Scout Profile: Ali Firsuhan from Maldives

Each month International News profiles a Scout from overseas:

Ali Firsuhan, Maldives 

First Scout Promise: In 2004 at the age of 14.

Current Scouting role: I’m a Scout Leader at one of the local Scout Groups in Male’ (the capital city of Maldives) and also the Group Scribe at a community based Rover Crew.

In the real world: I work at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Maldives. It gives me nothing but happiness by working in the Government and well it provides the opportunity for me to live and work overseas.

Ali

Ali having some fun while working as a ‘Pinky’ at the Kandersteg Scout Centre

On Scouting crossing global borders: 

Scouting is an international movement that encourages meetings across cultural and geographical borders. It is about being with friends as part of a team, and participating fully in the adventure and other opportunities of life. An important part of Scouting is to meet and develop from the exchange with others from across the globe.

Scouting is my life compass; it has guided me to discover myself and try out many new activities un-common for the typical scholar. Scouting is inseparable; it will always be in my veins forever; the law, the motto, and the promise I vow to live up to for the rest of my life. Scouting truly is a movement with a mission for me. It is more than an organization; it is a way of life. It is what we say and do in the spirit of the scout oath and law. Scouting has always given me fantastic opportunities, that people who are not in scouts will never experience. It’s about having fun with good friends.

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Best part of Scouting:

Scouting is one of the most rewarding and fun organizations that our children and youngsters can be part of. As I have to play different roles in Scouting, from which most responsible and challenging is being a Scout leader. I enjoy spending times with my Scouts. Sure, there are challenges being a scout leader. The weekly commitment to troop meetings, the one weekend a month and one week a year at camp, the challenge with helping reluctant or apathetic parents get involved. But the rewards are tremendous as well as I try in my small way to help build scouts into committed, responsible and successful men. Getting to see young people grow, learn and become responsible and active citizens is without doubt the coolest and most rewarding thing you can do.

On Maldivian Scouting:

We have lot of pancake islands which are extremely flat and floating on the blue ocean where we can go for outings, camping’s etc. Direct access to the vast oceans allows us to run varieties of water activities on natural waters like float camping; you can also take a hike on the turquoise lagoons going from one island to another enriched by white sandy beaches. It’s a haven for water-based activities; swimming, snorkelling, scuba diving, canoeing, boating etc. Gorgeous white sand beaches lead out to turquoise waters where colored fish dart in and out of the coral gardens.

Biggest challenge for Scouting today:

We in the Maldives, for us one of the huge challenge is having insufficient youth program. Future youth programme should develop “21st century” skills – in other words, we should be prepared for the challenges awaiting us in the 21st century, trained adults and leaders should be trained with updated tools responding to the current needs. The Youth Programme should remain in tune with evolving global societal realities, trends and technologies.The programme offered to Scouts around the world needs to clearly focus on delivering life skills that are compatible with the requirements of a 21st century society. We must empower our Scouts to put their “dreams into action in partnership with adults.” Leadership skills learned and developed in Scouting are imperative.

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Report: Communications in the Asia-Pacific Region

Bogor, Indonesia

Last week I was lucky enough to attend the Asia Pacific Region’s annual workshop on marketing and communications. It was a great opportunity to meet other keen Scouts from around the region, and to discuss how we can help to achieve the goal of growing Scouting from 40 million members to 100 million by 2023!

Bogor, Indonesia

How to make Scouting sexy was the (somewhat controversial) question asked to us by Mr Ong Hock Chuan, a former journalist and PR and communications expert. He reminded us that young people hold the key to it all. He also told us about some truly innovative social media campaigns. Have you ever heard of banana trophies? Check out Dole Banana’s campaign to see some really outside the box thinking!

One of my favourite sessions in the workshop was on crisis management. We had to work in teams and act as spokespeople for a made up crisis occurring at a local jamboree. It started off as a bridge collapse, and throughout the course of the afternoon escalated into a situation involving terrorism! Maybe not the most likely situation but definitely a great learning experience.

All in all the conference left me with a lot to think about – imagine if Scouting in Australia was an important part of schooling (like it is in Indonesia), or if it was featured 2-3 times per week in the media (which happens in Sri Lanka), could we have a celebrity spokesperson to represent Scouts (also in Indonesia)?

It was a great four days of networking, learning about Scouting around the Asia-Pacific region, and learning about the host country Indonesia. And don’t forget, if you haven’t already, create your profile on scout.org to join our permanent Jamboree!

Leah Gibson is a volunteer with the Marketing and Communications Team in Scouts Victoria, coordinating the peer-to-peer media program, and is also a Venturer Leader. 

JOTA-JOTI:Connect to the world this October!

Each year Scouts from around the world can connect and share experiences during Jamboree Over The Air (JOTA) and Jamboree Over The Internet (JOTI).  It’s happening again very soon – 18th and 19th October –  anywhere and everywhere in Australia you can be connected.

Get yourself and your youth members involved. It will bring a new, global perspective to Scouting and you’ll have fun at the same time. Learn about others Scouts’ weekly activities, camps, and adventures in the largest Scouting activity in world!

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Each year it is amazing experience for all involved, and it is going to be even more special this year with a special broadcast from the Chief Scout of Australia, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd), the Governor-General of Australia

You can integrate JOTA/JOTI as part of your weekly program, or even get involved from a camp you are already on! Queensland Branch has put together a brilliant guide how to prepare for the event you can find here. Plus information on how to sign up can also be found on the National website.

Check out this amazing video from Western Victoria on the activities they ran last year!

And the International Team would love to hear from you if you take part in JOTA/JOTI so please send us an email with pictures of you taking part!

Open Call: help the World Scout Committee

The 40th World Scout Conference in Slovenia set an ambitious level of work for the World Scout Committee to undertake. So, they need help.

In order to draw upon the full talent available in Scouting around the world, the World Scout Committee has issued an Open Call for volunteers to join working groups and taskforces to deliver specific projects, develop tools or review certain policies.

This is a very exciting opportunity for Scouts Australia members to use the skills they have professionally, or have developed through Scouting to contribute to our movement at the world level.

No promises of a grey uniform, but exciting work  awaits

No promises of a grey uniform, but exciting work awaits. Photo: Brendan Watson.

In order to prevent the World Scout Committee from being inundated with applications, Scouts Australia will be operating an initial screening process to assess suitability of applicants.

If you would like to nominate for the World Scout Committee Open Call, you will need to:

  1. Read the full WOSM Circular – available here
  2. Read the World Triennial Plan 2014-2017 – available here
  3. Submit an Expression of Interest to Scouts Australia through the online form by 12th October – available here

If you have any questions, please contact Andrew Cooper, Assistant International Commissioner via email: int.assistantcomm@scouts.com.au

Scout Profile: Kaylee Galipeau from Canada

Each month International News profiles a Scout from overseas:

Kaylee Galipeau, Canada

First Scout Promise: My Beaver Scout investiture when I was 5 years old – September 1996. I was with the 9th Hermitage Scout group in my hometown of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Current Scouting Role: National Youth Commissioner, Chair of the National Youth Network, and an officer of the Board of Governors.

In the real world: I live in Grande Prairie, Alberta and I work in Municipal Government Administration, with aspirations of becoming a CAO (Chief Administrative Officer) in a municipality. Outside of work I spend lots of time outdoors with my partner David, and spend time with our pets Harper the Hedgehog and Nancy the Ball Python.

Kaylee Galipeau is the National Youth Commissioner and a member of the Board of Govenors, Scouts Canada

Kaylee Galipeau is the National Youth Commissioner and a member of the Board of Govenors, Scouts Canada

On youth engagement in decision making:

In Canada we work in a “Key 3” system. This means that at every level (group, area, council, national) there is a staff member, a volunteer, and a volunteer under 26 that work in an equal partnership to oversee the operations at their level. This includes everything from training to screening to program. As the National Youth Commissioner I work in equal partnership with our National Commissioner, Doug Reid, and our CEO, Andrew Price.  The three of us are in constant communication and collaborate to run things at the National Level of Scouts Canada.

All three of the National Key 3 sit on the Board of Governors, but there’s also a requirement that 3 members of the Board of Governors be under 26. Youth involvement is such an important part of what we do that myself and the other youth members aren’t seen as just “youth members” or asked our opinions on just “youth issues.” Being a part of the Board has been a great learning experience for me, but I also have lots of opportunities to meaningfully contribute on all matters that come to the board.

On a funny Scouting memory:

As a Cub Scout when winter camping it was always an important rule to drink a hot beverage before bedtime to get something warm into you. (Keep in mind we were tenting in -20 degrees). I hated hot chocolate and anything else, so my Scouters used to get me to drink hot juice. On one particular trip it was blue raspberry juice. I wasn’t feeling well and threw up, which of course covered the snow and turned it blue. My poor scouters then had everyone wanting blue juice to make snow art!

On Canadian Scouting:

Canada is the only WOSM member country with two distinctly recognized NSOs. We have Scouts Canada, which is bilingual, but also l’association des scouts du Canada which is a strictly Francophone organization. We have in recent years greatly strengthened our partnership with them.

Our National Youth Spokesperson Program is also unique. Once a year we bring a selection of members under 26 together to receive media training. They gain skills to prepare them to act as our spokespeople. The program started in 2010 and has been very successful. We now have a growing bank of young people that act as our representatives in TV, Radio, & Print. They do a great job, and are much more representative of what our organization is about than the traditional model of your most senior people taking all the calls.

On the biggest challenge facing Scouting today:

In Canada at least, we need to reach out to our great diversity. We need to connect with new (and old) Canadians of all cultures. I think especially in the leadership of all Scout organizations, we need to celebrate and benefit from all types of diversity: age, spiritual beliefs, gender, sexuality, culture etc. We can only become stronger because of it!