Scores of Scout leaders were presented with Awards and Warrants for their dedicated and exemplary service to the movement, by Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, at a ceremony, held at King’s House on February 24.
The Governor-General, who is also Chief Scout, applauded the leadership of the Scouts Association of Jamaica for, “instilling in countless numbers of our promising young people, the values and principles that will assist in strengthening and advancing their own life and also our nation as a whole.”
This influence, he said, has been achieved by carefully designing a range of programmes and activities that encourage resourcefulness, a spirit of community involvement, voluntarism and the development of discipline in the youth.
He also lauded the association for opportunities they have created over the years, and urged the scouts to maintain the high ideals and moral and social values that characterise the training and instruction they have received.
“We need to protect, nurture, socialise and train our young men and women to make worthwhile contribution to nation building and become valuable citizens,” the Governor-General said.
He encouraged members of the movement to become innovators, solution builders, visionaries, moral and spiritual trustees. “I challenge you, the young people of our nation to be selfless, to be patriotic, to give service in your schools, communities, church, clubs and country, for this is the highest honour that one can do,” the Governor-General said.
Chief Commissioner of the Scouts Association, 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 received awards and warrants to continue doing an excellent job. “Let us now move forward to build with purpose our young people of good character, sound values and attitudes, becoming leaders of tomorrow and preparing a better future for them,” he added.
The Association was founded in 1910, and became a member of the World Organisation of Scout Movement in 1963.
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, which celebrated its 100th anniversary of service last 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.