Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Founder's Day Celebration

“Be Prepared... the meaning of the motto is that a scout must prepare himself by previous thinking out and practicing how to act on any accident or emergency so that he is never taken by surprise.” ~Sir Robert Baden-Powell, Founder of the Scouting Movement Worldwide

Every year, Scouts from around the globe gather around in Kenya to pay tribute to the founders of the Boy Scouts and Girl Guide movements (collectively, the Scouting movement).

This year, 2010, was no exception to that. In fact, this year, the Kenya Scouts Association is celebrating 100 years of Scouting in Kenya. In addition to the celebration of 100 years, Kenya is also going to be hosting the 13th World Scout Moot (http://www.scoutmoot2010.org/) later this year.

With great anticipation of hosting scouts from around the world, this year's Founderee camp also included a dry-run of the Moot and the events for Rover Scouts (18-25). During the event, which I attended with 10 Rover Scouts from my school, I had the chance to experience several wonderful opportunities. Among the events that I took part in, a group of scouts and myself went to a child orphanage in Nyeri and repainted the walls, doors, and gates of the facility. On top of the service project, we also went to Paxtu - where Lord Baden Powell lived, and we also went to his final resting place.

After traveling to Lord Baden-Powell's grave, we travelled to a nearby coffee farm and learned about how Kenyan coffee is grown. From the farm, where the generous hosts provided us with water and sugar cane, we hiked up to the coffee factory where the coffee is sorted, processed, packaged, and shipped.

From here, we hiked up a small hill nearby up to 2200 meters above sea level where we could see the terrain for miles and miles around. We could see the Aberdare mountains in the distance, as well as Tumu-Tumu Hill and, had it not been for the clouds, we would have seen Mt. Kenya also.

At any rate, after the hiking and travelling, we ended up finishing the night with a camp fire (yes a giant camp fire) at which various scout units had songs, dramas, and we even had a pep talk from the former speaker of Kenya's parliament.

If that was not enough for one weekend, the following day, thousands of scouts (there was 4,000 camped plus 500 at our camp - and many others who travelled that day) showed up to celebrate the continuance of the Scouting Movement in Kenya and around the world. Among the guests were the Chief Scout Executives from Togo, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Kenya, Kenya's current Vice President, one of Kenya's Ministers, as well as the thousands of Scouts themselves from various countries.

I continue to be grateful for the opportunities I've been able to have and I am very happy and proud to say that I am continuing my involvement in Scouting while I am a volunteer in Kenya.

[Related pictures coming soon]

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