Rovers re-build schools in Maasin City
Large banners signaled the arrival of 1,200 Rovers to the small city of Maasin in southern Philippines. They came from nearby and distant provinces from all over the country, like Tawi-Tawi province traveling for five days. Their sole destination is the Forest Park for the 7th National Rover Moot of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines (BSP), a 300 acre forest reserve dedicated by the city government as a campsite for Scouts.
The Rovers camped for two and a half days for vigorous community work with local Scouts, teachers, parents and government workers of Maasin. They repaired public schools using materials provided by local government. One of the school principals said, “We are thrilled to be part of this major undertaking. We never had this before.”
Maasin City Mayor Maloney L Samaco was present at the opening ceremony with other representatives of the government and BSP Secretary General JR Pangilinan. Regional Director Abdullah Rasheed, as guest speaker, talked about the the need for Rovering to be a robust section within the Scout Movement in the Philippines. He said, “Rovering makes young people active instead of passive. It enables self-control, a healthy mind and body, a service-oriented attitude”. He emphasized that Rovering gives young people a sense of direction – not to drift away – as they paddle their own canoe in their journey through life.
Boy Scouts of the Philippines has 17,000 Rover Scouts with much potential to grow. The Regional Director challenged the Rovers to double their number so that Scouting could reach out more to young people in their communities, citing the recent typhoons as opportunities where they could serve their localities on a continuing basis. He also urged them to join the “Scouts of the World Award”, that would engage them in actions of world importance that promote the universal values of freedom, tolerance, equality, respect for nature, and shared responsibility.