Scouts attending a camp in the Philippines take action for the environment
Thousands of Scouts present at the 8th National Scout Venture Camp of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines (BSP) in Iligan City, north of Mindanao came together to plant 3,000 tree seedlings at the National Steel Corporation Compound.
The tree planting activity is part of BSP’s Scouts Go Green Project that seeks to plant at least five million trees annually.
As part of the regular modules in the camp, the participants were asked to take action and participate in tree planting and clean-up activities in designated areas. While the Scouts are helping the environment, they are also able to complete their requirements to earn the World Scout Environment Badge (WSEB) under the World Scout Environment Programme (WSEP).
Towards the end of the camp, the World Scout Environment Badge was awarded to 5,057 Scouts for completing all the necessary requirements under the environment education framework. According to the BSP National Office, they have already conferred the World Scout Environment Badge to 25, 244 Cub Scouts, Scouts and Rovers since 2016.
The World Scout Environment Programme encourages young people to connect with nature, to think about how they interact with the environment, and to take action to protect it.
The leadership of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines is attributing the growth in the number of WSEB awardees to the simplified process in earning the badge as a result of its full integration into BSP’s advancement programme.
“We try to bring the WOSM World Programmes closer to more young people. In fact, just this year, we have fully launched our Revised Advancement Programme were the Messengers of Peace Programme, Scouts of the World Award Programme and the World Scout Environment Programme has been fully integrated,” said Rogelio S. Villa, Jr., BSP’s secretary general.
“This tree planting activity, coupled with some activities under the World Scout Environment Badge is our commitment to the environment,” he added further.
On another note, Scouts Go Green Project focal person Carmelo B. Francia said that the Scouts really worked for their award.
“These young Scouts really worked hard for their award. But more than the award itself, it’s their contribution to the environment that inspired me the most. Young as they are, they are already aware of the looming effects of climate change, and they are already taking action!”
The Scouts Go Green Project requires all of BSP’s Local Councils to plant indigenous and endemic trees for forest and watershed areas, flower and fruit-bearing trees for schools, homes and public places, and mangrove trees for coastal areas.