Thursday, August 02, 2007

Celebrating the Scouting Centenary in Lebanon

I will never again visit our Our Lady of Lebanon in Harissa and feel the same, because the events it witnessed and which I helped organize will be forever engraved in my memory.

On the 1st of August 2007 at the break of dawn, over 1200 active and retired leaders of the Scouts du Liban association gathered in Harissa to celebrate along with 28 million scouts across the world, the passing of 100 years since the first camp took place in Brownsea with the founder Baden Powell.

Gathered around an alter built amidst the cedars and under the loving gaze of Our Lady, we celebrated mass together and ended with a ceremony to renew our promise and commitment to a better world, to an education for peace, and to creating bonds of friendship that transcend race, religion, age, and creed. It was also an occasion to meet with scout leaders that had paved the way for us to be here...

It is such an honor to be part of this worldwide event and I can hardly grasp its implications... how lucky I am to have participated, and how my actions and those of my fellow members will help define scouting for the next 100 years. It is simply overwhelming...

The ceremony ended with the Scouts Oath Song, and my eyes became watery, as if singing it for the first time:

Devant tous je m'engage
Sur mon honneur,
Et je te fais hommage
De moi, Seigneur !

Je veux t'aimer sans cesse
De plus en plus.
Protège ma promesse,
Seigneur Jésus !

... I just want to keep in my heart the joy of the cubs, the energy of the scouts, and the service of the Rovers and to live to the utmost the message in Baden Powell's last letter, which said:

"But the real way to get happiness is by giving out happiness to other people. Try and leave this world a little better than you found it and when your turn comes to die, you can die happy in feeling that at any rate you have not wasted your time but have done your best. "Be Prepared" in this way, to live happy and to die happy - stick to your Scout promise always - even after you have ceased to be a boy - and God help you to do it."


At Wednesday, August 29, 2007 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I leave you a video on non violence. I hop you enjoy.
Big Hug, Roberto


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