23RD World Scout Jamboree, Yamaguchi, Japan

What does one report briefly on such a fantastic event? 35,000 people attended the 23rd World Scout Jamboree at Yamaguchi, Japan. The World Scout Jamboree is the most diverse event for young people in the world. Scouts Australia had a large contingent of approximately 380 with around 60 coming from Queensland.

One of the program highlights was the participation in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony which marked the 70th anniversary of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The young people participated in activities of flower distribution to ceremony attendees and the dedication of paper cranes folded by the Scouts during the Hiroshima Peace Program at the Children’s Peace monument.

cc articleI attended the final four days in my World role as Chairman of the World Honours and Awards Committee attending meetings, a Bronze Wolf luncheon, walking in the heat seeing as much as I could cope and the Closing Ceremony. The key event was the Australian Contingent function where I believe I spoke to nearly every Queensland youth or adult leader. They were tired, hot, sunburnt, reasonably clean, well behaved and on a tremendous high. As I left to come home they headed to home hospitality to finish their four weeks in Japan.  If these young people continue in Scouting, Queensland has a bright future ahead. Deputy Chief Commissioner (Youth Program) Peter Blatch was there in his role as a member of the World Scout Committee. Yes, Peter wore purple, as I did, but I believe we did Queensland proud in our contact with the youth and other meetings with adults.

Children in especially difficult circumstance

As you are all aware, the growth of Scouting in Queensland is an important goal for all formations within the Branch. Have you considered working with children in especially difficult circumstances?

Children in especially difficult circumstances are those children who are for shorter or longer periods in their lives, exposed to intense, multiple risks to their physical and mental health. A common characteristic of these children is that they lack proper adult care and protection, and that they lead their lives outside mainstream society.

These children are socially marginalised and this is a growing problem in the world and possibly in your community. Have you considered your community and how you can improve the quality of life for these children and harness socially acceptable skills so they may take a meaningful place in the community?

Scouting has much to offer young people, including those who are socially marginalised. Remember, Scouting offers peer support (through the patrol system), membership in a team (Troop, Pack etc.), access to a small community (through the shared value base) and the opportunity to create a new vision for the future (through promising to do their best) and support to achieve this (working under adult guidance).

While Scouting has a lot to offer these young people it can be a challenge to reach them. Some successful ways include:

  • Entering their world
  • Building trust
  • Working with community leaders
  • Providing incentives
  • Using role models

Resilience is an important attribute, the ability to bounce back from adversity, and to overcome negative influence that often block achievement.

Is your formation up to accepting this challenge?