memories

It has been quite a long time since I last wrote and as a result of some reflections I had about it at a blogging workshop at FPA, I concluded that, at times, I had tend to have written when I was irritated or needed a space to write about something that I truly felt sharing with the rest of the world. However, what I am going to write today is something completely different from those reflections I had last month, but something which I was involved since I was a kid in school.

I learnt about Scouting when I was in the sixth grade in school and that was in year 2000. Looking back, it is only now that I only realize that, fourteen years ago I had joined one of the most life changing movements ever in my life. This movement changed my life and prepared me for future challenges one step at a time, where I slowly progressed and eventually became a President Scout. Later I started the Patrol Leader’s Council Chairmans’ Forum (now known as the PLCCF) and became its first Vice Chairperson. I also gave back to my school by leading the junior batches for few years by being a Scouter. Today, I am giving all what I can to the Colombo District Scout Movement by being the Secretary of the Executive Committee. Even to-date I still learn lessons that no one else would be able to teach, all thanks to its founder.

The Colombo District Branch of the Sri Lanka Scout Association celebrates 100 years of Scouting in Colombo this year. Scouting has a rich history commencing in 1914 and producing great leaders to the society. Colombo has been celebrating the centenary year with several events including the Colombo Centenary International Scout Jamboree in Madampe. Lord Robert Stevenson Smyth Baden Powell known as Baden Powell of Gilwell, created this Movement in 1907 and over 40 million youth around the world are in the scout movement. The movement does not place its members in a world apart, but strives to increase their involvement in their own community. The mission is to enable boys and girls to develop their fullest potential as responsible citizens of the world.

Started in 1912, the Sri Lanka the scout movement, was nurtured by District Civil Engineer F. G. Stevens who was employed in the Public Works Department in Matale. He started the First Boys Scout Group at Christ Church College Matale, with which the story of scouting was initiated and later grown in to a stronger movement across the country. The story goes that Stevens was greatly troubled by the unruly acts of the school boys next door who made more than a nuisance of themselves as they ransacked his garden, throwing stones at the fruit trees and plucking fruits from the trees. After many problems and constant disturbances of his much needed rest he decide to do something about putting the boys “spare time” to better use. Thus he came up with the idea of starting a ‘Boy Scout Troop’ already a major success in England. Further on establishing the first scouts troop Stevens became its Chief Commissioner from 1912 to 1920 within which period he also started the publication Ceylon Scout. Stevens left the country in 1945 on retirement. His services to the movement were recognized by Lord Baden Powell who awarded Stevens the “Silver Wolf”, which is the highest award for adult leaders. F. G. Stevens will always be remembered as the founder and father of Sri Lankan Scouting. On June 14, 1914 the ‘First Colombo – President’s Own – scout troop which is the First Open Scout troop and the Third Scout troop of Sri Lanka was established.

The Colombo Scouts Centenary Dinner will provide an opportunity for the current & former scouts, scouters and veterans in scouting to look back at what they have done to their communities and the country at large and to continue pledge to uphold the vision of its founder Baden Powell who believed that the fraternity of scouting could do much for social and civil amity. Thus its objective could be said to inculcate in a scout the spirit of self-respect and love for his community and country; all this and more learned in a sharing and caring and fun atmosphere. Fourteen Scouting personalities will be felicitated at this event for their dedication, commitment and services extended voluntarily to the District movement and the country at large. The event which is to be held at the Grand Oriental Hotel in Colombo on Saturday, October 25, 2014 from 7.00 pm onwards is the next important milestone in the Centenary Anniversary Celebrations. If you are a scout reading this post, dinner tickets are priced at Rs 2500/- each and could be reserved by calling Mr. Brendon Matthew on 011-5339228 or 0777713448 today. It is an opportunity never to be missed, so hurry and avoid any disappointment!

So, I wouldn’t make any promises yet, especially promises to come back and write. Maybe I will come back and write about things that I am passionate about or maybe things that I’m involved in. So till I see you next, good bye and have a great time.

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