Message from The Governor-General of Belize
Sir Colville N. Young GCMG
In connection with the
Official Opening of Scout Week 2011
And the 100 years Celebration of Scouting in Belize
Sir Colville N. Young GCMG
Governor-General of Belize
It is a privilege for me as Patron of The Scout Association of Belize to address you on this special day - February 16, 2011 - the Official Opening of Scout Week 2011 and the launching of 100 years of Scouting in Belize.
This is indeed an occasion to celebrate and also a time to reflect on the accomplishments of the Scout program in Belize.
Baden-Powell or B P as we affectionately refer to him started the Scout Movement in England in 1907 and just three years after, according to local research, in 1910 Henry Longsworth of Belize City established the first Scout Troop at St. John’s Cathedral. However, the local Association of Boy Scouts of British Honduras was duly approved on October 6, 1911. Since that time the Scout Movement in Belize has contributed to molding young men and women into productive citizens as exemplified in our Scout Mission.
But what is Scouting? Scouting is a program designed for young people to develop character, citizenship and personal fitness by focusing on a vigorous program of outdoor educational activities, learning to live with nature and caring for our environment. This is Scouting: education for life. Scouting complements the school and the family, filling needs not met by either; Scouting develops self-knowledge, the need to explore, to discover, and to want to know.
Our Mission is “to contribute to the education of young people, through a value system based on the Scout Promise and Law, to help build a better world where people are self-fulfilled as individuals and play a constructive role in society.”
This is achieved by:
- involving young people throughout their formative years in a non-formal educational process
- using a specific method that makes each individual the principal agent of his or her development as a self-reliant, supportive, responsible and committed person, and
- assisting young people to establish a value system based upon spiritual, social and personal principles as expressed in the Promise and Law.
In achieving our Mission, the following challenges are addressed:
- Relevance: meeting the needs and aspirations of young people
- Complementary nature: focusing on the distinctive contribution Scouting can make to the education of young people, particularly through the Scout Method
- Membership: reaching out to more young people, including and, especially perhaps,
- Adults: attracting and retaining the adults we need to provide leadership
- Relationships and Partnerships: working with other Non-Government Organizations and partnering with the business community for support to better serve young people
- Unity: pursuing a common purpose at all levels
Today in Belize we have over two thousand Scouts and volunteer Leaders in our six districts and we are growing. In the world, there are over twenty-eight million active Scouts, making Scouting the world’s largest youth organization.
I find it appropriate at this time to mention that the Government of Belize, through the Ministry of Education, has placed its confidence in our Scout program, recognizing it as an educational program and has fully supported us in the establishment of Scout Units in primary schools throughout the country.
I also think it is appropriate to thank the business community and each individual who contribute either financially, in-kind or in time to the Scout program. At the same time I make a special appeal for increased support to enable us to grow much more, thus affording more young people the opportunity of participating in our program.
To our Scout Commissioners and Leaders who give of their time unselfishly to help our young people develop into good citizens through the Scout Promise and Law, I salute you and thank you.
In closing I leave you with the following thought: Scouting is a world Movement, ever dynamic; evolving and adapting everywhere according to local conditions, serving according to local needs. Scouting is open to all, regardless of race or creed, in accordance with the purpose, principles and method conceived by the Founder Robert Baden-Powell.
It is now my distinct pleasure to officially declare Scout Week 2011 and the celebrations for the 100 years of Scouting in Belize OPEN.