Some 70 scout leaders were on Thursday (Feb. 19) presented with awards for exemplary service to the movement, by Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Professor Sir Kenneth Hall, at a ceremony held at King’s House.
Sir Kenneth, who is also Chief Scout, applauded the leadership of the Scout Association of Jamaica for “successfully maintaining a strong position of influence over Jamaica’s youth, especially at a time when there is so much that distracts them and threaten to derail their personal growth and development.”
This influence, he said, has been achieved by “carefully designing a range of programmes and activities that encourage resourcefulness, a spirit of community involvement, volunteerism and the development of discipline in our youth.”
He further lauded the association for creating opportunities for young Jamaicans to develop skills that allow them to become self-reliant, hard-working and capable of contributing to the development of the country. “These core values and aptitudes are what we should rely on to take us through the rough times as the country adjusts,” he told the gathering.
The Governor-General encouraged the movement to identify creative ways in which it could further extend its reach and encourage more young people to enlist, while urging the scouts to maintain the high ideals and moral and social values that characterise the training and instruction they have received.
Chief Commissioner of the Scout Association of Jamaica, Rev. Barrington Soares, informed that there has been significant growth within the association and commended all the stakeholders for their efforts in the process.
He encouraged those who have received warrants and awards to continue to do an excellent job. “Please be mindful of your duties that you have been called to do and I ask you to carry out your duties efficiently and effectively, with high integrity for the advancement of the Scout Association…let us keep the scouting standards high,” he stated.
The Scout Association of Jamaica was founded in 1910, and became a member of the World Organisation of Scout Movement in 1963. As at 2008, the co-educational institution had 2,450 members.
Community service is a major part of Jamaica’s scouting, and the organisation hosts camps for disadvantaged youngsters, and organises literacy campaigns, community clean-ups, tree planting and relief work during natural disasters.
The movement will be celebrating its 100th anniversary of service next year.