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Acknowledgement of stewardship

Annual General Meeting of the BBSA

On Tuesday evening amidst the inclement weather which was hovering in Barbados, the Governor General of Barbados and the Chief Scout and President of the Barbados Boy Scouts Association, in the presence of many Scout Commissioners and Members of the National Scout Council conducted the Annual General Meeting of the BBSA.

At this meeting, among other things which take place, the Chief Commissioner would present his report on the activities of the past year, including some recommendations to carry the Association forward in these challenging times.

The delegates to this Annual General Meeting welcomed the Chief Scout, Sir Elliott Belgrave who chaired the meeting and during the course of the evening invited the Chief Commissioner, Dr. Nigel Taylor to present his report.

The Chief Commissioner in his report reminded the gathering that the Barbados Boy Scouts Association is a volunteer led organisation with no professional staff providing support and serving as the Secretariat.

Over the past years there has been a large pool of dedicated volunteers who have contributed decades of faithful and loyal service to the institution.

They mostly start Scouting as youth members and continue as adult volunteers. It is common to see these dedicated persons having over 40 or 50 years of loyal service behind them and yet remaining active in Scouting as volunteers.

Commenting on modern day Scouting in Barbados, the Chief Commissioner stated that there are many competitors as Scouting no longer is the only provider of such activities since non-formal education elements are now found in formal education as institutions try to copy parts or entire chunks of what is done in organizations like Scouting.

What makes Scouting so special is the fact that its uniqueness is perhaps that the other educational institutions/organisations may pick up one or two of the elements from the Scout Method to incorporate into their core business, whilst Scouting embraces all of them.

The other strong point of Scouting is noted in the fact that it is a value-based organization which offers value-based self-development opportunities to children and young people. However, in this modern day and era, Scouting is certainly challenged sufficiently, not only to remain relevant, but also to constantly innovate and adapt.

One of the things which was noticed by the Chief Commissioner and which he highlighted was the fact that Scouting has given the Leaders of the BBSA an opportunity to learn about the diversity in Scouting — to learn how people in other parts of the world do Scouting in their own way.

Diversity, he stated, was always a strength rather than weakness. Continuing, he reminded the delegates that learning together is the best way to forgo prejudice, clear misunderstanding, and defuse enmity. Learning and sharing mutual examples of success is crucial for everyone in the Movement at a time when the unity of Scouting is under threat affected by “Global Issues”.

The Beaver Scout Section

In his discourse to the assembled delegates, the Chief Commissioner spoke on the high points in the various sections. With the Beaver Scouts, this year 16 Beavers and 13 Leaders from the three Districts participated in the first “Beavers Adventurous Activity” in St. Vincent and the Grenadines from October 19 to 21, 2012. Although this sleep-over was short, it was a memorable occasion.

The Cub Scouts Section

The Chief Commissioner in reporting on this Section stated that the reports from the National Cub Scouts Committee continued to show the dedication of the Leaders in this Section.

Without doubt, there are more Cub Scouts in Barbados when compared to members of other Sections. He continued by reporting that it was for this purpose that sustained efforts must continue to encourage parents to see the need to have the boys continue in the Scout programme beyond the Cub Scout stage.

With reference to the Leaders who work in this section, the Chief noted that those Leaders who work with the Cubs must be versatile, in that, with the many new technologies to which the Cubs are exposed, Scouting authorities must be just as or more knowledgeable that the Cub in order to keep abreast of the way things are currently being done.

There were times when the Cub Scouts from the various Packs were in the field doing practical work as in this case when the Cubs from First Barbados Sea Scouts Group visited a joiner’s shop and were give first hand instructions on the use of the many tools of the trade.

More on the Annual General Meeting will follow in the next edition of On my Honour.

Acting as Chief Scout and President of the BBSA

The Chief Scout informed the Annual General Meeting that he will be away on official business for a number of weeks and while he is away, Sir Marston Gibson, KA, Chief Justice of Barbados and a 1976 Queen Scout, will act as Chief Scout and President of the Barbados Boy Scouts Association. Sir Marston was a member of the St. Matthias Scout Group.

Presentation of Award

President Emeritus Sir Harcourt Lewis was presented with a national Scout Award in recognition of his over 60 years engagement with the national Association. This award was presented by the Chief Scout and President of the Barbados Boy Scouts Association Sir Elliott Belgrave after the Chief Commissioner expressed the association’s thanks to Sir Harcourt for his commitment to Scouting. Sir Harcourt’s last posting in Scouting was President and Chairman of the National Scout Executive.

Congratulations Sir Harcourt.

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