Let’s take our collective energy and make a difference!

Message from Gary Pienaar, Chief Commissioner

Today, we join in unity with Scouts from all over the world, to mark the birthday of the founder of the Scout Movement, Robert Baden-Powell. Traditionally, during the weekend closest to the 22nd February, special ‘Founders Day’ gatherings and activities are held to celebrate our Movement and the lasting impact it has had on generations of young people. Members both young and old, will join together to share in Scouting’s lasting legacy.

Our world today is a very different place to the era when the very first Scout camp took place on Brownsea Island in 1907. But many of the core challenges and social ills are similar – rapid urbanization, access to education and health care, conflict, youth unemployment and poverty.  Scouting was seen as a programme to equip young people with meaningful skills and provide opportunities to overcome such challenging circumstances. These early experiences, convinced Baden-Powell of the importance empowering young people to expand their horizons, learning by doing, in an environment of kindness and encouragement, instead of one of fear and anger.  By working together, we could all ‘try our best to leave this world a little better than we found it’. Today, as a global Movement, Scouting continues this legacy to inspire and create positive change where it is active.

Closer to home, we also take this opportunity to acknowledge and recognise our members for their efforts, contributions and achievements during the past year.  For nothing of substance is achieved without hard work, dedication and commitment.

  • To our youth members receiving special advancement awards, well done on your achievements.
  • To those volunteers being recognised through either service or merit awards, congratulations.  Your contribution is greatly appreciated.
  • And finally, to Groups and Units being recognised through our Star Awards framework, your efforts in providing an active and compelling Scouting programme, have certainly paid dividends.

This year, our National Challenge is focused on ‘Health and Wellbeing’.  Being in good physical and mental health not only enables personal growth, but also contributes to Scouting’s mission of developing well-rounded, skilled, confident, and actively contributing citizens.  So, I encourage you to get involved with these challenge activities and make a difference in your Groups and local communities.  We also look forward to hearing and sharing your stories in the months ahead.

Robert Baden-Powell - Founders Day CelebrationsFinally in closing, Scouting greetings and my best wishes to all our members on this Founders Day.  Wherever you are, participate fully and enjoy the activities that have been planned in your Groups or Districts to mark this special occasion.  Draw inspiration that you are part of the largest and most influential youth organisation the world has ever known.  And then let’s take our collective energy and enthusiasm and get out there and make a difference in our communities!