Local News Update: Sri Lanka Scout Association in coordination with the Homagama District Scout Association this morning (30) during a visit undertaken by Mr Pushpakumara Mahagammulage, Homagama District Scout Association’s Executive President and Mr Suranga Handapangoda, District Scout Leader to the Army HQ, honoured the Army for its continued assistance to scouting movement and symbolically awarded two special and rare medals to the Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva.
The duo during the meet with the Army Chief gratefully acknowledged the Army’s uninterrupted cooperation for successful conduct of their projects in the past few years and solicited the same from the Army Chief for the forthcoming ‘Honoree-2020’ District Scout Camp, scheduled to be held at Kottawa Dharmapala Vidyalaya during 9- 12 January 2020, for which the Commander of the Army was also invited on the same occasion to grace as the Chief Guest in the closing ceremony of the scout camp.
During the meet, those scout leaders awarded Gilwell Reunion (Special Limited Edition) Medal as well as the Homagama District Scout Medal to the Commander of the Army and spoke high of the Army’s annual support to their campaign. The historic and prestigious Gilwell Reunion Medal is generally awarded only to 100 nos of selected scouts in the world as a commemorative tribute to the conduct of the First Wood Badge Scouting Course in 1919, for which the annual Gilwell Reunion meet is organized every year since the year 1921.
The Commander as in previous years pledged his organization’s fullest cooperation and appreciated the objectives of scouting and attempts, being made to mould the characters of young ones and create a harmonious society. The Scout camp in January 2020 will include dozens of workshops and seminars, as well as activity training and a practical, engaging programmes, evening entertainment features with live music, film screenings, quiz and campfire, the Commander was told by those senior scouts.
Scouting began in 1907 and was founded by Robert Baden-Powell, a Lieutenant General in the British Army, serving from 1876 until 1902 in India and Africa. In 1899, during the Second Boer War in South Africa, Baden-Powell successfully defended the town of Mafeking in a siege that lasted seven months. Baden-Powell’s troops were vastly outnumbered so he used local boys to administer first aid, carry messages and run errands.
On returning to the UK, Baden-Powell realized that boys at home could benefit from similar sorts of activities to the boys at Mafeking. These activities went on to form the basis of the Scouting Movement. While Scouting remains relevant, educational and exciting today, it has not strayed too far from its roots; outdoor adventure, helping others and Scouting skills remain the most iconic of its activities.