From Facebook Group "Midlands (Echo) Scouts" (20th Feb 2012)|
*BADEN-POWELL CELEBRATION MESSAGE 2021*
I hope to find you well. It is my joy that I deliver my BP's message to you all. Its very unfortunate that we still are on lockdown and Covid-19 pandemic is still among us.
Today, we commemorate the birthday of the founder of Scouting, Robert Stephenson Symth Baden-Powell, who was born in London, England, on 22nd February, 1857.
It was the enthusiasm of "Stephe", as his family called him that motivated him to pursue an adventurous livelihood that gave birth to this greatest Youth Movement we now call, "Scouting". To think of it that the ideas of Scouting started as a personal adventure for "Stephe" in his hideout place known as "the Copse". It was never his imagination that one day his zest for life and mimicry would give birth to one of the biggest Youth Movement of our time.
Since, Scouting started, in 1907, many changes have taken place in the world, and Scouting has made changes too. It has never stood still, which is why it is called a Movement.
We are currently active in 216 countries and territories, with a global membership of over 31 million male and female. Is this not astounding? As we commemorate our founders day, the theme for this year is: *"SCOUTS THEN AND NOW"*. We are over a century old and the Scout Movement is still getting stronger, better, and exciting.
Here, in Zimbabwe Scouting began two years after it began in England; our first Troop(1st Pioneer Boy Scout Group) was formed in Bulawayo by the Rev'd T.O. Beattie in 1909. The biggest event of our history was the Central African Jamboree, held at Ruwa Scout Park in 1959, when over 1200 scouts met together from all over Southern Africa, plus Britain, America, Pakistan and Sweden.
We have made great strides over the years and today, we have 10 Scout Provinces. I am grateful to my predecessors who have been at the helm of the Association up to this day.
We have a long way to go and it is my wish and desire to see Scouting in Zimbabwe afloat. Over the years we have lost dedicated men who have given their all to volunteer to lead our scouts and make our Scouting glorious.
However, allow me to mention in particular *Robert Sayani Ndlovu* a dedicated leader from Matabeleland Scout Province who passed on last week on the 13th February, 2021. We will miss him together with other brave scouts and leaders who have gone home ahead of us.
As we all know that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought a new order and standstill cross the globe. An estimate 2.5 million people have died so far from the coronavirus COVID-19 globally. We remain steadfast and hopeful that a cure would be discovered soon. However, prevention is better than cure. We urge all our Scouting members to be cautious and to observe the stipulated regulations of *masking up, sanitizing, and maintaining social distancing.*
I know that many of us have missed going out and doing our Scouting meetings, camping's and other scouting activities. Your safety means a great deal to us and we continue to pray that this pandemic will be a thing of the past soon and we get back to our normal and usual Scouting activities.
The Scouting of today, demands us to be creative and innovative. We cannot be seen to be stagnant and it is my appeal that you our scouts and leaders come up with new ideas.
Scouting is designed to conquer challenges. If Baden-Powell wouldn't go an extra mile to think of brilliant ideas then we wouldn't have Scouting to talk about.
I think Baden-Powell has created a stronger foundation. It is now up to us to build a more resilient Scout Movement which is better than before.
Our version of Scouting must be that of transformation and innovation. We want our scouts to exhibit their ingenuity.
I pray and hope that our Scouting will be mature.
With these words I thank you once again for your resilience and steadfastness.
The new order at hand is that we are having these celebrations virtually.
May the good Lord bless us all.
Yours in Scouting,
Chris Bwanali (Chief Scout of Zimbabwe)