air in April, will be circulated later.
We have had numerous requests suddenly for weddings and wedding receptions on the farm. Thus far one has been held using the chapel and barn for the reception, with much success. In March we hope to have the next wedding and the Robert Hall Platform and site is in the eye for a November wedding.
Finally, spread the word about Hawequas, the more users (Scouting and outsiders) we can get to Hawequas, the more money we can generate, the more we can improve and the more we can have on offer for everyone. Concessions are given in some cases to struggling groups (and other depending on circumstances), don't stay away because you REALLY cannot pay the price asked, a plan can be made. And those of you that keep singing the old song "But Hawequas is so far" please, that songs been off the charts for years now no one is listening anymore!
Hawequas Update 30 January
Thanks to the 9 dedicated Scouts, Scouters and Lay who showed up on Saturday to clean out and repacked the Main Hawequas Store,
in temperatures exceeding 40 degrees C. It's amazing the amount of 'junk' one seems to accumulate from all sources over the years.
We are slowly getting a hold on usable equipment issues at Hawequas as part of our future plans for the farm.
We now have about 9 usable canvass tents to give away (2 old dome tents with pole-rods), without poles or pegs (those beyond use
are being cut up for groundsheets or covers for equipment). Anyone who wants these tents to either use in their Group (Poles and
pegs can always be made or bought), or knows of someone who wants old canvass tents, or who wants to use then for whatever use,
feel free to contact our warden Tess on 021 864 1191 to arrange collection. They are yours free to fetch.
Then the big fridge in the Ole Schroder House kitchen has now been moved to the dining area (near the piano). This may prove
slightly inconvenient to users, but we want to make a start soon on the Kitchen upgrading. Once the kitchen is complete, all new
electrical appliances will be installed and replace our existing aging equipment. We ask all our users to please bear with a bit
of dust and grime, holes in walls, tiles smashed, possibly ceiling gone, etc while the upgrading is taking place. Either we need
to work together on this and still have the use of the house, or we have to close the house for half the year, and I'm sure the
latter is not what we all want.
The dam gets flushed and cleaned out 4 times a year, and was again given this 'treatment' last week. So the water is once again
clean (not that it was dirty, just that it's been replaced) and all the mud on the bottom is gone. Please refrain from throwing
bricks, rocks and other foreign objects into the dam. If you see anyone doing this or throwing anything in, report them immediately
to the Warden for a financial reward. Thanks to those who throw money and especially Rand notes into the dam, these are most welcome!
We are busy building a new Pole Store behind the barn, using heavy construction metal girders and iron supports heavy stuff.
Please stay away from this area, as any 'accident' taking place there will not be entered into or rewarded by Hawequas. The site
is out of the main use and walkway area, so no one should really have to go near it.
Finally some pointers and reminders;
- Watch your fire, we are in an extremely dry, hot spel at present, don't leave your fire unattended or not extinguished properly.
- If you use the braai bins away from the barn, then return them after use.
- If you use poles from the Pole Store, return them and replace them neatly again after use.
- f you take the black chairs out of the house to the barn area, return them again after use.
- No mattresses are allowed off the bunks or to be used outside the buildings.
- Turn off all lights / floodlights not being used (day and or night).
If you see anyone doing / not doing any of the above, or anything out of 'normal behavior', report them immediately to the Warden
(split on them) for a financial reward your identity will be kept secret.
Hawequas Update: January 2012
Greetings... and may 2012 be another great year for us all.
Those who have been using Hawequas and especially the Ole Schroder House, will have noticed numerous ongoing improvements taking place. Upgrades have now started on the OS House at a steady pace. The house is being done 'piece meal', in other words as the builder has a gap, then he comes out to Hawequas to work on our project. This is also how we got the upgrades down to the lowest price possible and envisage it being complete by about October this year. We guarantee, after that, you will not want to leave the OS house after each visit, that's how stunning it will be!
However meantime, the builder will be working around usage, in other words if the house is to be used, he will tidy up and leave the place in a usable state, this way we can still hire out the facility. Users must however just bear with slight inconveniences while the building work is in progress. The builder is working on one section at a time towards the ultimate completion. The only time we envisage the house being totally closed, will be when we rip the kitchen apart (literary), but then everyone will be told in advance, and we'll try to do this when there are no prior bookings. So you can still book whenever and we will work around this.
We also envisage upgrading all the ablution facilities, the bunk house and all the roads this year as finances pan out for the various projects. There are lots more plans on the cards, more buildings, more..., but those mentioned are our priority at present.
Users to Hawequas are once again (reminded) asked to donate at least an hour or two in service to Hawequas, during your stay. Enquire at the Warden what tasks you could possibly tackle and turn it into a fun event part of your program. Every little bit helps us achieve our ultimate goal. Those who have carried out projects huge thanks for your support! Remember, always report to the Warden on arrival before settling in.
Our main river (Spruit River - where swimming takes place), is becoming largely overgrown with Black Wattle. Groups are encouraged to assist us in clearing this river of this alien vegetation for firewood / staves or merely for the fun of it. All we ask is that what you cut, you clear out as well. No cutting down trees and leaving them in the river cut down, cut up and drag away!
Finally, over the December/January holidays, as you all know, HQ was closed, but this should not have stopped you using Hawequas. We neglected to mention somewhere, that when this happens (like at the end of this year again), and during that time you have the urge to get away, then feel free to contact the Warden direct to facilitate your booking. We accommodated many Groups / couples / outsiders who on the spur of the moment wanted to use Hawequas over the period of 'HQ closure'.
Hawequas is there for you to use, and the more it gets used, the more we can improve the facilities! Spread the word, encourage your parents, friends and more to use our very reasonably priced and highly praised facility.
Robert Hall Foundation Campsite Officially Open
The Robert Hall Foundation Campsite was officially opened on Sunday 16th
October. We were most honoured and privileged to have had Robert Hall
and his wife, who flew out from England especially for the occasion, with
us on this momentous day. It was also the Hawequas Open Weekend for free
camping as well as the Provincial Quinn Competition.
In addition, we had almost all our Hawequas Founder Members present,
from Charles (original Chairman 1985), Richard (who was involved with
the purchase of Hawequas.), Dudley, Karel, Stuart, Buzz (longest active
serving Hawequas Member), Sipho and delegates from Guguletu (who met Robert
and the King of Sweden in 2007 with their visit here) and many others
in attendance to celebrate the joy and festivities with us.
The message of the day was focused on building our great worldwide Scout
Movement (presently at 30 million members in 266 countries), yet never
forgetting that we are all in it and for the sole purpose of the (youth)
This is but one of the Hawequas improvements and developments planned
and or completed. Please visit the Hawequas website for more info and
procedures, and spread the word about our unique property (open to non-members
Hawequas Update: May 2011
Just so that everyone is aware of some facts:
The Hawequas Electricity Account is at present running at R2 400 to R2
800 per month which forces me to highlight the following facts that have
come to light (no pun intended).
1. The power at Hawequas works like your house power, it is not free.
2. The Field floodlights must not be switched on to simply light the
field because they are there. They are meant to light up the field when
activities are taking place on the field, then need to be switched off.
They are not to be left burning all day and night because you are scared
of the dark as I found out from campers when I laid into them for
leaving them on day and night.
3. The Street light on the lower field is there for this same purpose,
it is not meant to be left on all night for light, only when light is
needed in that area, will it be switched on and once the activity finishes,
please switch it off.
4. The spotlight at the dam same story. I have arrived at Hawequas
in the daytime and found this light burning, meaning it was left on all
5. Ablution, raised platform in and outside lights and other building
lights do not leave these on day and night, take responsibility
and switch them off when not required or at least when the sun is shining.
We have found building lights on when people have left a day earlier already.
6. Please leave your electric heater at home! We do not want it used
We will now be boxing the floodlight switches or making them lockable.
The Warden has been instructed that if further abuse is found of these
lights, then you will be confronted during your stay and the boxes will
be locked for the rest of your stay.
We are trying our level best to save by switching off appliances, geysers
and everything else (except the alarms), when they are not in use during
the week or weekends. Please assist us in this regard, it's after all
your farm to use. The more power you waste, the more we will be forced
to up the fees drastically in the not to distant future. Lets all become
Huge thanks to those to whom this mail does not apply and who feel no
guilt at reading this!
Please spread the word on the following:
1. With immediate effect, the Cottage will no longer have bedding supplied.
You now need to bring your own food AND bedding!
2. Every building on the premises has now been fitted with highly sophisticated
alarms, so before entry can be made into any building, YOU HAVE TO ORGANISE
this with or meet the Warden on arrival. Do not enter any building without
clearing this with the Warden first. All key holders must now work through
the Warden, or possibly surrender your keys please (This notice does not
apply to gate keys only building keys).
3. Please assist us in spreading the word on the two new Holiday Cabins
and Robert Hall Campsite now ready for use by Scouting and non-Scouting
persons / youth groups.
Hawequas Update: April 2011
It is with great pleasure that we announce the opening of the following
new facilities at Hawequas, available all year round and booked as normal
via Scout Headquarters in Goodwood:
The Robert Hall Foundation Campsite
This is an exclusive campsite in the Pine Forest that can be used and
booked as an entity on its own, aimed for use by individual Packs, Troops,
Rovers, Groups, Districts, outside youth organizations or Groups who want
to experience camping and survival under controlled conditions, with all
the necessities available and on site. There is an ablution block nearby,
but does not form part of exclusive usage to this site.
A new building has been erected, housing a Bunkroom, fully stocked Kitchen
to cater for about 40, a Stoep and under roof Braai for visiting, eating,
planning, braaing or waiting on that tasty potjie to cook. The existing
Raised Platform has been re-designed and can be used for dining, lectures,
activities, meetings, sleeping and a combination of many other uses. There
is place on site for tents to be erected, a cosy-all-together and in one
site. Later (once the store and equipment on site is sorted and ready),
you will be able to hire tents on site, making things a lot easier for
camping. Please come and have a look, spread the word and start using
this unique special site guaranteed to become special
to you after each camp usage. Note that there are table bench combinations
provided, and these are not to be moved from their present positions.
Robert Hall Campsite: Bunkroom (4 bunk beds for Scouters / cooks
/ other), kitchen, raised covered dining/activity platform, site, with
ablution block nearby.
Cost: Members R250 per day-night + Camp fees R8 each per
Cost: Non-members R500 per day-night + Camp fees R20 each
Holiday Cabins (2 available 12m x 3m)
Situated up on the hill above the Cottage, reachable by car via the Wardens
House, are now also complete and ready to use. These are aimed at families
wanting to break away for a weekend, two families spending
time together, or parents of Cubs / Scouts wanting to stay over to save
travelling while their kids camp or any others interested and looking
for a stay over place. Each large Cabin can sleep 8 (2 rooms of 4 each),
has a shower, toilet, kitchen and dining area. You need only supply your
own bedding, food and toiletries just like camping, but under roof
with extras. Please spread the word and start using this unique
getaway guaranteed to become special to you
after each usage. Lets try and have these booked every weekend to
generate funds for other developments. You will not get this price anywhere
Holiday Cabin: 8 bunk beds, ablutions, kitchenette (2 Cabins available
and booked separately).
Members R200 per day-night, Non-members R400 per day-night
Hawequas Update: Last of 2010
Two Holiday Cabins: Situated up on the hill above the Cottage,
reachable by car via the Wardens House, are nearing completion and will
be available to use from Jan 2011. These are aimed at families wanting
to 'break away' for a weekend, two families spending time together, or
parents of Cubs / Scouts wanting to stay over to save travelling while
their kids camp or others... looking for a stay over. Each Cabin can sleep
8, has a shower, toilet, kitchen, dining area and sometime next year will
have a stoep as well - from which one could sit and watch the sunset.
You need only supply your own bedding, food and toiletries - just like
camping, but under roof with 'extras'.
Stars: Hawequas offers the unique opportunity for seeing all the
stars in our night sky, totally visible away from hindering city lights.
On a clear night, you can lay comfortably on luscious green lawns and
simply take in the sheer immense beauty of our universe. Who knows, you
might even see a shooting star and get the opportunity to make a wish...
Sing-a-long: How many remember those great sing-a-longs we had
with our Packs, Scouts, Scouters or simply friends - gathered around a
piano? What inspiring joy to hear the rain falling outside and everyone
huddled around the piano happily singing their heads off and as loud as
possible. Well, soon this will become a reality in the Main House with
a Piano donation being delivered in advance of upgrades to come. All we
ask is that if you cannot play the piano, then leave it alone - it will
not be there to bang on and destroy as fast as possible.
Dam Brick Paving: Tired of mud when swimming up at the dam? Well,
with time this will all change, we have started brick paving around the
dam and will keep going round and round and expanding until virtually
the entire 'muddy high use' area is paved. We have on numerous occasions
tried to get lawn growing on the 'high use spot', but without success.
The lawn on the far side will remain as such.
Rounding off 2010: Looking back, much has been achieved this year.
To mention these; 'Tigers Village' has been upgraded, the main gate locking
mechanism improved, Spruit River cleared of debris, Chapel structure smartened
and secured, Cottage accommodation upgraded to 5 star status, old gas
and electric geysers replaced by more modern automatic gas geysers and
gas supply made safer, the old Dasbos River bridge replaced by the Battle
Bridge, dangerous trees cut down and removed, numerous earth works to
improve roads, stop erosion, excavate areas, Robert Hall Campsite erected
and now almost complete, main entrance road graded and hardened, two Holiday
Cabins erected and now almost complete and numerous ongoing maintenance
projects tackled and sorted.
Thanks: To all those who simply showed up spade in hand, Packs,
Troops and others putting in 'Good turns' or adventure projects while
visiting - every little bit helps us improve our campsite for us to enjoy.
Special thanks to individuals, too many to name, who each simply rolled
up their sleeves and got involved with something adding to our improvements.
Enjoy the holiday break? and the very-very best for 2011.
Hawequas Update: November 2010
The Robert Hall Foundation Campsite
(Nearing completion with sincere thanks to Col Bill Hall as per SCaR
20 Nov 2010 write-up)
The idea was, and still is, to have an exclusive site that can be used
and booked as an entity on its own, aimed for use by individual Packs,
Troops, Rovers, Groups, Districts, outside youth organizations or Groups
who want to experience camping and survival under controlled conditions,
with all the necessities available and on site. There is an ablution block
nearby, but will not form part of exclusive usage to this site.
A new very basic low maintenance building has been erected, housing the
various components as described below. It has a rustic design to blend
with the surroundings, built from cement blocks and flat roof, yet has
all the 'rough' comforts of home. Only the Bunk Room and Kitchen have
ceilings and are painted. The aim is to give the site self efficiency
to exclusive use by a Group on a camping adventure, be it from Scouting,
external groups and specifically aimed at bringing in Schools and children
from poorer communities, offering programs on LandCare lines.
Store: This will house all (from existing closed Groups) tents,
ropes, cooking equipment, benches, tables, etc that can be used / hired
for normal camping in the Robert Hall Campsite - under strict control.
This will enable groups, especially poorer groups usage of equipment they
may not as such poses. The aim is to encourage a "Just bring food
and bedding - the rest is supplied campsite." In some cases food
will be sponsored / subsidized depending on the group, program and aim
at the time.
Bunk Room: This is able to accommodate 4 (2 double bunks) especially
adults not wishing to camp as such under canvas, or running the Program,
just for sleeping / resting purposes or even the cooks - especially on
Cub Camps and other (there will be an additional bunk in the store allowing
6 adults under roof sleeping). Small maintenance teams (working on Hawequas
or maintaining / repairing equipment in the store) could also use this
room to overnight in if needs be, provided the entire site has not been
Kitchen: Will have 4 gas burners, gas geyser, sink, stainless
steel surfaces with wood shelving under (no doors), urn, fridge, freezer
and basic utensils for use by cooks or camp attendants. Kitchen will be
able to cater for about 40+ people with 2 - 3 cooks having enough room
to move around. An outside sink is also on the cards for campers use when
washing up - positioned on the front of the store wall or other suitable
Stoep (veranda) area: Has a low wall right around and open for
relaxing (with permanent wood table bench combination seats mounted for
non-removal off the stoep), observing campers, planning, dining, fireplace
for braai or cooking in rain weather or simply a shelter for campers in
rain weather or other. The braai / fireplace under roof can also serve
as a kitchen extension for cooking potjies / braai.
Existing Raised Platform: Has been changed by amending the solid
canvas sides with a split pole enclosed railing right around and canvas
will be modified to roll down as window blinds only, instead of for the
entire side. Centre pole supports for the roof were removed and modified
support beams installed, allowing a more open floor area inside. This
location will now serve as a dining hall / under roof activity centre
/ outdoor lecture facility and or could also be a sleeping area, just
to mention a few combinations. Lights (and plug) are also provided inside
the platform as with the new building.
Pathway: A concrete pathway starts at the stoep of the building,
encompasses the Robert Hall Plaque and leads down to the raised platform
with a piece past the plaque towards the ablutions, serving as an entranceway
up the road to the site.
Flagpole: A flagpole has been erected on site at the most appropriate
spot next to the plaque.
Tent Areas: A level area for pitching tents has been established
in front of and behind the building, creating a 'cozy' all in one together
Final Completions: A rock garden is being established between
the building and raised platform, encompassing the flagpole and plaque.
Grass will be added to the tent area and next year when we get 150 new
trees, some will be added to this site as well. Outside taps will be added
inside the campsite. A split pole fence around the parameter with new
trees or simply a tree hedge to demarcate the area (depends on funds)
will be added at a later stage. Now all that remains are the furniture
and fittings, opening ceremony (hopefully January 2011) and we can start
using the site.
"Now you need not wonder anymore, as now you know"
Hawequas Update: October 2010
Did you know?
1. That the Stellenbosch University has been studying Ants on the
Hawequas property since 2006. This is a 10 year project named Limbovane
(Exploring SA biodiversity and change) which will continue to 2015. The
Ant reserves are sampled in March and October annually and involves the
planting of pitfalls (small plastic cups) in two grids of 10 pitfalls
each. The pitfalls are left outside for 5 days and then collected. These
are then taken to the Ant laboratory at the University where each ant
species is identified. The data collected is used to explore spatial and
temporal patterns in Ant diversity across the whole Western Cape. A long
term dataset of 10 years is very rare and extremely valuable for ecologists
to answer large scale patterns in biodiversity and Hawequas offers this
2. That all the water at Hawequas is not supplied by Council (there's
no water meter as such), but is drawn (not from the swimming dam), but
from the Dasbos River (the one passing the Main House, the other is the
Spruit River on the way in). High in the mountains we have a weir (dam),
from which the water is piped and filtered by gravity (like the old Roman
System) to large green tanks on the hill above the house. These tanks
then supply the entire site with water simply using gravity. We have no
water pumps as such on site, and this will explain why in certain areas
the water in a hosepipe being taken uphill to fight a fire suddenly stops
- meaning you are now higher than the weir. We are extremely fortunate
to have two rivers crossing our property and continually flowing.
3. The large 15m diameter swimming dam on the property was originally
constructed as an irrigation dam, but somehow ended up being a large 'swimming
pool'. The interior is painted black (not allowing one to see the bottom
which is only 1,2m deep all over) to allow the sun to naturally heat the
water (which is somewhat warmer than the river supplying it). Unlike a
normal pool, the water is kept clean naturally, by having it flow in from
our weir (Dasbos River) and out back to the river. Twice a year the dam
is emptied (6 hours to empty and 9 hours to fill) and given a total clean-out.
4. The shower, toilet, wash-up and all water used, is not piped all
the way to Wellington Council, nor is it deposited back into the river.
Each building has an underground Septic Tank where lots of worms and other
organisms are hard at work breaking down all this dirty waste water of
yours, which eventually ends up in large soak-a-ways underground. So please
watch what you flush and wash away as you could end up destroying the
entire natural system we have going.
5. There is no garbage removal on site, thus all users are asked
to take their garbage home with them or face a hefty fine of R50 per bag.
Garbage not removed is not dumped or buried on site, but has to be manually
transported (on your behalf) down to the Council dump (not a pleasant
task in a car, especially if a few days old).
Please use Gas and Electricity sparingly, we pay for these!
Now you know... how will you use this knowledge?
Hawequas Update: September 2010
The Bigger Picture: In light of recent development, the time has probably
come to expose the bigger picture, so that hopefully all can see why certain
things are happening and how they all tie together with our Hawequas Vision,
"To have Hawequas running as an International Scout Centre with
life on site 24/7 by 2025. Scouts, Cubs, Rovers, Scouters, visitors and
all others using the facility, must want to be there, must enjoy being
there and above all must not want to leave after every single visit, which
a life-building and memorable experience."
Imagine camping in 2025 and being surrounded by Scouts from abroad (like
a mini-jamboree), imagine everyone joining together in the true spirit
of Scouting for adventure, inter country friendships, imagine arriving
at Hawequas day or night at anytime and be greeted by a specialised team
to assist, guide, advise and organise your stay with adventure programs
on and off site, imagine the site itself, buildings, layouts, rivers,
waterfalls, gardens, lush, green, well maintained - just close your eyes
and imagine all the exciting possibilities...
The present Management Team is in the process of securing funding to
the tune of R1m, some of which has already come in. This will be used
for a drastic upgrade and revamp of the Main House, Bunk House, Ablutions
(Barn and Field), Barn, Stores, roads, parking areas, replacing of Gas
Geysers (partially done already), completing the Terrace Ablution, upgrading
terrace sites, rivers and the planting of hundreds of new indigenous trees,
shrubs and plants on the property.
New developments planned are earthworks already partially completed to
restore badly eroded areas and make changes, a new building being erected
(Store, Bunkroom, Kitchen and roofed braai) in the Robert Hall campsite
along with the completion of this exclusive site, Holiday Cabins for family
breakaways being erected above the Cottage area, an Obstacle Course (Cub
friendly and Scout challenging), campfire circle and a 30m steel cable
Suspension Bridge to link the main gate with the lower field to be erected
by an engineering firm.
Other developments to the tune of R8m to mention a few include a Signal
/ Adventure Tower, Climbing Wall, Open Air Chapel, opening our Back Road
as a new Main Entrance, a massive pole constructed Entrance Gate, Youth
Centre (and hostel) with Training and Museum / Heritage Centre, Rover
Cabin, Mountain Hut and a whole range of other ideas planned.
We have a vision, a plan, with many bits and pieces fitting together
over the next 15 years, like a painter looking at a blank canvass, yet
seeing the finished product and merely filling in the missing colors to
achieve the picture. We see Hawequas already as it will be in 2025, now
we simply need to fill in all the missing pieces to achieve this. Of course,
funding will play a major role, thus at this stage we will not promise
anything, but will endeavor to do our very best to achieve this goal plan.
With this, we always welcome any comments or suggestions of a positive
Support us by using Hawequas- it's yours to use!
Hawequas new development photos: August 2010
We have a selection of photos 'to keep you in the picture' showing the:
- establishment of a site for additional cottages above the existing
- creation of a new access road to the back parking area and additional
soil erosion measures
- start of the kitchen and utility area in the Robert Hall Campsite.
Please follow this link: http://picasaweb.google.com/westcapescout/HawequasImprovements#
Hawequas Update: August 2010
Please bear with us this month, this little update is more a request
than actual news... but there is news as well...
Earth Moving: Anyone visiting Hawequas will see some spectacular
changes taking place, earth moving should be complete shortly and various
building operations started. Please do not destroy trenches, roads, embankments
and other new developments while the soil is busy settling.
Tree Cutting: A contractor will be bringing down some of our large
top heavy and dangerous Blue gums to a more manageable height for re-growth.
Please keep clear of these sites while work is in progress.
Axes and Saws: It has been noticed that many trees show signs
of mutilation by axes and many trees simply cut down at random. This is
a reminder that no trees, whether alien or indigenous, may be cut for
any reason inside Hawequas. This now also includes stave cutting unless
with prior permission. If this habit persists and ignorance to this rule,
then a total ban will be placed on axes and saws on the Hawequas property.
Litter & Garbage: A clean-up was carried out recently and
an enormous amount of litter removed from site. Please work with us in
this regard by taking your litter and garbage bags home with you on leaving.
Wanted: The following items are needed either donated or for cash
at special Scout Price. If you can assist, please reply to
this mail. 8 Single Pine beds, 14 heavy duty vinyl covered mattresses
(with another 75 required later), kettles, toasters, microwave ovens,
bar fridges, deep freeze, tables and chairs, crockery, cooking equipment,
carpets, light fittings, dirt bins and wood tables and bench combination
in one (like seen outside restaurants). We are busy setting up house so
to speak and bargain hunting.
Gas Supplier: We are looking for a reliable gas supply company
that can connect up all our new gas equipment as well as supply the equipment
required. If you can assist or recommend, please respond.
Support us by using Hawequas your prestige campsite - to the
Hawequas Update: July 2010
Ever thought of a Winter Camp at Hawequas? And No, it does not rain everyday
in winter! It is a great time to do some of the hikes on the farm, just
think no heat exhaustion. Imagine yourself sitting on top of the mountain
relaxing with a picnic lunch and enjoying the great views. And if it does
rain we have nice hot showers all over on site and a Jet master fireplace
in the main house. Why not book the Cottage, and on route buy some food
and come stay a few days - all the rest is provided and at a smashingly
Everyone arriving at Hawequas has remarked on how fantastic the site
is - and it's all yours to use for all types of adventure! We would love
to hear from you the users of Hawequas. Please email me if you have any
comments or ideas about the farm.
Tree Cutting: Thanks to Aussie Raad, Robert Callanan, Jacob (Hawequas
temp), Phillip Jaftha and Andre Foot for the tremendous amount of work
we did on Saturday 17 July, with all the tree cutting - highly appreciated.
The day was filled with challenges in some cases to miss existing structures,
but mostly fun. Large areas were cleared for construction and some dangerous
looking trees brought down.
Earth Moving: Now that trees have been removed, we will shortly
be moving earth, repairing erosion damages, opening areas and filling
others in preparation of new buildings to come. Please bear with us and
through this, should there be any inconveniences caused.
Huge Thanks: Have to be mentioned to especially all the volunteers
who simply show up or support work parties into getting things done. Remember,
we own Hawequas - it belongs to us, it's one of the only properties that
Province actually owns, so any improvements we do - we do for ourselves
and others to share. Special-special thanks go to Bill Hall of the Robert
Hall Foundation for donations received, Tony Crake for drawing up building
plans virtually for nothing and Province providing funding if and where
essential. There are lots more already thanked, or who will still be thanked
as things progress.
Huge Request: Finally, we have braai drums / some on supports,
poles and other equipment stored at the Barn area for your use. We do
not mind you removing them to use or braai somewhere else on site, but
please..., once you have finished using the item, take them back to where
you found it neatly and orderly.
Support us by using Hawequas - your prestige campsite - to the full.
Hawequas Update: June 2010
Bookings: These are only done via HQ and are only secured with
a deposit on booking (this also applies to courses, competitions, in fact
any booking). Once booked, arrival and departure time is normally 11am
on the dates booked for, unless other arrangements are made. This is to
streamline cleaning between back-to-back bookings.
New Bridge: Thanks to Dominique and her team from 1st Naruna &
Constantia, we now have a new sturdy Bridge between the lower main field
and road to the main house well done girls.
Tree Cutting: A tree trimming and cutting project will take place
10 11 July on site - chain saws, belts, climbing gear and hands
are required. Please contact Andre Foot if you can assist. This is in
preparation of construction and developments.
Inglisberg Mountain: We would like to build a climbing wall against
the back embankment of the dam. Is there anyone who can or knows who can
provide mountain rocks or even do the project for us at a very small nominal
expense (similar to the one Clifford Harris built at the old Gilcape).
Maybe an engineering company would like to get involved?
Builder Required: We would like to build a 60sqm (approx) cement
block flat roof building in the Robert Hall Site, made up of a Store,
Bunk Room and Kitchen. We have a small budget for this and the builder
with team can live on site while building Mon to Fri. Anyone interested
or know who we can contact for this?
Upgrades: Also, we have plans to upgrade the Ablutions, Bunk House
and Main House, but thus far all contractors have come in astronomically
high with totally unacceptable quotes. Is there anyone out there who would
like to step forward and tackle this at an acceptable cost to Scouting?
Support us by using Hawequas your prestige campsite - to the
Hawequas Updates: May 2010 - Hawequas Day Visits
As an incentive to encourage more usage of Hawequas, all day visits are
FREE to members. This applies to Groups, Packs, Troops and immediate Families
of Scouting. So come out to Hawequas for the day on a Pack ramble, family
picnic, Braai, Troop, Group or Patrol activity, come visit the place,
go on a hike, lay in the sun, go rock hunting, etc.
Obviously a few rules apply:
1. Notify Scout HQ of your visit, so that a diary entry can be made for
2. By doing step 1, it will save you being turned away, should Hawequas
not be available for that day, due to a course using the place, competition,
3. A day visit does not entitle you to use the House, Barn or Bunkhouse,
unless you actually book and pay for these for the day.
4. It would be advisable to collect a gate key at HQ and pay the deposit,
rather than take a chance only to find the main gate locked on your arrival
5. Notify the Warden on arrival at Hawequas, say hello and goodbye.
6. Obviously other pre-booked paying campers / users with set programs
running, will have preference to say using the Dam, here I'm referring
to a Cub Camp or similar running when you arrive. Hawequas is huge, there's
enough for everyone, don't go out for the day and 'hog' the dam / main
field, etc for yourself - let's all compromise and share the facilities.
7. The normal forms for Pack and Troop outdoor activities still apply,
as do consent forms, for organised activities.
The idea here is to get people to come out for the day, even bring parents
and new members out, look the place over, then later return to camp or
stay over. The more paying people using Hawequas, the more we can develop
for all to enjoy. Obviously if the above free privilege being offered
is abused, it will be stopped immediately.
Some questions I'm sure you may want to ask us:
What is a Day...? A day is from say 8am to about 6pm! (You can
push it to about 8pm if you have a gate key)
Can our Troop come out say on a Friday 5pm for an activity and leave
again at about 10pm... ? Sure, why not, just clear it with HQ and
make sure you get a gate key.
What if my Patrol comes out to Hawequas on Friday at 5pm and we leave
again at 8am the next day...?? That's like a day, but only it's night??
Sorry, that's a night visit, you may as well stay till Saturday afternoon
and pay the camp fee for a day night or night day in this case.
We like the idea of the free day, but we prefer to pay for our privileges.
What is the going rate for a day visit, so we can make a donation to Hawequas??
Donations are always more than welcome. You can work on R4 per person
for the day for a group of members. Total Non-Member Groups pay R10 each
and are not allowed free.
Hawequas Updates: April 2010
Gas Upgrade: The Field Ablution, Barn Ablution and Main House
have just been upgraded with new modern gas geysers, that NEED NO HUMAN
HANDS TO TOUCH THEM. Be warned that any damage / touching / breaking of
the new gas geysers will set you back R5 000+ to have the defect replaced.
If it's not working when you open any hot water tap, then please call
Tess our Warden.
Entrance Gate Lock: For security purposes, as agreed and as per
our rules, these gates are to be locked at 6pm every evening and opened
again at 7am each morning. Please assist us in keeping this rule. If we
do not work together on this, then all keys will be withdrawn and entrance
to and from Hawequas will only be allowed between 7am and 6pm (unless
in an emergency).
New Fee Structure: This is now in force as from 1 April. Please
note again that deposits are payable with your booking. Your booking will
not be held without a deposit.
Electricity: Please assist us in saving electricity on the farm
by switching off any items not in use or not required. Our electricity
used is by far too high, especially now with the high tariff increases.
Conservation Site: We are in the process of registering 197ha
of our 235ha Hawequas ground, as a Voluntary Conservation Site with Cape
Nature. This will hold valuable privileges and support for us, and possibly
should any ever come from the WWF, but in no way restricts
any future developments.
Future Developments: These are on track, watch this space for
Support us by using Hawequas - your prestige campsite - to the full.
Hawequas Updates: March 2010
Main Entrance Gate: A new locking pin system and locks has been
devised for the main entrance gate, however standing procedures as in
place do not change. Our new lock on the gate is THE ONE ON THE OUTSIDE,
the inside lock belongs to the farmer.
Spruit River Clearing: Thanks to volunteers Aussie Raad, Dieter
Grosser, Robert Callanan, Geert vd Ploeg and Mark Blencoe who left their
mark on Sat 20 Feb. in clearing and cutting up logs fallen into the river.
Work was carried out in temperatures of 48°C and more - well done
Fee Structure for 1 April: We intend to enforce Rule 1, if your
membership fees (including exemptions / reductions allowed) are not up
to date, then you will be charged non-member fees to use Hawequas. Also,
the deposit for non-members just went up to R500 (members stay R200),
following a recent incident where a non-member group left the place in
a shocking state on departure. The deposit is payable with the booking.
We want your trees! We appeal to all members, Groups, Districts,
etc, that when you come out to Hawequas, bring a tree or two to plant
(with directions as to where by the resident Warden). If you do not wish
to plant it yourself, give it to the Warden and it will be planted later.
This request does not include aliens, we are looking for fast growing
Service to Hawequas: We appeal to all Groups to carry out this
long standing rule in that when a Pack, Patrol, Troop, Group uses Hawequas,
try and devote at least 1+ hour/s of your program in a service project
to Hawequas. This can be repairing a gully, stopping erosion, clearing
and tidying an area, collecting stones - if not sure, ask the Warden what
possibly needs to be done and turn it into a really great fun item.
Upgrade Developments: These are on schedule at present and your
team is excitedly working very hard to make things happen. We hope to
before this month end, replace all gas geysers as well as electric geysers
with gas. These are more modern type geysers and REQUIRE NO HUMAN HANDS
to make them work. Any damage to any geyser will set you back R5 000+
each in replacement costs, so spread the word - no touching (If its
not working, call the Warden). Please bear with us as to holes in walls
and possible unsightly installations, these will be repaired in the following
stage of upgrades.
Cottage: Have you noticed this major-major upgrade? All you require
now is food and your wash kit when using the Cottage. It now comes fully
complete with clean bedding, mosquito nets, towels, lounge and dining
room suite, all utensils and appliances as well as a built braai outside.
A stunning little place to unwind and relax spread the word and
book via HQ!
Hawequas Updates: February 2010
A new Hawequas Management Team has been put in place to manage,
upgrade and develop Hawequas to an International Scout Centre by 2025.
The team being Andre Foot (Manager), Charles Prince (Secretary), Buzz
Macey, David van Eyk, Kevin Reeves, Nicky Jonas, Phillip Jaftha and Robbie
Immediate Upgrades to take place this year (we ask your patience
during renovations and changes): The Barn and Field Ablutions, Bunk House
and Main House. Major changes are on the cards for the house which include
a complete kitchen revamp, enclosed stoep and braai facilities. We are
all very excited at present and planning is in full swing.
Some new Rules to note with immediate effect:
- No deposit will be refunded if there are breakages, rules broken or
any other weird activity taking place deviating from 'normal'. Deposits
will only be refunded 5 days after you vacate the premises.
- Groups / members not conforming to standards as laid down can and
will be banned from using Hawequas.
- No trees may be cut down without the consent of the Manager (this
- Vuvuzelas are banned from Hawequas and will be destroyed if heard
- Everything happening, planned must be rooted through the Manager if
not through normal HQ procedures.
- The Warden must be notified of your intended visit or informed on
arrival, otherwise you may find yourself confronted by the police for
- Any interference with any hosepipe, cutting, moving, using as a rope,
turning off will definitely forfeit your deposit.
- No firearms (including kids toys that fire any projectiles) are allowed,
without prior permission or consent of Management.
Gate Key: There is a new procedure regarding the main gate key
being put in place, another notice will go out once this is done. For
now this remains as is.
New Hawequas Fee Structure: 1 April 2010 See especially Note 1
This represents a simplification of the fee structure to a basic per night
per day rate. Once the facilities have been upgraded, the fees will increase
NOTE 1: Scout Groups who have neither paid their annual subscriptions
to HQ, nor had a financial assistance request approved, MUST PAY THE PRICE
NOTE 2: Camp fees remain at R8 per person per night. If you are using
one of the buildings, you need to pay for usage of the building/s only,
AND if camping as well, then just for however many people are camping.
Current - R150 per night
New - R200 per night
* The Cottage has been renovated and new furniture purchased
Current - R150 per night + R8 per person = R286 if the house is full
New - R250 per night
* This is actually a reduction if you use all 17 beds in the house!!
Current - R30 per night + R 8 per person = R118 If you use all the beds
New - R110 per night
* Also a saving if you use all 11 beds in the bunkroom
Current - R30 per day
New - R50 per day
* This includes use of tables and benches
Current - R8 per person per night
New - R8
* No increase until facilities have been fixed up
Current - pay for use of everything at scout rates
New - R400 Per night adjusted for number of people on course (participants
R400 x (number)/ 24 e.g.12 people on course - fee is R200. 48 people on
course, fee is R800
This is still substantially cheaper than the current fee system and much
This covers usage of House, bunkroom and lecture room.
Non-members of the SASA pay double the normal fees as a general principle
Cottage - R400 per night
House - R500 per night
Bunkroom - R220 per night
Lecture room - R100 per day
Camping Fees - R20 per night (no change)