The Green Island
The Green Island is a story telling how a National Youth Programme Committee uses the Renewed Approach to Programme (RAP) to update their youth programme. It needs to be read in conjunction with the RAP Toolbox (see below). It provides complementary information on the Renewed Approach to Programme and can be used as a case study to achieve a better understanding of RAP.
The Green Island tells the story of Ewa, Vladimir, Stefan, Olga and their friends, the Youth Programme Committee of a newly recreated Scout Association in a country of Central/Eastern Europe.
They are in charge of developing a new youth programme for their Association and, with the support of the Regional Scout Office they use RAP for this task
At the beginning of the story, Vladimir pays a visit to an old Professor of University, Jan Kessel, who helps him to understand the importance of developing an Educational Proposal in order to give a common project to all the adult leaders of their association.
Vladmir and their friends then invite the Professor to a retreat in the old monastery of St. Sophie. The Professor helps them discover the 6 areas of personal growth: physical, intellectual, emotional, social, spiritual and character development. He shows them how these areas interact each others and lead the growth of each human being from childhood to adulthood. The reader will find new and interesting perspectives, in these pages, particularly concerning emotional development, spiritual development and character development.
During a break, the four friends and the old Professor visit a small island on the river below the Monastery. This island is called "the Green Island" by the monks. They dream to organize their the first national camp of their Association.
They decide to distribute between each other the various tasks to be done to develop the youth programme. Olga, a teacher, works on the final educational objectives. While she is completing a first draft, she receives a visit from Viktor Gomerek, a very ambitious leader, who dreams to seize the power in the Association with the support of an old and conservative Scout leader, Boris Koncewitz. Olga is concerned by the way Boris try to manipulate her against her friends.
Vladimir goes to a European Scout seminar in the famous training centre of Gilwell Park. He discovers the world of International Scouting and gets a lot of information on the various stages of development from childhood to adulthood and the various age sections systems. He meets with Jane, the Youth Programme Director of the Regional Scout Office. Jane shares with him her concern: the European Office is waiting for several months the Constitution of their National Scout Organization. Without this Constitution, their organisation cannot be recognized.
At the same time, Ewa is attacked in the street and her flat is burgled. The tension increases when Ewa is informed that Piotr, the Chairman of the Association, is forced to resign because Boris Koncewitz has called to the court because the last General Assembly was not organised according to the statutes.
Boris Koncewitz, as Chairman of the Supervisory Board, takes the control of the Association with the assistance of Victor Gomerek. They are fully against the idea of developing a new youth programme. Ewa, Vladimir, Olga and Stefan are forced to quit their responsibilities. However, they decide to resist and gather around them the active leaders.
When Vladimir comes back from the United Kingdom, his friends invite him to a new retreat in St. Sophie with the old Professor. This time they discuss what a voluntary organization is and what are the principles of good governance and management. They decide to launch a new type of association based on networking and democracy. The first step will be to respond to the needs of unit leaders by providing them new resources to develop attractive and useful activities.
Stefan manages to obtain from the municipality a house which is unoccupied in order to create a Resource Centre. With Vladimir he welcomes Manu, a Belgian leader, who helps them to equip the Resource Centre and launch a computer network. While developing the Resource Centre, Ewa and her friends, work on the section methods.
They are also informed that Jane, the Regional Youth Programme Director, will visit the country to assess the situation of the Scout Association and try to reach an agreement with Boris Koncewitz in order to call a new General Assembly and solve the conflict. During her visit, Jane will run a seminar on personal progression.
Finally, Victor Gomerek, worried by the success of the Resource Centre, makes an attempt to destroy the credibility of Stefan towards the municipality by putting the fire to the house. Thanks to Manu and Stefan this attempt fails. Victor Gomerek is denounced by the young people he has manipulated and he is arrested by the police. Under the pressure of the Ministry of Youth and Jane, Boris Konciewitz calls a new General Assembly and resigns.
Ewa and her friends recover their roles and present successfully their new youth programme to the General Assembly.
The Green Island can be useful to programme developers, unit leaders, and trainers. It illustrates how the Renewed Approach to Programme (RAP) can be used in a Scout Association. It also points out some problems that National Scout Associations may face; such as lack of democracy, weak support and weak training of adult leaders. It gives some guidelines to overcome these problems and shows how the youth programme, adult resources and management are intricately linked.