Hannah Finch needed to do a community task to achieve her Springbok award in Scouts, so she chose to help restore a Heritage Steam Train!
Hilton, KwaZulu-Natal – Hannah Finch is a grade 12 learner at Howick High and working towards the highest achievement as a scout. She is part of the 1st Hilton Scout Troop and working towards her Springbok Scout award.
According to Hannah, this is the highest achievement possible in Scouting, and less than 1% of scouts achieve it. It isn’t as simple as one would think and to get the prize, she would need to plan, manage and lead a group of scouts in a project that would benefit the community. For Hannah to qualify for the award, she needed to put in some serious elbow grease
She explained to us how she chose her project and why it was so important, not only for her award but for her community.
“To achieve my Springbok, I have to undertake a series of tasks which includes planning, running and leading a Patrol of Scouts in a community service project.
The project must identify a need in the community, must benefit the community and be at least 40 hours (excluding planning). For my project, I have painted the green One Class Locomotive at the Hilton Steam Heritage Association.”
She chose this project to make sure the heritage of her town was highlighted once more.
“I chose this because our Scout Hall is just below the station and I know they have been trying to get people involved in reviving the Hilton Steam Heritage Association. I contacted the Hilton Steam Heritage Association and spoke to Grant Fryer about what I could do to help them restore the museum and trains.
After deciding what I was going to do, I contacted Natal Associated Agencies in Pietermaritzburg to ask if they could donate paint. All the paint and materials needed for the project were donated by Natal Associated Agencies.”
When Hannah started the project, she knew that she would be helping bring attention to the Hilton Steam Heritage Association, but she never dreamed just how much attention her cause would attract. Hannah was featured in two articles in the Midlands Herald, and local businesses started to join her in her restoration.
“During the project, we attracted a lot of attention from the community which lead to other businesses becoming interested and involved in helping the Hilton Steam Heritage Association.”
She completed her hours for the Springbok award, but the scout’s group have now committed to continuing helping the Heritage Association.
“I finished my 40 hours of community service on Sunday the 17 March, but our Scout group will still be actively involved in the Hilton Steam Heritage Association.”
Hannah picked a project, and it changed something. Hopefully, her story will help them gain the momentum they need to get people interested in the museum and the history of steam trains.
As you can see in the title image, the front part of the train has been completed, they will now start painting and restoring the back end of the train, so it is fully restored to its former glory.