Communication and dialogue, vital to creating a better world
The past few days were a busy and fun time for Scouts around the world as you connected with friends, old and new, over the air via amateur radio and the Internet, in conjunction with the 58th Jamboree On The Air (JOTA) and 19th Jamboree On the Internet (JOTI). For the first time, we also set up a JOTA-JOTI station at the World Scout Bureau Global Support Centre in Kuala Lumpur.
For many, it was an annual event that they eagerly looked forward to; while for many others, JOTA-JOTI will be etched in their mind as an event that they will now look forward to, having had the experience of making new friends, playing games, and exchanging views and ideas.
The theme of this year’s JOTA-JOTI, The Earth is Yours, was timely, given the global challenges that the world is trying to address. I am certain you took the opportunity to exchange ideas and best practices on addressing climate change when you connected with one another during the weekend. I congratulate you for doing that, especially since Scouts as Messengers of Peace are being looked upon to help improve or find positive solutions to create a better world.
The opportunities are there for us to go out and do our part for our local community, country and the world. We have done that in the past, doing it now and will continue to do so in the future. Your dedication to environmental protection is recognised, evidenced by the recent recognition given to all 40 million Scouts in World Scouting – the Youth Leadership Award for the Environment.
While the purpose of JOTA-JOTI is to enable and encourage Scouts to communicate with one another, to have a fun and educational Scouting experience, and to help you feel a sense of belonging to the Movement, I encourage you to take it a step further.
Continue to stay in touch with the friends you have made and continue the conversation and sharing of ideas. Discuss a project that you can do for your local community. Then expand it to be a state project, national project, a cross-border project, a global project. Nothing is too small or insignificant – you will never know when a simple idea can spark many more ideas that will bring about positive changes and make a difference to others!
Thank you for participating in JOTA-JOTI, and big THANK YOU to the World JOTA-JOTA team of volunteers who have worked tirelessly to ensure that this largest annual Scouting event went on as smoothly as possible. (Check out Flickr for more pictures on JOTA-JOTI around the world.)
To all Scouts, keep sharing and keep inspiring others. I look forward to hearing more stories from you, and reading them on scout.org.
Scott A. Teare
World Organization of the Scout Movement