World Scout Jamboree 2007

Scouting for me has been a way of life. I am a third generation scout, with my grandfather, and later all uncles, and my dad leading the way. My sister Mehernaaz, today is actively involved in Girl Guiding, and soon shall become a Himalaya Wood Badge Holder, a very prestigious honour and rank in Scouting. We belong to the Sethna’s 18th West Bombay Scout Group. The 18th West is India’s and probably the world’s oldest continuously running scout group. Started in 1914, it has seen generations of boys pass through it, joining as cubs and then going on to scouts, rover, and scout leaders.Therefore it is with great interest that I am following the currently held 21st World Scout Jamboree going on in the United Kingdom.

In 1991, I had the rare opportunity to represent my troop and country at the 17th World Scout Jamboree at Mt. Sorak, in South Korea. Needless to say it was one of the most amazing moments in my life. As troop leader of the Indian Contingent, I got to represent India at the Parade of Flags. This year a few scouts and rovers from our troop are participating in the Jamboree, and hence Sethna’s 18th West has a presence on the World Stage after a 16 year gap. 2007 is also the centenary of the first Boy Scout Camp at Brownsea Island.

On this occassion selected scouts from all over the world are camping at Brownsea Island.

The BBC has a wonderful article on it.

Scouts in centenary celebrations

Millions of scouts around the world have renewed their promises in ceremonies to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the movement’s founding.

Brownsea Island, in Poole Harbour, Dorset, where the first camp for 20 boys was held by Robert Baden-Powell in 1907, is the focus of celebrations.

Some 300 scouts from 160 countries have set up camp at the National Trust site.

Some 40,000 scouts and leaders from across the world are also at a 12-day jamboree near Chelmsford, in Essex.

The Hylands Park event, opened on Saturday by Prince William, is believed to be the biggest event in the history of the Scout Association.

Our aim is to bring up the next generation of useful citizens with a wider outlook than before and thereby to develop goodwill and peace… with comradeship and co-operation
Lord Baden-Powell’s 1907 speech

At Brownsea Island, 300 scouts assembled for a ceremony at 0800 BST (0700 GMT).

Chief Scout Peter Duncan, a former Blue Peter presenter, signalled the start of scouting’s second century by blowing the original kudu horn that Lord Baden-Powell blew to start the first camp.

British scout Alastair Frankl, 16, read out Lord Baden-Powell’s speech of 100 years ago.

He said: “Our aim is to bring up the next generation of useful citizens with a wider outlook than before and thereby to develop goodwill and peace in the world with comradeship and co-operation.”

This would be “in place of the prevailing rivalry between classes, creeds and countries which have done so much in the past to produce wars and unrest”.

‘Making friends’

The Dorset-based scouts led the world in renewing their scout promise to build a peaceful and tolerant society.

Some 400,000 scouts in the UK took part in hundreds of similar events.

Scouts around the globe also reaffirmed their scouting promise in ceremonies.

Two days ago I arrived here on a boat with 300 strangers – now they are all my friends
Scout Mariama Irele, Senegal

Events were held in places as far afield as Namibia and Ecuador while, in Bucharest, Romania, scouts formed a human chain around the parliament building.

There are now thought to be 28 million scouts worldwide.

Cardiff scout Jon Grimes, 19, said scouting was as relevant now as it was 100 years ago.

He said: “When [Lord Baden-Powell] first ran the camp, he brought together different social classes from public schools and less fortunate backgrounds. It was about crossing the social divide and making friends.

“Our camp this year will be about making friends between people from different cultures.”

Mariama Irele, 17, from Senegal, said of the Dorset event: “Two days ago I arrived here on a boat with 300 strangers – now they are all my friends.

“If young people around the world can repeat what has happened here, then we really can help build a more friendly world.”

Story from BBC NEWS: