Governor-General, His Excellency, the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, was today (Sept. 4) invested as Chief Scout of Jamaica by Chief Commissioner of the Scout Association of Jamaica, Rev. Barrington Soares.
“I proudly accept the new role as Chief Scout and promise that I will do my best in my duty to God and my country. I will do my best to help other people at all times, and I will do my best to obey the scout law,” Sir Patrick said during the investiture ceremony held at King’s House.
The Governor-General pledged to uphold the scout laws and, in so doing, will be trustworthy, loyal, courteous and helpful to others.
He noted that the scout movement, since its inception, has provided young people with exciting and constructive opportunities to serve their communities while at the same time, benefitting from training in leadership and social skills.
“The movement also assists scouts to develop a high level of resourcefulness and acquire many useful skills. I am proud to be the Chief Scout of an organisation that embodies all these important values,” he pointed out.
He charged the organisation to work towards increasing enrolment, especially of young men. “Our young people need to be involved in clubs and organisations so that they can be fully occupied and trained to be useful members of the society,” the Governor-General stated.
Rev. Soares expressed appreciation to the Governor-General for accepting the position, and pledged to “work together for the development and betterment of our young men in a society in need of direction.”
Executive Commissioner of the Association, Joycinth Malcolm, explained that the position of Chief Scout is conferred on Governors-General of Jamaica, as patrons of the movement. As Chief Scout, he will present warrants and awards to leaders of the movement and other persons, who have served the organisation.
“Each (scout) leader is warranted to operate a scout group, and so on the recommendation of the Chief Commissioner, the Governor-General signs off on these things,” she said further.
The Scout Association of Jamaica, which will be celebrating 100 years of existence next year, has the mission to develop good citizenship in boys and girls; forming their character; training them in habits of observation, obedience and self-reliance; inculcating in them, loyalty and thoughtfulness for others; and teaching them skills and services useful to the country and themselves.
Community service is a major part of Jamaica’s scouting movement. The organisation hosts camps for disadvantaged youngsters, organises literacy campaigns, and community clean-ups, tree planting, and relief work in the aftermath of natural disasters.