Guest Author - Erik Moeller
100 years ago on Brownsea Island of the coast of England Robert Baden-Powell began a movement that has expanded greatly from the 20 boys who attended his first camp. Who would have thought from those humble beginnings that such a movement could be possible? A movement that teaches its followers to accept responsibility for their actions; to be trustworthy and loyal; to focus on service to others; and has an Oath that begins, “On my honor, I will do my best…”
CNN reports that 40,000 Scouts from around the world attended a world Jamboree to celebrate the occasion and that 300 hundred Scouts from 160 countries attended the campout on Brownsea Island. At sunrise on August 1, 2007 Peter Duncan, the UK Chief Scout, reenacted Robert Baden-Powell’s opening of the era of Scouting by blowing his Kudu horn three times. This symbolized Scouting moving into its second hundred years. Doves were released and thousands of colored balloons decorated the sky in celebration. Elsewhere around the world millions of Scouts celebrated with a sunrise breakfast and peaceful demonstrations. A new Scouting headquarters was opened in Edinburgh Scotland to mark the anniversary. Some sources estimate 28 million Scouts in 216 countries celebrated the occasion.
One of the foundations in Scouting is service to others and as part of the 100 years celebration Gifts for Peace was established. Gifts for Peace is a project that focuses on national service projects. National Associations are encouraged to designate a national project that involves Scouts of all ages and takes at least a year to complete. South Africa is focused on an AIDS education and awareness campaign. Norwegian Scouts and Guides made a huge quilt for peace. More than 5000 patches were submitted for the quilt- 600 were used in the final design which now is displayed at the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo.
In the US our celebration of Scouting in this country is still a couple of years away- 2010. I went to the Jamboree celebrating fifty years of Scouting in Colorado Springs. It was a terrific experience. Meeting Scouts from all over the country and from several different countries. Swapping patches to see who got the best deal- how many colors, was it embroidered, did it pass the “flop test.” We still camped in tents with no floors and dug trenches around our tents to divert rain water. Scouting has come a long way. There is a lot activity already for this happening:
The National Council is sponsoring a contest to design a logo for the celebration. Entries need to be submitted by 11/30/07. Go to the 100 Years of Scouting Website at below
YouTube has an 8 minute video- Scouting One World One Promise. See the link below.
In May Salt Lake City had a 100th Anniversary Scout-O-Rama.
What has your District or Council done to celebrate 100 years of Scouting. Let me hear from you in the Forum.