Home‎ > ‎

Scouting world

Những người tị nạn trẻ tìm lại cuộc đời trong Hướng đạo

posted Dec 15, 2017, 9:01 AM by Hung La   [ updated Dec 15, 2017, 9:12 AM ]

Scouts Abound | Tin WOSM


Chúng ta đã nghe kể lại những câu chuyện cảm động của Omar và Saad, hay của Abas và gia đình của anh; họ là những người tị nạn từ Syria. Nhưng  các bạn có biết rằng cả Saborn Va ở Campuchia và gần đây hơn, Ayham người Syria, cũng đã thấy cảm hứng để bắt đầu lại cuộc đời bằng Hướng đạo.

Saborn Va bị buộc phải rời Campuchia với mẹ vào năm 1980 vì tình trạng chính trị bất ổn trong nước. Đó không phải là một kinh nghiệm đẹp; Va nói về việc tái định cư của gia đình anh tại Hoa Kỳ,

“Hoàng hôn của đời của chúng tôi đã trở ánh bình minh.” 

Bây giờ anh đã 37 tuổi và dẫn đầu một nhóm 30 Hứng đạo sinh tị nạn từ khắp nơi trên thế giới, phần lớn từ Myanmar và Thái Lan qua Chương trình Hướng đạo Người ti nạn của Châu Great Salt Lake ở tiểu bang Utah.

Đối với phần lớn những người này, giáo dục  Hướng đạo đã thay đổi cuộc sống của họ. Hướng đạo đã cho phép họ kết bạn và đi tiếp giống như Va. Anh Va nói:

“Những người tị nạn này cần Hướng đạo nhiều hơn bao giờ hết ... Họ cần Hướng đạo, và chúng ta cần họ.”

Ayham, một người Syria 20 tuổi, đã đến Bỉ mười tám tháng trước. Anh đã phải rời bỏ đất nước đang bị chiến tranh tàn phá vì ở đó không còn an toàn để sống được nữa. Trước khi rời Syria, anh đang đang học y khoa ở Damas và ngôi nhà của anh ở Swede, một trong những thành phố an toàn cuối cùng.

Hôm nay, anh và gia đình anh đang sống tại thành phố Jette, Bỉ. Cha mẹ anh sẽ bắt đầu hành nghề nha sĩ trở lại. Trong khi đó Ayham đã dành sáu tháng sau khi đến Bỉ để  học tiếng Pháp và hai tháng học tiếng Hoà Lan; anh đang tình nguyện là trưởng trong một ấu đoàn ở Wemmel. Anh đã tham dự kỳ trại đầu tiên như là Won-Tolla, một con sói đơn độc vẫn tiếp tục cuộc săn mặc dù chỉ còn ba chân. Đây là điều anh cảm thấy phản ảnh câu chuyện của đời mình.

Hướng đạo đã cho Ayham cảm giác anh có bạn, anh là một phần của cộng đồng, khi các em sói con xem anh như trưởng của chúng, và các trưởng khác đối xử với anh như là bạn đồng nghiệp. Họ đã hân hoan chào đón và giới thiệu anh với nền văn hóa Bỉ. Ayham hy vọng sẽ tiếp tục trở lại đi học nay mai và tiếp tục sinh hoạt Hướng đạo trong cộng đồng mới của mình.

Đọc những bài dưới đây, để hiểu thêm về cách Hướng đạo đang giúp người tị nạn trên toàn thế giới như thế nào:


Hình ảnh của La libre; Nick Wagner, Desert News; RTBF
Nguồn: by World Scouting, These Young Refugees Found A New Beginning In Scouting, truy cập 15 tháng 12, 2017.

Lessons Learned as a Boy Scout

posted Dec 27, 2011, 1:57 PM by Cong Haydieu   [ updated Dec 15, 2017, 8:54 AM by Hung La ]

Bill Marriott
Posted: January 23, 2008 03:39:10 PM

 Many years ago, I joined Boy Scout Troop 241 in Chevy Chase, Maryland. It was one of the most rewarding and difficult experiences of my life. Finally, I achieved the highest Boy Scout honor, that of becoming an Eagle Scout. It took a lot of hard work and determination.

 My time in the Scouts, however, had a great effect on my life. You know, back then, over sixty years ago, scouting was different from what it is today. I was a city kid and I was working on my merit badges and I had no place to camp out. So, to get camping merit badge, I had to sleep out 50 nights. Where was I going to do that? Well, my folks helped me buy a tent and I put it in the backyard and out of my fifty nights, I think forty of them were backyard nights. But I slept out and I was able to qualify for that merit badge.

 Back then, too, we had to see forty different birds. I can't tell you how many bird walks I went on around Washington, D.C. to try to spot all those birds, but I finally got my forty.

 The toughest part, however, comes back to camping merit badge when I had to start a fire by rubbing two sticks together. I had to create a spark from those two sticks and then put a little tinder, blow on it and get the fire started. Well I worked and worked and worked in front of my counselor on those two sticks and almost passed out - finally getting that little spark going and blowing it into that pile of tinder and getting the fire started. That was probably the single most difficult part of being a scout - camping merit badge.

 Scouts are still a great part of my life. All three of my sons have become Eagle Scouts, as has my son-in-law and five of my grandsons so far. I have a lot of fond memories of my time in scouting and seeing my sons and grandsons grow up in scouting is a great thrill.

 Boy Scouts are very important to me. I want other boys to get the most out of scouting and enjoy their time learning many of the same lessons I did. That's why we established Camp Marriott in Goshen, Virginia. Scouts go there to camp and participate in many other outdoor activities to earn their merit badges.

 It's not just the boys in our family that are active in the Scouts. Three of my granddaughters were Girl Scouts. Our company also actively supports the Girl Scouts. Partnering with the Girl Scouts Council of the Nation's Capital here in Washington, D.C. we have created a program to help prepare a diverse group of these young girls for careers in the hospitality industry. In fact, we are going to be hosting a career day we are calling the "Hospitality Hotshots" for Cadet-level Girl Scouts in the Washington, D.C. area very soon.

 I'm always excited to have former Scouts come work for Marriott because I know the lessons they've learned from scouting, such as leadership and teamwork, will make them great employees for our company.

 I'm Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the move.



Source: Bill Marriott, Lessons Learned as a Boy Scout. Retrieved on Dec 27, 2011 at http://www.blogs.marriott.com/marriott-on-the-move/2008/01/lessons-learned-as-a-boy-scout.html

Scouts Canada Apology

posted Dec 8, 2011, 5:47 PM by Cong Haydieu   [ updated Dec 10, 2011, 7:54 AM ]


Scout’s Honour

posted Nov 23, 2011, 12:38 PM by Cong Haydieu   [ updated Dec 1, 2011, 12:54 PM ]

Words by John Thornton. Photos by Charles Barnes

 Boy and girl scouts have been teaching life lessons to kids around the world for over 100 years. Find out how the youth of Vietnam are still benefiting from this tradition.

 

IT’S 9AM ON A SUNNY AND HOT Sunday morning. The parks of Ho Chi Minh City are bustling with frenetic activity.

 Like other green spaces in the city, the expansive Hoang Van Thu Park, in Tan Binh, is heaving. Divided in two by the one-way Phan Thuc Duyen Street, and connected by an elevated pedestrian bridge crossing, scores of giggly, gossiping tweens, elderly newspaper-readers and early morning fitness fanatics happily coexist.

 However, the largest group making itself noticed is undoubtedly the scouts. Comprising hundreds of boys and girls, local children as young as seven up to the age of 25 meet here on a weekly basis for two hours at a time to not only have fun but to learn a valuable skill set designed to equip and prepare them for the various, and sometimes arduous, challenges life has in store.

 Split into coeducational Cub Scouts (seven to 11-year-olds), Boy and Girl Scouts (11 to 15), Venture Scouts (15 to 18) and Rover Scouts (18 to 25), the scouting movement was first introduced to Vietnam in 1930 via the French. Initially the preserve of French secondary school pupils and the offspring of wealthy Vietnamese, its popularity soon spread through the classes nationwide, particularly in the south, culminating in the establishment and operation of the Vietnamese Scout Association by athlete Tran Van Khac.

 At the movement’s peak in 1959, over 5,000 Scout members were registered in Vietnam(1), and the country regularly participated in the annual World Scout Jamboree, as well as hosting its own national version. Throughout time, politicians, physicians, composers such as Luu Huu Phuoc and writers like Cung Giu Nguyen have all been scouts, and the movement was said to play an important role in Vietnamese society, teaching young people to be independent in their studies and in decision-making.

 And though an official governing body no longer exists, the movement lives on. As it stands, Vietnam is the country with the largest population to have scouting that’s not recognised by the World Order of the Scouting Movement.

  The Assembly Call

 Tu Duy, scoutmaster of the 25-member Le Loi troop (named after the Vietnamese king), signals the beginning of the traditional opening assembly, whereby various troops line up in age order in front of their respective leaders to salute the flag, recite the Scout Oath (“On my honour I promise that I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country, to help other people at all times and obey the Scout Law”) and 10 acts of Scout Law.

 “This is an important part of the day,” says Tu. “It reminds the children of what it is to truly be a scout and what is expected of them. That is why the law says a scout must be honourable, loyal, respectful, disciplined, courteous, and helpful to all people and animals at all times.”

 Decked out in khaki short-sleeved shirts, black berets, green neckerchiefs, and knee- length navy blue shorts, the 25 members of the Le Loi Boy Scouts troop look every bit the part. 14-year-old Quan, the assistant patrol leader for Le Loi troop, is laden with merit badges, including those for hiking, swimming, astronomy, first aid and camping.

 Other kids sport badges for fishing, rope climbing, collecting garbage, knot-tying, and even for learning Morse Code, while others have not yet been a member long enough to even receive the neckerchief (after six months) or basic uniform (three weeks) — a test of one’s commitment to the scouting cause.

 Following the end of the assembly, the children disburse back into their respective troops. Some erect tents while others make flags or simply sit and listen to stories. About a dozen girl scouts from the Au Co troop (named after the Vietnamese goddess) stand paired off in a circle with a balloon tied around their ankles. They’re playing a game designed to impart the virtues of teamwork. One girls explains that each pair must protect their balloons while attempting to burst the others with their feet. The winner is the remaining pair that successfully guards both their balloons.

 However, theory is largely taught at the park, with the kids able to put their skills into practice on camping trips once every three months at national parks and rural countryside in Vung Tau, Nha Trang and Dalat. Most of the children have also participated in the Asian Pacific Region Jamboree, held every three years, most recently in the Philippines in 2009.

 The Last Boy Scout

 Parents and curious onlookers watch everything on the sidelines and one father explains that his 12-year-old son is the latest in a long line of family scouts dating back nearly 70 years. The pride that comes with being a scout is prevalent, not only in the proud parents, but in the kids themselves.

 21-year-old student, Hoang, is a Rover Scout and leader of the Hai Dang Cub Scout troop from Dong Thap Province. He says that giving back to the community makes being a scout a worthwhile experience.

 “Every year we visit a different leprosy clinic and talk to the patients, clean up their living areas by picking up garbage and fix things that are broken. For this, scouting makes me feel very good and is something I know my friends and myself will want our future children and grandchildren to do.”

 Though the scouting movement in Vietnam appears healthy (over 4,000 Scouts were recorded in Vietnam in April this year, and websites such as ScoutFace and Giupich.org are dedicated to Vietnamese scouting), unless it’s once again officially recognised, it’s difficult to say whether the country will ever see a return to the glory days of the 1950s and 1960s.

 In any case, it’s probably best to take heed of the universal scout motto and “sap san” (be prepared).


Source: John Thornton. Photos by Charles Barnes, Scout’s Honour, The World Ho Chi Minh City, Print Edition, November 2011 Issue, Pages 84-85.

(1) Scouts Abound: According to the the Vietnam Scout Association's record, in total there were 14,432 registered youth and adult members, at the end of 1974. Source: Sáo Dễ Thương, Bốn gỗ xưa bốn gỗ nay, gỗ nào hay gỗ nào dở, Giữ Vững Mối Dây No. 6, part 2, p. 41, 2011.


It’s Only One Lifetime a Week

posted Nov 5, 2011, 2:17 PM by Cong Haydieu   [ updated Nov 12, 2011, 8:29 PM ]

 Christopher von Roretz

 

 Have you ever come home  from a meeting, on a night where the youth simply wouldn’t listen, and asked yourself, “Why am I still doing this?” You are a volunteer after all; lured in by the thought of helping out, and with lines such as, “It’s only one hour a week!”

 One challenge Scouting faces when compared to soccer or hockey is that the benefit from Scouting is long-term, and sometimes, you quite simply will not see the fruits of your labours at every weekly meeting. That is why I’d like to tell you what scouting has brought me, as a reminder of just what that “one hour” can mean to a child.

 I joined Cubs when two of my best friends invited me along as a guest, and I enjoyed myself enough during that one exposure that I was soon registered. After completing the Scout program a few years later, myself and a few others created a Venturer company, and then later a Rover crew. As a Scout, I also began helping out with our Beaver colony, and continued to do so for more than a decade. In recent years, I have signed on as an assistant Scouter, in addition to my roles at the group committee and council level. Over this period, I have also been on several camp planning teams, including one for CJ’07, as deputy camp chief.

 The impact that these diverse experiences have had on all facets of my persona, however, are much less evident at first glance. Only recently have I been able to look back on my growth as a youth over the past fifteen years and see how Scouting has sculpted me to become who I am.

 At the beginning of elementary school, I was shy and introverted. In Cubs, I learned to be more outgoing, sociable, and how to work individually, and as part of a team, towards goals.

 During high school, Scouts taught me not only to be confident, but also how to appreciate the value of hard work and its benefits. Academically, the impact of learning that full effort leads to more fulfilling rewards is more evident than anywhere else. The work ethics I have adopted, whereby I am only really happy when busy, are a product of my Scouting experiences. Venturers exposed me to an assortment of new skills, such as how to plan activities and camps, and how to be organized and responsible. My roles in leader ship positions have further highlighted these values, while also teaching me a new collection of skills including how to communicate and delegate. 

 

The lessons that I learned, and continue to learn in Scouting, have been intricately laced into my personal development, so that while I may only have been in Scouting for one-and-a- half hours a week (excluding camps, activities, fundraisers, planning, etc.), the effect of Scouting was occurring throughout each day of my life. While school taught me how to think, and my family taught me how to behave, Scouting taught me how to live.

 Recently, I have had the pleasure of working with some Scouters in Training, whom I first met when they were Beavers many years ago. It sparked pride in me for having been involved in the teaching of these youth; emphasized because I am now able to see what they have become.

 Yet for these few youth that I or any of us see, there are dozens, or even hundreds, whom we may never meet again. This does not mean that they have failed, or that their leaders did not have the “right” kind of impact on their lives. I strongly believe that even participating in one Scouting meeting leaves a youth better off, and that no matter when the time comes for that youth’s Scouting experience to end, the time he or she spent in this Movement will have left a meaningful imprint on that child’s life.

 As leaders, we must often live with little more than the comfort of knowing the difference we, and Scouting, have made. When I look at what Scouting has brought me, I cannot begin to think of how I could express my gratitude to the leaders that played a pivotal part in molding me into who I am today. Actually, that inexpressible appreciation should be directed to leaders everywhere, because you have all made a difference in the lives of children through your dedication.

 Though weekly meetings may only be about one hour, the impact of that short time can change lives.

  

 Christopher von Roretz is a Scout leader with the Strathmore Group in Dorval, Quebec.

 Source: Scouts Canada Magazine, THE LEADER, p. 38, March 2008

Letter to the Editor of Bach Ma newsletter

posted Nov 1, 2011, 6:43 AM by Cong Haydieu   [ updated Nov 7, 2011, 5:44 PM ]

 February 25, 2004

 Bach Ma, 10542 Greta Circle

 CYPRESS - CALIFORNIA 93630

 Dear Editor (Bach Ma): 

 

  Since you mentioned my name in your newsletter (Bach Ma, December 2003, issue # 43), I have no other choice but to express my opinion in order to avoid any further misunderstanding concerning the meeting amongst Mr. Vinh Dao, Nguyen Tan De and myself at the 6th Thang Tien Jamboree in Virginia, USA, in June 1998, on the subject of hoisting the yellow flag with three stripes of the former Republic of Vietnam at official Scout functions.

 Section 1, Article 1 of the Constitution of Scout Movement clearly defines that “The Scout Movement is a voluntary non-political educational movement for young people open to all without distinction of origin, race or creed, in accordance with the purpose, principles and method conceived by the Founder and stated below”.

 Furthermore, Section 1, Article IV of the same constitution states: “The Organisation of the Scout Movement at world level is governed by this constitution under the title of The Organisation of the Scout Movement as an independent, nonpolitical, non-governemental organisation”.

 Of course, violation of this constitution is subject to investigation by the World Scout Committee and the World Scout Bureau is the implementing arm carrying out the decisions of the World Scout Committee and the World Scout Conference.

 During my tenure as the Regional Director of the World Scout Bureau’s Asia Pacific Region, I attended two Vietnamese Jamborees, one in Australia, December 1995 and the 6th Thang Tien Jamboree in Virginia, U.S.A. in June 1998, our of my love of Scouting and Vietnamese people. I expressed my concern over the act of hoisting the yellow flag of the former Republic of Vietnam at official Scout gatherings. I officially pointed out this political act to Mr. Vinh Dao, the then Chairman of International Committee of Vietnamese Scouting, the only organ that the World Bureau is dealing with matters related to Scouting in Vietnam.

 

I strongly believe that the question of the yellow flag was not Nguyen Tan De’s issue of concern. Your article is far twisted from the truth and created misunderstanding amongst Vietnamese Scouts and leaders who read your newsletter. I would ask you to retract your article and publish this letter in your “Bach Ma” newsletter, so that Vietnamese Scout leaders abroad would understand the issue clearly.

 

Moreover, the action of hoisting the yellox flag will harm thousands of Scouts in Vietnam, who are carrying out Scouting under the constant surveillance by the communist authorities, who are extremely sensitive to Scouting activities in the southern part of Vietnam. Their every intention is to find out possible clues if Scouts are connected with any anti-communist elements outside Vietnam and to suppress them. We must be concerned about the well-being of Scouts in Vietnam by not creating any adverse situation, such as hoisting yellow flag at Scouts events, which is detrimental to our brothers and sisters who are living under limited freedom.

 We, including myself who fought in Vietnam along with US and ROV Forces in 1966-68, prefer to see a democratic government in Vietnam. However, restoring a democratic government in Vietnam is certainly not the task of Scouting whether you are in Vietnam, in US or in Australia.

 Also, I am questioning you what is your motive to print only a part of the e-mail that Nguyen Tan De sent to me on May 23, 2003? Why not print the entire e-mail, so it would not be out of context? As an Editor, it is un-ethical to print or use other people’s personal e-mail withour their knowledge or permission. I demand you to explain how and where you obtained this e-mail. Moreover, you do not have my permission to use or quote my personal e-mail. I am sure Nguyen Tan De feels the same way.

 May God bless Scouting in Vietnam!

 Sincerely yours,

 (Signed) Kim Kyu-Young

 Former Regional Director, APR-Region - 138-20, Yonhi-dong, Seodaemun-ku - SEOUL. 120-113 KOREA

 C.C.:  Vinh Dao

            Nguyen Tan De

            Nguyen Van Thuat, ICCVS

            Perkins, Mann & Everett, Attorney at Law

 Enclosures


 Scouts abound:

 Source of Mr. Kim Kyu-Young's letter: Thư gởi chủ nhiệm BM, http://voigia.over-blog.com/article-1325587.html accessed on October 1st, 2011

Illustration image:  Patch of the 6th Thang Tien Jamboree in Virginia, U.S.A. in June 1998.

Editor of Bach Ma (a scouts magazine in Vietnamese published in the USA) is former scouter Tôn Thất Hy.

 KIM KYU-YOUNG

 World Scout Bureau

 Regional Director, Asia-Pacific Regional Office

 Kim Kyu-Young has been serving the Scout Movement for over 30 years. During his term as Regional Director since 1990, regional membership has soared from 8 million to 19.5 million. Scout associations in the region – he has travelled to 30 countries and territories across Asia and the Pacific have benefited from his initiatives in organizational leadership, developing resources, establishing Scout Foundations and registration systems, adult resources management, information technology, and relationships.

 As Secretary General of Boy Scouts of Korea, he played a key role in the planning stages of the 17th World Scout Jamboree in 1991. In addition he has helped to organize several Asia-Pacific Jamborees and other youth events. The publication by the Asia-Pacific Region of a guide to planning large Scout events was largely due to his inspiration and persistence.

 Kim Kyu-Young’s services are anchored on strong leadership, management and relationships, leading to strengthening of regional solidarity and cooperation.

 As interlocutor and team leader, he has provided opportunities for capacity building for individuals (volunteers and professionals) and for National Scout Associations.

 Source: 36th World Scout Conference- Bronze Wolf - CITATIONS 1999-2002, p. 8

 Read Vietnamese version translated by Scouts abound here.

World Scout Bureau, APR and Vietnam

posted Oct 28, 2011, 8:56 PM by Cong Haydieu   [ updated Nov 7, 2011, 5:44 PM ]

Excerpts from the Remarks of the Regional Director, World Scout Bureau, Asia Pacific Region, at the opening of the Wood badge Course for Vietnamese leaders

Abdullah Rasheed

 

Mt. Makiling, Laguna, Philippines

 

1 September 2010

 

It is indeed a very historic occasion to be able to organize this course exclusively for the Vietnamese leaders conducted by a group of leader trainers from different countries including the Philippines. As we all know Vietnam had been a founding member of the Asia Pacific Region and we are extremely happy to be able to organize this course towards the development of Scouting in Vietnam. Congratulations to all the leaders who have made it and are able to attend the course. A large number of leaders of 130 applied for the course but we had to limited participation to 50 as we could not take more for a single course. We intend to continue this course in the future for the remaining applicants.

Taking the opportunity of this large gathering of Vietnamese scout leaders from over 30 scout groups let me highlight some of the very basic policies which are being followed by the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) in assisting the development of scouting in Vietnam.

First, WOSM will only deal with those Vietnamese Scout leaders who are residing in Vietnam and are therefore representing Vietnam. WOSM will not deal with any overseas groups in relation to scouting in Vietnam. Second, as there are many scouting groups in Vietnam and in the absence of any national scout organization, WOSM will continue to communicate with as many groups as possible and will keep in contact with them. However, WOSM does not recognize any one of the existing scouting groups in Vietnam as the sole representative of Vietnamese Scouting. For participation of Vietnam in any regional event as observers, the Regional scout Committee welcomes Vietnam as it did in the past. However, for any such participation, representatives from any two or more existing groups must be there and they will be listed in the event as one troop under the name Vietnam.

In the region, we all look forward to Vietnam becoming a full member of WOSM again. However, this can only happen once the very basics are accomplished. That is starting with a Constitution for Vietnam National Scout Organization, which is endorsed by the majority of the representatives from the existing scouting groups in Vietnam. This will lead to the formation of one national scout organization/association in Vietnam where the office bearers must be elected / appointed by a representative body/gathering. No existing scouting group currently operating in Vietnam will automatically be recognized as the national organization/national association. Once the national organization, together with the office bearers are established, all scouting groups currently operating in Vietnam will be registered in the national body. Hence let us all move forward and do not let history be an obstacle towards the formation of a national association and Vietnam becoming a WOSM member. Let us learn from history and move forward.

This specific course organized by the Asia Pacific Regional office together with the Boy Scouts of the Philippines will meet the usual standard expected for a wood badge course and anyone who completes the course will only receive a “Participation Certificate” but will not receive a wood badge certificate automatically. To qualify for the Wood Badge Certificate and the right to wear the wood badge beads, the participants must duly complete the assignments that will be given to them at the end of the course. The report at the end of the completion of assignment should be submitted to the regional office for endorsement. The Wood Badge Certificate will be issued using the standard as specified in the Training Scheme of the Boys Scouts of the Philippines (BSP) since there is no national association in Vietnam and only recognized national scout organizations can issue the standard Wood badge Certificate. Your Certificate will be issued by BSP co-signed by the regional office.

I appreciate the full support extended by BSP for the running of this course, together with the regional team of leader trainers. A very hearty appreciation to Bill Philipps of Equador who is financially helping to run the course and who has always rendered financial help for the development of scouting in Vietnam. He has visited Vietnam some years back and he is keen to see scouting developed in Vietnam under the guidance of the Asia pacific Regional Office.

Congratulations to everyone who made to this course possible and we hope that all participants of this course will successfully achieve the Wood Badge in the near future. This important training should make a big difference in the development of scouting in Vietnam.


Source: Excerpts from the Remarks of the Regional Director, World Scout Bureau, Asia Pacific Region, at the opening of the Wood badge Course for Vietnamese leaders, APR. Truy cập 1/10/2010 http://giupich.org/Tin-nuoc-ngoai/Bai-phat-bieu-cua-Truong-RaSheed.html. Photo source: Abdullah Rasheed, Regional Directorscout.org. Vietnamese version translated by giupich.org.

Scouting … Memories and a Lifestyle

posted Oct 27, 2011, 7:58 AM by Cong Haydieu   [ updated Nov 12, 2011, 8:30 PM ]

Comical Peacock

  

Lc nh cũ ra tìm ch viết, xếp tâm thư li đ tìm nhau…(1)

 2007 – Phong trào Hướng đạo đã đóng góp với cộng đồng thế giới từ 100 năm qua.

Đây là bài viết vào mùa hè 1998, nhân dịp gặp lại một số anh em đã sống với nhau một quãng đời niên thiếu ở Sài Gòn. Viết cho bạn bè, và cũng là một chia sẻ với những người tuổi trẻ ngày xưa và thiếu niên bây giờ về một sinh hoạt ít được người Việt hôm nay (trong cũng như ngoài nước) quan tâm hay biết đến.

Dear friends, this is an opportunity for friends to share our thoughts after more than twenty years scouting together. The reason I choose to write this in my second language is that I wish to include the younger members and and friends of our Scouting family who may be more at ease reading English.

Friends, young and those not so young, please bear with me, I am not a writer; hence, you may find many mistakes in this writing. However, I did my best to keep it compressible to most. Also this is a reminiscence of a middle-aged person’s Scouting experience beginning more than thirty years earlier. (It is now 2011 - more than 40 years has passed.) It is said memories are so imperfect; so am I. Only vivid impression will be recounted, here for all of us to see.

The night was thick with humidity. These tiny little mosquitoes wakened me up. Scratching, turning on my side, I wondered what time it was. It must be late, very late. Those darn mosquitoes would not cooperate. The tent was always too small for all of us. We needed a good night sleep for the wide game next morning. Squinting, looking through the wide opening of our tent, I saw two shadows against the moonlight. They were sitting next to the subdued campfire talking in low voice. One was fanning smoke toward our tent’s opening and the other looked as if he was sipping something. What were they up to? Rubbing my eyes, I recognised who they were. They were my Scoutmaster and his assistant. They stayed up late talking most likely about the next morning game, while trying to smoke out the unfriendly and hungry mosquitoes hoping we would have a good night rest.

That was a night long ago at one of our camps in Vietnam. The image of my Scouting brothers fanning mosquitoes remains forever fresh in my memory. My scoutmaster… Let me pause for a moment to share with you some subtle differences in our languages. Scoutmaster is the term used by Scouts from English speaking countries to address their number one troop Scouter. This was an old terminology; in our mother language, we do not have a stiff, severe-sounding term such as “Scoutmaster”. He was our anh đoàn trưởng. The word “anh” means brother. The term Scoutmaster does not really describe what “anh” is to us. Yes, they were my brothers, my Scouting brothers. They were never a master or an assistant master. I will introduce this assistant to you later. Our troop scouters were young men in their early twenties. Like most of us they once were Scouts in our troop. Becoming patrol leaders and later accepting the responsibility of taking care of younger Scouts were part of that natural path in the troop. Our troop was more like a family. We did not have a sister figure at this time. Remember, this was years ago when there were no female scouters in any troop.

In our family, the younger brothers learned from their elders. What did I learn from my brothers in Scouting? I learned a lot. I learned that they cared for younger Scouts not unlike parents do for their children. They show us the love for the outdoors, and the skill required to live in harmony with nature. Growing up with these young men was an integral part of my youth. Together with a formal education and the nurturing of family life, Scouting left an impressive mark in the make-up of my present being.

Scouting has helped me to develop my potential in many respects: physical, intellectual, social and spiritual. Through its principles and practices, scouting also help me to understand the value of being a responsible member of our communities, be it local or international.

Back to my troop leaders, they were certainly not professional teachers or psychologists. Like us, they learned to enjoy scouting through their leaders, so on and so on. The reason for the Scouting movement has been so successful for so long is because of its solid foundation and its very flexible and adaptive framework. We practiced what we have learned. This process repeated itself year after year with an occasional updated twist to fit the current generation of youth.

My leaders lead. They set examples for us younger Scouts. I still remembered the first big camp in the countryside. Our patrol leader showed us how to make a fire and prepare our own meal. He patiently went through the technical details of the air vents, the air direction, the fuel, etc. Oh, another thing, it was not, and would never be a hot-dog-on-a-stick even if we had hot dogs which we did not. It was a full course meal with soup and other delicacies. They were, of course, delicacies to me. That was the first time I cooked. All of these activities took place under a tarp quickly put up as the kitchen shelter with the rain coming in. It was pouring rain, summer rain in Vietnam. It is difficult how we felt. It is a grand achievement for boys in their early teens to learn that they are capable of doing things, which they thought, could only be done by their mothers. At home after the camp, I issued the challenge to my older sisters. They know how to cook, but not like us Scouts, cooking in the rain with nothing but a few branches of dry wood. Nowadays, with our new awareness of the environment, camp has become more lightweight and no-trace with the use of propane or naphtha stoves. I often recount this story to my children during our family camp outs or when we have an opportunity to setup a campfire.
My patrol leader was also the Assistant Scoutmaster we encountered earlier. He was my idol. I listened to him more than I did my own parents at times. He was the one I emulated, and looked up to. Jeez, he knew so many things. He was so smart. I thought I would be very happy if I could be half as good as he was. Have you ever tried doing some of the knots with one hand with the rope on the ground? Have you tried the climber’s knot also with one hand? I was so impressed with the speed at which my patrol leader transcribed Morse codes or semaphore, as well as his amazing logic shown in deciphering many coded messages. We were shown how to construct maps of the local area where we camped. We learned to say thanks to the owner of the property we used. Also, without fail, every single time we left the camp ground a little better than we found it. These were things we learned as young boys. We learned while being submerged in the beauty of nature, and in the freedom of the outdoors. We learned by doing.

Other interesting Scouting activities were camp skits and Scout songs. I do not have the analytical data to explain what gave most boys the courage to be bad actors and singers. Bad or good, most of us had in deed eliminated the natural shyness in front of a camp crowd. We sang and we acted before any audience without fear. The glare of the campfire may have had something to do with this phenomenon! Scouts see nothing, hear nothing, and thus fear nothing? Seriously, these camp activities brought out many comedians, actors, singers, and songwriters amongst us. In fact, many Scout leaders authored many Scout songs.

To this day, I attribute to scouting my many attempts – regardless how bad they are – at Seinfeld impression or some other stand-up routines.

In Scouting we learned to work with one another as a team using patrol system. It was transparent to most of us. We practiced and lived it. We were only conscious of the system at the Patrol Leader training camp where we were again reminded of how it works. As Scouts, boys have to learn the art of management. A patrol leader is responsible for training the younger members of his patrol. At the patrol level, there many decisions to be made collectively and many tasks to be delegated individually, be it the kind of skit the patrol will present at the campfire, the camp menu or record keeping or being the treasurer. That is one of many ways we learned about responsibility as well as accountability.

Growing older, as a Scout, I had opportunities to participate in other kind of troop activities: doing work for the community. Some project I remembered are public solicitation for donations to help typhoons victims, cement bloc laying in some less fortunate districts of the city, or on a bigger scale, cleaning up and helping erect temporary shelters for bombs and fire victims.

Earlier, I mentioned that my scouters, patrol leader and other Scouts were my brothers. Yes they were my brothers in the true sense of the word. There was no parents’ committee or local sponsoring body in Vietnam Scouting at the time I was a Scout. In our situation, there was not any need. My leaders were considered family members. They were informed of what their Scouts were not doing at home. For example, pots and pans were not restored to earlier condition, loss of utensils, over sleeping, etc. Amazingly, I find that today-Scouts also manage to do all of this immediately after camp just like we did. My leaders were thus naturally mandated to rectify the situation. In general, our leaders had a close relationship with the Scouts’ parents, in particular with mine. My two older sisters may or may not have something to do with it. I was not the only boy of my family who was a Scout. My younger brother joined the troop the same time I did. That was another reason that my parents were present at many camps we participated, especially in the early days. Later on, my two sisters also became members of the Scouting family. They joined the group as Cub leaders. As they came of age, my other two younger brothers also joined Scouting. Yes that was the confidence my parents had for the movement indirectly. Directly, they entrusted us to the guidance of our leaders.

Scouting is indeed an optimal environment to foster confidence, trust and love amongst fellow human beings, especially if the opportunity is given at an early age. Our friendship has lasted for thirty, forty and even fifty years and counting. We have made a group of great friends for life. There also have been many happy marriages in our Scouting family. I do not have to look very far. Many of my friends met their spouses in Scouting as one of my sisters met hers.

Duty to Self is another Scouting principle. A scout also has the responsibility for the development of himself. As a Vietnamese scout of the sixties, an obvious way to demonstrate responsibility to self was being a good student. I ventured a guess; universally, most parents wish their children a good education for a secure future. How did this fit into my Scouting days? Our leaders were not only guiding us with outdoors skills they were also our tutors if need be.

After I finished my high school getting ready to go to university, there were only one engineering school and one technical teaching college in the whole southern part of the country. It was Saigon of the late 60s, early 70s not North America or Europe. I decided to increase my chances by registering for the competition for a seat at the technical teaching college. Yes, you read it right, competition. Here is the Scouting connection. Remember my patrol leader? He was already a student of the said university. Learning of my intention, he set up a fast-track program to beef up my technical skills. There were the “T” and the “I” soldering techniques and the electric stove he showed me how to build. Of course, I also had to know all the theoretical calculations of all those Joules and Watts. Exam time came. I had no difficulties with the Math and the Physics. The challenge was really in the practical part in the laboratory. I was shown a huge mass of metal. I had never seen the thing before in my life, neither at school nor at camp. I was asked to make in run and produce 220 volts. I was laughing at the time thinking about a beautiful stove I could have made. The writing, as the saying goes, was on the wall. Of course, I failed.

My failure at the entry examination was nothing compared to the Scouting experiences I have had.

I was impressed and excited with the outdoors skills there were to learn: camp crafts, map and compass and many other. Not that we need to know knots or Morse code or semaphore for present day-to-day life. These activities and skills taught and learnt in Scouting are in deed tools and means helping leaders to help youth. With some creative thinking, today scouters and patrol leaders can easily find many other interesting and newer skill-developing activities to complement or to replace the traditional ones. These activities themselves are not the objectives. Developing the youth’s potential is. All these learnings did wonders for me and I believe they would the same for youth of any generation.

I became a member of this worldwide organisation, as you know by now, more than forty years ago. In our troop, one ought to be invested at a camp setting. A few months after joining the troop I was taught how to do knots, to sing the patrol’s and the troop’s songs. I also memorised the Scouts Law and Promise. I had the troop neckerchief. I was considered a troop member; however, I was not a real scout who is a true member of the world organization until I was invested. Imagine how long these months were for me. I want to be member of the world organisation even though my world at the time was a circle with a diameter not bigger than 200 km. I am really pushing it by including the family trip to the coast. Otherwise, my daily world would not be bigger than ten city blocks.

The day came. My investiture camp was not very far from the outskirts of the city. At nightfall, all the candidates to be invested were gathered by their patrol leaders in a remote quarter of the camp to meet with troop scouters. There in a circle we sat. The atmosphere was somewhat different than most troop activities, which were always filled with fun and laughter. The air was fresh; the moon and stars were bright. It seems to me that most camp I had as a scout, the nights were always filled with stars and the moon light. For hours, we were asked one by one by anh đoàn trưởng (the scoutmaster) to explain, in our own words, our understanding of the Scouts Law and Promise. Memorising was so much easier, my friends. We tried our best to verbalise our version of some of the abstract concepts in these Law and Promise. Some even ventured to offer sort of an argument with respect to certain Law that requires absolute obedience toward parents and leaders. With his usual gentle tone, our skipper explained the values of “doing our best”. Late into the night, we also learned that the deal was – and I believe it still is – only those of us who agree with and abide by these Law and Promise should join the troop in the investiture ceremony in the morning. As we part for our tents, our gentle scouter dropped a little smoke bomb:

- Before retiring, please take some time to write up what you, who want to join us in the morning, consider bad deeds you have done. I need that at the ceremony.

I could not sleep yet. I wanted to be invested. I have to write up the stuffs asked of me. Well, what do I do? These thoughts were with me till I got in my tent. On my belly – that is the only position you can be functional inside a little tent with four or five other Scouts – flashlight on, I pulled out my song notebook. No, no, I was not about to sing anything! I was contemplating what to write. Flashing back were bad things I had committed. Wow, these were bad! Writing all down for him to see? Finish writing, I carefully tore the page of my notebook. Neatly folded, it was put in my breast pocket, which was of course buttoned down.

Morning came; we were in full uniform gathering in front of the troop’s flag. There stood the scoutmaster and his assistants, facing us, the candidates. One by one, lead by our patrol leaders, we came in front of the scouters.

- May I have what you wrote last night please?

Reached into my pocket for the folded paper, I was looking at the scoutmaster.

What? Is this going to be a public announcement? I wondered.

Butterfiles were all over in my stomach anticipating what might happened next.

Opening my paper, he glanced at it quickly. Pulling out a match, he said,

- Good! As you see, what written here only the candidate and myself know. And that will be the way it remains. From now on, brother, you restart afresh.

Striking the match, poof! He burnt my sins.

Again, it is not easy to describe what I had felt at the moment. I am neither a Buddhist nor a Chrsitian; however, I bet what I felt was better than being given absolution.

My left hand on the troop’s flag, the other doing the Scout sign, I solemnly recited the Promise. From that point on, I was proclaimed a member of the World Organisation of Scouting Movement.(2)

Talking about Scouting days without mentioning my first leaders would be inexcusable. I knew them even before meeting my patrol leader and my troop scouters. Without them I would not be the scout I am today. They not only gave me Scouting, they also gave me life. They are my parents. My father was not a scout in his younger days, however. The Scout Movement at that time was fairly new in Vietnam and was only available to youths of better opportunities, we were told. Like most children of his time, my father wished to be in the movement because he heard that it was a lot of fun. Later as a parent, he believed that Scouting would be a good educational experience for us. He sent us to Scouting with the hope that we would not be deprived of the the fun he missed as a boy. He and my mother were in deed very supportive of my troop and its leaders, well before the day we have parents committees as in present day organisation.

At the Zoological Garden in Saigon, my hometown, I joined the Scouting movement as a scout. That was a Sunday more than forty years ago.

Dear friends, dear young friends, if you are yet to be a scout, please come forward and join us. To other young friends who are already my brothers, I wish you a beautiful Scouting life. I hope you will learn with excellent leaders and patrol leaders as I had.

To my leaders in Scouting, the one being here with us today as well as others who have gone home and all other scouters, I respectfully borrow Tagore’s worlds in dedication to you all.

I slept and dreamt that life was joy.

I awoke and saw that life was service.

I acted and behold, service was joy.

Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941)


Montréal, Summer 1998.

(1) Theo ý thơ Nguyễn Gia Thiều, “Khóc Thị Bằng” (Đập cổ kính ra tìm lấy bóng, Xếp tàn y lại để dành hơi).
(2) There are more than 28 million Scouts, youth and adults, boys and girls, in 155 countries. (WOSM 2007)

Photos from author’s family collection: (1) Happy Scouting Days - Patrol Leaders Training Camp; (2) Anh đoàn trưởng, his assistants and us; (3) My patrol leader – Deciphering coded message; (4) Scouts – erecting shelters for 1968 Tet Offensive’a victims in Thi Nghe; The first image is the patch of our scouting district.

This was first published in a Scouts Special Edition released at the Vietnamese Scouting Jamboree and Reunion at Lake Faifax Park, Fairfax, Virginia, USA from June 28 to July 1, 1998 (Trại Họp Bạn Thẳng Tiến VI).

Internal meeting on Scouting in Vietnam

posted Oct 27, 2011, 7:38 AM by Cong Haydieu   [ updated Nov 7, 2011, 5:43 PM ]

Account of the internal meeting on Scouting in Vietnam

(New NGO. Article XVIII.4.5)

World Scout Bureau

Tuesday 18 May 2004

 

Participants:

 

Eduardo Missoni

Jean Cassaigneau

Malek Gabr

Luc Panissod

 

Special guests for consultation:

 

Vinh Dao, former chairman of the “Comité Central International du Scoutisme Vietnamien”

Mario Sica, former Italian ambassador in Vietnam, member of AGESCI

Nguyen Minh Hien (Mrs), Chief commissioner of the Association of Scouts and Guides of Vietnam in France, associated with the Federation of French Scouting

Gia Binh Lafouasse, member of the “Comité Central International du Scoutisme Vietnamien”

 

Objective of the meeting:

 

 1. To review (internally) the situation of Scouting in Vietnam.

 2. To establish a WSB plan of action for the possible reestablishment of the Movement in this

country.

 

Conclusions:

 The World Scout Bureau,

  1. thanks Jacques Moreillon, former Secretary General of WOSM, for the detailed file of information that he compiled before his departure, which has served as a reference document for this meeting,

 2. thanks Vinh Dao and Mario Sica for the comprehensive report of the history of Vietmanese Scouting,

 3. notes with satisfaction the implementation, by the Vietnamese Scouts abroad, of the contents of Resolution 8/96 adopted by the World Scout Conference (Oslo, 1006), which specifically calls for their integration into the National Scout Organizations in the countries in which they hold nationality.

 With reference to the revival of Scouting in Vietnam:

 1. The WSB takes note with satisfaction of the main content of the new legislation for the new associations in Vietnam, notably decree 88 of 30 July 2003, and also of the administrative circular sent out by the Minister of the Interior on 15 January 2004.

 2. The WSB observes however that in order to ensure that all of the conditions required by WOSM are fulfilled and Scouting in Vietnam is recognised, it is necessary to proceed with prudence and in stages.

 

- 2 -


 3. The Secretary General of WOSM therefore decides to move ahead according to the following two stages:

 • Before the end of July, if possible, an audience will be arranged with the head of the permanent Mission of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to the United Nations in Geneva, to discuss the content of the new legislation mentioned above and obtain its confirmation to establish the availability of assistance that can be provided by the WSB with regards to the revival of a National Scout Organization in this country. During this audience, emphasis will be placed on the objectives, principles and methods of contemporary Scouting as defined in the WOSM constitution,

 •  Before the end of November, if possible, depending on the outcomes of the audience with the Vietnamese representatives, an introductory visit for information will be arranged for the WSB at Hanoi and then at Ho Chi Minh City to meet the national provincial and local authorities, as well as the Scout groups that are currently active.

 With reference to the participation of Vietnamese Scouts at WOSM events:

 1. The Secretary General observed that Scouts of Vietnamese origin who are members of one or another of the National Scout Organizations of WOSM, can participate at the official WOSM events as part of the delegation or contingent of the NGO to which they belong.

 2. The Secretary General noted that only NGO members of WOSM can participate in official world and regional events.

 With reference to the specific case of Rev. Nguyen Quang Minh:

 The WSB thanks Vinh Dao for the file, and noted that the inputs completed those established by Jacques Moreillon. The WSB confirmed that the informal position of "Honorary Correspondent" granted to Rev. Nguyen Quang Minh by the Asia-Pacific Regional Office in 1991 has been annulled by letters from the Secretary General on 6 May 1992 and the Regional Director on 31 May 1992.

 

 

24.05.04

JC/ng

Blog #5

posted Feb 1, 2011, 3:28 PM by Cong Haydieu   [ updated Nov 5, 2011, 1:24 PM ]


1-10 of 10