World Thinking Day/Founder’s Day Statement
In Baden-Powell’s last message to Scouters and Guiders, released after his death in 1941, in describing the purpose of Scouting and Guiding he wrote “Its aim is to produce healthy, happy, helpful citizens, of both sexes, to eradicate the prevailing narrow self-interest; personal, political, sectarian and national, and to substitute for it a broader spirit of self-sacrifice and service in the cause of humanity; and thus to develop mutual goodwill and cooperation not only within our own country but abroad, between all countries.”
As we reflect back over the events which have happened over the last year, we can clearly conclude that the purpose mentioned by the Founder remains as relevant today as it was in 1941, if not even more so.
From natural disasters, to human conflicts, to ongoing social injustices including lack of access to healthcare, education and a safe space to live, in the last year young people across the world have found themselves, their families and their communities impacted in ways which will change their lives forever.
But, without exception, in response to each natural disaster, each human conflict, each global issue, young people across the globe are standing up, making themselves heard, advocating on behalf of others and taking action to make the world a better place.
The privilege of our roles is that everyday we get to hear from, speak with and see in action the inspiring young people and the incredible volunteers that support them, who in the name of Guiding and Scouting selflessly give their time and expertise each day to support others.
From the relief response mobilized in the immediate aftermath of the Nepal Earthquake, to the sustained and co-ordinated efforts in place to support refugees displaced from their homes, to our joint delegation to COP21 lobbying global leaders to take action now in relation to climate change, the contribution and impact of Scouts and Guides all over the world has been significant.
This active contribution to a better world adds to the irreplaceable educational role that Scouting and Guiding continues to have in thousands of communities across the world. Through our unique methodology we continue creating meaningful learning experiences which build knowledge, awareness, understanding and empathy and develop autonomy and self-confidence in millions of young people world wide.
So for World Thinking Day and Founder’s Day 2016, on the day when we celebrate the joint birthday of our Founders, we encourage you to take a moment to reflect on the vision that Baden Powell described so passionately; that we reconfirm our commitment to bringing together young people united in peace and friendship, that we support each other, working in a spirit of collaboration to ensure as many young people as possible are able to benefit from the opportunities that being members of our two global organisations can provide.
Thank you for everything you do in support of Guiding and Scouting and we wish you a very Happy World Thinking Day and Founder’s Day!