Today is Founders Day. This is the day of the year when 40 million Scouts from around the world will come together in their Scout Patrols, Groups, Troops and other gatherings to renew their Scout Promise. I too will do the same with Scouts from various religious organisations gathered in Vienna for the World Scout Interreligious Dialogue event jointly organised by WOSM with King Abdullah International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID).
Baden-Powell, in his last message to all Scouts (http://scout.org/node/19215) said, “the real way to get happiness is by giving out happiness to other people.” Every moment of my life, particularly now that I am the Secretary General of this great Movement, I feel committed to this cause of spreading happiness. It truly fills me with great joy each time I see a smile on the face of a Scout I meet, whether the Scout is from the Ticket to Life Group in Manila or at an international Scout event, such as this one I am part of in Vienna.
To celebrate the legacy of this great man – as the best friend of every Scout, Baden-Powell – we have launched a new Facebook Page (www.facebook.com/badenpowell). This Page will feature stories about Baden-Powell himself, excerpts from his writings, quotes, pictures and other materials - all with a focus on explaining the Scout Movement and making the underlying values clear to the followers of the Facebook page. While the material could be historical, the focus will be displaying this information in a context that is relevant today. By doing this, we will ensure that the Baden-Powell Page will not be a “Wikipedia-like historical site,” but rather a page that will help communicate how the original values and principles are relevant in a modern setting. The Baden-Powell Facebook page will play a big role in building and reinforcing the Scout identity across several boundaries.
World Scouting’s flagship initiative, “Messengers of Peace,” has launched a noble initiative of asking all Scouts from around the world to come together on our ground-breaking new website scout.org to share gifts for Baden-Powell. These gifts will be of service actions from grassroots level that Scouts perform. I look forward to reading your great projects and initiatives as birthday gifts to Baden-Powell, our beloved Founder.
In Vienna, we are discussing dialogue and understanding how Scouting – one of the most diverse organisations where people come from various religious, social, economic and cultural backgrounds – comes together to hold up “One Promise – The Scout Promise”. On my honour I promise to…
I want to leave you with one more quote from B-P’s last message: “stick to your Scout Promise always when you have ceased to be a (Scout) - and God help you to do it.”
Scott A. Teare
Secretary General, World Organization of the Scout Movement