An Open Letter
AN OPEN LETTER TO THE CHAIRPERSON AND MEMBERS OF THE WORLD SCOUT COMMITTEE AND
THE SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE WORLD ORGANIZATION OF THE SCOUT MOVEMENT
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Greetings from Jakarta, Indonesia. First of all, let me wish all of you a healthy, good, and successful life. This letter is my own opinion, not represented my National Scout Organization.
I write this open letter, since the matter arise in an open public space, which is in a globally social media website, Facebook.
Yesterday (2nd May 2017) I found a post in the official WOSM Facebook account with a photo of a girl wore her Scout uniform against a demonstrator in public space in Czech Republic. By posting the photo officially by the WOSM, is it means that WOSM now freely said, “it is OK to wear Scout uniform in a political event, like a mass demonstration”?
I asked this matter because as far as I know, Scouting is a non-political organization and I learnt that the rules not allowed someone to wear Scout uniform in a political event, moreover involved in a mass demonstration like in the photo, who can easily turn to chaotic/riots and very dangerous for the Scouts, which I also learnt it in the Risk Management Policy program.
I agree that Scouting is against racism, but to helps make the community understand and tolerance each other, mass demonstration is not a “Scouting way”. Yet I also agree that everyone has his/her right to express his/her political view, but if you are volunteered joined the Scouting movement, my opinion is that member of the Scouting movement should follow the rules.
I quoted one statement from the Fundamental Principles - The basic ideas underlying the Scout Movement, issued by the World Organization of the Scout Movement (copyrighted 1992):
“As an educational Movement, Scouting is non-political, in the sense that it is not involved in the struggle for power which is the subject-matter of politics and which is usually reflected in the system of political parties. This non-political character is constitutionally required from all national associations and is a basic characteristic of the Movement. This does not, however, mean that Scouting is completely divorced from political realities within a given country. In the first place, it is a Movement whose aim is to develop responsible citizenship; this civic education cannot be accomplished without an awareness of political realities with a country. In the second place, it is a Movement which is based upon a number of principles - fundamentals laws and beliefs - which condition the political opinions of members of the Movement”.
If you think that statement no more suitable for today’s world, I ask you to change it in the next World Scout Conference which will be held in Azerbaijan, next August 2017, and for the moment, I ask to all of you to give a simple answer for this matter.
Thank you very much, and have a great Scouting!
Yours in Scouting,
Leader Trainer, Scout Journalist, and Scout Historian
Photo taken from the WOSM official account on Facebook.
(First published in Berthold Sinaulan’s Facebook Account on 3rd May 2017)