26th Interamerican Scout Conference - Houston, Texas
Dear brothers and sisters in Scouting
It’s been one year since we met in Mexico for the Interamerican Scout Summit where you started to design the near future of this Region. Now you meet again to take that collective process one step beyond.
Earlier today, me and my colleagues from the World Scout Committee and World Scout Bureau already had the opportunity to update you on our work at World level.
I am happy to see that the Plan you’ll be discussing for the Interamerican Scout Region embraces Vision 2023 and the Global Strategy, and that you are ready to play a role in this collective endeavour. Both you and I know that the implementation of any Strategy is everybody’s business and your contribution is most welcome.
We are all aware of the challenges that you face in this Region being political, economical, or social ones. We know that these may constrain the development of Scouting. But, on the other hand, these challenges give us the opportunity to show what we are really made of; it gives us the possibility to demonstrate and value how much we care and stand for things like democracy, freedom, inclusiveness, an equal role for women, justice for all, creativity and self-expression, transparency, good use of resources, solidarity, true peace or active citizenship.
These are what we, Scouts, need to be associated with, wherever we live in the world. And we demonstrate this by deeds, not words.
In recent times, Scouts from this Region have shown what it means to be supportive and compassionate. To care about other human beings and be at their “service”. Be it by providing relief after the devastating earthquakes in Equador or the hurricane in Haiti; or by engaging in campaigns like “Ni una menos” in Argentina; or by bringing Scouting to remote areas of the Brasilian Amazonia. I thank you for the inspiration you provided to Scouts from all over the world. But above all, I thank you for the “service” you provided (and still do) to fellow human beings.
One year ago, when I addressed you in Mexico, I told you:
“The world has changed and continues to change very rapidly. And we can’t afford to do the same old Scouting. YES, our Mission is the same, but the members of the public are different and much more diverse; and so are the needs and challenges of our societies and our youth. This demands more flexibility, new approaches, collaboration with partners, best use of our resources, and imagination. These will certainly help to reach out to all segments of society, specially those who need Scouting more. And this will make us grow.”
I urge you to work together in this, not only within the Region but also with your brothers and sisters throughout the world. In the next three years, this Region will have three fantastic opportunities to build on the benefits of the Scouting fraternity: first, with JamCam, the Interamerican Scout Jamboree, to be held in Equador in December this year; then, in 2018, with the Interamerican Scout Moot in Peru; and finally, in 2019 when this Region will host more than 40,000 Scouts for the 19th World Scout Jamboree in North America.
With your engagement as leaders of this movement, and working hand in hand with others, making this world a better place will become Mission Possible.
Thank you for all you do for Scouting and for the young people in the Interamerican Scout Region.
I wish you a good and fruitful Regional Conference!
Extracted from the World Scout Committee Chairperson’s Address to the participants of the 26th Interamerican Scout Conference which was held from 26-29 October 2016.
Photo credit: Interamerican Scout Conference Media Team