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23 | 09 | 2017
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Edward Cassola

 

What is so great about scouting?

After having been part of the Group for twenty eight years I have concluded that scouting grows on you or it doesn’t. Although scouting is open to all, not all are open to the opportunities provided through Scouting. Those that managed to remain in scouting or spent a good number of years within a Group would know what I mean. The effects of scouting on the individual are felt during one’s scouting lifetime and much longer after they would have left the movement.

Scouting provides opportunities for new experiences in society, outdoors and in other cultures. Through scouting one makes new friends, where such opportunities if taken, develop the person and create bonds that will not break in time; bonds with other members, places and memories.

As a person one learns to respect others and their ideas, accepts them even if they do not understand them or agree with them. Scouts learn to live together in simple and at times testing environments far away from the comforts of home wherein they learn new skills and knowledge that will serve them for life not just to acquire a certificate. Through scouting members learn more about nature its importance and relevance to our lives.

What types of activities does scouting offer?

Scouting offers activities at various levels. The most popular are adventure related events such as hikes, expeditions, rafting, abseiling, crevassing and camping.  There are other events where we participate on a social level. We participate in national and international events were we get the opportunity to meet different people and understand the significance of what has happened in the past or why something is happening in the present or future.

We attend ceremonies, parades, international camps, contribute in national and other minor community service related projects.

Which are your favourite scouting activities and why?

As one may expect my favourite scouting events are camping and adventure events overseas. I’ve been to quite a few in the past years and I now try to organise such events to provide the experiences I have been through to new members.

Has scouting made you a better person and in what ways?

I’d like to believe that it has made me a better person. It has thought me to appreciate others, recognise their abilities and accept that which I thought I could not accept before. It has thought me skills for life and disciplined me in the sense that I do what needs to be done not what I want to. This therefore made me more conscious of my obligations rather than thinking selfishly, a characteristic of many nowadays. Through scouting I have improved in my organisation, planning, budgeting and pre-empting problem skills amongst others.

Why did you choose scouting over sports or other activities?

To be honest one does not have to chose between scouting and sports. We have quite a few members that participate in both and do well in both of them. The secret behind this is commitment. Being successful in either of them requires commitment to the cause. You are either in or out – no half baked measures. Experience has however thought me that Scouting can be for life and participating in a sport has a limited lifespan in many instances, so I guess you know why I am still a scout after twenty eight years.

How would you promote scouting with someone who isn't familiar with the idea?

I’ll ask anyone to give it a try. There isn’t much to lose. I’d say we are in the sphere of providing new experiences backed with a holistic programme with subjects that would surely be of interest at some point in time.

How long have you been in scouting? What kept you in for so long?

I’ve been in scouting for over twenty eight years now. I joined in 1983 and have never stopped attending since then. I guess the above explanations are what keep me in the Group so far, but other than that I’m not sure. I guess scouting grows on you or it doesn’t.

Have you travelled with the Group?

I have travelled extensively with the Group as a scout and as a leader. I’ve been to three Jamborees (Australia 1988, the USA 1989, Korea 1991, and other camping and adventure events overseas (Russia, Italy, Poland, the UK and Sicily).