Does your Council have a Council International Representative? Have you ever heard of such an animal? I never had, but now I not only know about the position, I actually know someone in that position. Having crossed the identity bridge, what does someone in this position do?
As it turns out there is quite a need to serve the international interests of Scouting. Our 100th anniversary of Scouting in the US is coning in two years, but the world wide celebration of Scouting began last year. In a related article we discussed how some of the countries around the world celebrated. 40,000 Scouts attended the World Jamboree and CNN reported that more than 300 Scouts from 168 countries attended a campout on Brownsea Island to celebrate the occasion. Some sources report that as many as 28 million Scouts world wide joined the celebration. Clearly there are plenty of international Scouting opportunities. But what would a Council International Representative do?
On a local council level there are quite a few challenges and duties that must be addressed. Included in the responsibilities of this position are:
- Promote and assist in recruiting Scouts for the European Camp Staff program
- Promote and assist with the World Scout Jamboree
- Help unit leaders plan international activities
- Promote World Friendship fund collections
- Promote and assist in planning the Jamboree on the Air (JOTA) and the Jamboree on the Internet (JOTI)
- Promote and assist the local council to supply qualified youth to represent the BSA in different tours and exchanges with other Scouting organizations
The most interesting part of reading the responsibilities of the position is learning about all the international activities that were available to Scouts in the US. Iíve been involved in Scouting for a long time (letís just say I went to the 50th Jubilee Jamboree in Colorado Springs in 1950) and I didnít know that Scouts could be on a European camp staff or on other international camp staffs. I occasionally heard about World Jamborees but I usually heard about them after they were over. Lots of organizations do international tours and youth exchanges with other countries, but I didnít know those opportunities were available to Scouts. Clearly there is a need for increasing our exposure to these situations.
One opportunity is an International Philmont Trek in June. Interested Scouts are required to write an essay in order to be considered. The BSA International Division will choose the 10 best essays from around the world and 10 from the US. These 20 Scouts will constitute the trek. All associated expenses to be paid by the BSA. If you want more information, please contact me or visit the link below.
This is a relatively new position for our Council. Tom, our International Representative, has set up a committee to help him develop and implement the council plans. If your council doesnít have this position filled, you might suggest they look into finding someone to fill it. Your Scouts could be missing significant international opportunities.