Sri Lanka honors 100-year old Scout troop
Rajans International Scout Gathering of Centennial or RISGO Centennial 2013 was an international Scout Jamboree held on 18th to 22nd February 2013, marking the 100 years of the 1st Kandy Dharmaraja Scout Group, at the Lake View Park International Scout Centre in Kandy, Sri Lanka.
Scouting in Sri Lanka began in Christ Church College in 1912 followed by Dharmaraja College which formed the first Kandy Dharmaraja Scout Group in 1913 with the enthusiasm and drive of the then Principal Mr. K. F. Billimoria with the scout master Mr. J. H. de Saram, who became the first native Chief Commissioner of Scouting in Ceylon.
The 1st Kandy Dhrmaraja Scout Group has been consecutively awarded as the "Best Scout group in Sri Lanka" from 1993 up to now.
RISGO Centennial 2013, in cooperation with the Old Rajans Scout Association, the first old Scout union in the island, was the largest gathering of young people with participation of 29 countries around the world from all six region.
Chief Guest at the opening ceremony was World Scout Bureau, Asia-Pacific Regional Director Abdullah Rasheed joined by other notable government personalities and regional leaders including Governor and Chief Minister of Sri Lanka’s central province; Regional Scout Committee member Janaprith Fernando, Sri Lanka Scouts Association Chief Commissioner Prof Nimal De Silva.
In his remarks, Regional Director Abdullah Rasheed said that he was honored to be part of the huge celebration by one of the most successful troops not only in Sri Lanka but in the entire Scouting world. He congratulated the 1st Kandy Dhamaraja Scout Group for keeping the spirit of Scouting alive for several generations, and challenged the young participants to continue the tradition for more generations to come.
“More importantly, as Scouts we have a much bigger responsibility, which is to ensure that the values of Scouting such as Duty to God, Duty to Others, and Duty to Self, are well kept in whatever we do and for the rest of our lives,” he said.
Touching on the theme “Towards Global Leadership,” he encouraged the participants to remain grateful for the God-given nature of Kandy accompanied with the global responsibility. “Scouting is a good training ground for you to become leaders anywhere – starting with our own self-discipline, in your home, and extending to your school, your community or village, and later in life, to your country.”
A long range of activities such as special ceremonies, international night, camp fires, cultural shows, friendship games, adventure and exploration activities, team building events and open air display were prepared giving the participants a new exciting experiences.
Image 1: © RISGO Centennial 2013