Davao City, known as the fruit capital of the Philippines, located in southern part of the country, welcomes representatives from more than nine national Scout organizations (NSOs) and 16 local councils of Boy Scouts of the Philippines who are participating in the first ever Asia Pacific Regional Workshop on Community-based Scouting. The workshop runs from 27th to 30th June with 38 participants who are expected to share useful and valuable experiences in community based Scouting.
In Asia Pacific, over 90% of NSOs have school-based Scouting modes. The current regional strategic plan, endorsed by the last regional conference, aims to focus on the various aspects of community based Scouting. Hence this workshop aims to identify the importance of extending Scouting beyond schools thereby creating a closer relationship with communities and reaching out to more young people. This is one of the ways to achieve the regional target of 4% annual growth across the region in time for the next Scout conference in 2012.
APR Programme Sub-Committee Chairman Jose Eduardo Delgado officiated the formal opening of the workshop, attended by BSP Secretary General JR Pangilinan who delivered a special message from APR Chairman Jejomar C Binay. The message stressed that even in the Philippines, Scouting started in the communities and it eventually became totally integrated in schools. Binay stressed, “we must reach areas where Scouting has not reached before”, citing the Ticket to Life project as an excellent work in progress where street children are trained in life skills the Scouting way.
At the workshop, participants will have the opportunity to meet community Scout groups in the Barangays (smallest social units) and Barangay leaders will host them for dinner.
Wendel Avisado, Workshop Director and Chairman of the Local Scout Council, welcomed the participants and said that he is more than happy to host the workshop. He appreciated the city government for its strong support to Scouting and for hosting a grand welcome dinner for the participants at Eden Park Resort, a famous ecological attraction. The park is 3000 ft above sea level and the habitat of more than 100,000 pine trees on a sprawling 80 hectares. It has a wide variety of flowers and fruits, and abundant with animal sanctuaries and vegetable patches.
Among the resource people at the workshop are Programme sub-committee vice chairman Rajalingam Ramasamy (Malaysia) and Ms Susi Yuliati (Indonesia), a sub-committee member.