This July, Iceland will be hosting an international gathering of Scouts at the 2017 World Scout Moot. The event happens every four years, and it involves thousands of Scouts from dozens of countries across the globe.
This year’s Scout Moot will host over 4,600 Scouts from 95 different countries. This is the first time the Moot has come to Iceland, so Scouts are anxious to explore the unique culture. Past Scout Moots occurred in Taiwan, Kenya, Mexico, and various European nations.
The encampment is open to Scouts ages 18 to 25 and mixes high adventure activities with learning opportunities and classes. The Scouts are grouped into expedition camps, where they go hiking, swimming, climbing, and do team building activities. The purpose of the World Scout Moot, according to the World Scout Committee, is to “provide an international and intercultural learning opportunity for young adults that share Scouting’s values”. The Moot accomplishes this by giving the Scouts an opportunity to meet Scouts from other countries.
One day of the Moot is called international day, where Scout groups have a chance to showcase their culture. Groups can request a booth at the culture carnival, where they can show off their unique food, traditions, and music. The Scouts then roam around experiencing the different cultures’ customs and cuisine, learning from their fellow Scouts. As one Moot representative stated, “The whole day will give our participants the opportunity to experience CHANGE in an atmosphere of International Friendship and to feel the realization of BP’s Dream”.
Featured Country: El Salvador
My cousin Sofia Chew (left) is one of many Scouts from across the world attending the 2017 Scout Moot. She will be representing the Central American country of El Salvador, along with her group of Rover Scouts. Sofia has been in Scouting for seven years and has traveled to Honduras, Guatemala, and Colombia previously with her group. Her group of Rover Scouts include both boys and girls ages 17 to 21. She frequently has told me stories about her Scouting activities and seems to be in love with Scouting. I’ve been able to meet some of the friends she has made through Scouting, which are still some of her best friends to this day.
The Association of Scouts El Salvador was officially chartered by their federal government in 1944, and it has flourished since then. The Scout Movement’s mission, as stated on their official website, is to “contribute to the education of the youth, through a system of values based on the Scout Promise and Scout law, to help construct a better world, where people better themselves as individuals and play a constructive role in society”.
Their Scout Law is very similar to the Scout Law in the BSA, stating a Scout is:”trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, cares for nature, persistent, cheerful, hardworking, clean, and pure”.
If your Scouts are not able to attend the Moot this year, consider getting a group together for the World Scout Jamboree 2019. The World Jamboree Committee chose The Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia as the venue for the world event. More information can be found by visiting their page.
Photos courtesy of Associacion de Scouts El Salvador