(MOTP) President David Granger on Sunday declared opened the 14th Caribbean Cuboree in Guyana at the D’urban Park, noting that the Scout movement has been able to build linkages between the school, places of worship and home, thereby contributing to the development of the character of the young people involved, so that they become responsible citizens within their communities.
The Cuboree is an event held every two years for young Scouts, particularly between the ages of eight to 11 for six days and five nights during, the break from school between July and August. The President, who addressed over 700 children participating in the event from across 14 countries in the region, said that the country was happy to welcome the various delegations, especially in the year of the Golden Jubilee.
“You have congregated here from the corners of the Caribbean. We are happy to have so many of you here on the continent of South America. We look forward to your having an enjoyable experience and memorable meetings with fellow Cub Scouts. Guyana celebrates its fiftieth anniversary of its Independence this year and is honoured to host this 14th Caribbean Cuboree. It is a special year for us and your presence here graces our Golden Jubilee year. Guyana was the first country in the Caribbean and the second on the continent of South America to introduce scouting. Scouting started here one hundred and seven years ago, in 1909 and Cub Scouts were introduced ninety years ago, in 1926,” the President said.
Delving deeper into the history of scouting President Granger said that the model of scouting that was transferred to this region was based primarily on character building among boys. However, while girls now make of the ranks of the institution, the sacred values of respect, reverence and discipline have remained constant.
“The Scout movement is no longer segregated. Boys and girls grow up in the same organisation learning to recognise and respect each other. The focus, however, never was confined to academic education or religious instruction.
Scouting involved outdoor activities and the development of life skills, which appealed to young people. Caribbean societies, such as ours, are built on the sure foundations family life, religious worship, education, responsible citizenship and loyalty to your countries. These values demand self-respect, respect for God, respect for your countries, respect for the laws of the land, respect for other citizens, respect for property and respect for the environment, which sustains life,” President Granger told the participants.
He noted that the Scout movement in the Caribbean has been inculcating these values in the young for more than a century and onus was now on this generation of Cub Scouts, to continue that ‘virtuous tradition’.
“I encourage you to enjoy yourselves; to educate yourselves about different countries and cultures and to encounter fellow Cubs from the Caribbean. Your visit to Guyana will expose you to experiences that will deepen your commitment to your own countries and that will strengthen your character as citizens of the future,” he urged.
Meanwhile, Camp Chief, Ms. Zaida Joaquin in her brief remarks, said that the presence of such a large number of Scouts in Guyana for the Cuboree was demonstrative of the commitment the young leaders had for the promotion of a better world.
“We consider it a rare and distinct honour to host these young leaders, who will someday shape the course of world affairs. Your presence here is evidence that people everywhere are doing their utmost to preserve peace and save humanity through the use of love and understanding. This occasion is a demonstration that young people like you want to preserve this world and to assert your right to live in a world of peace, trust and decency,” she said.
President of the Scouts Association of Guyana, Mr. Ramsay Ali, in his remarks, noted that the planning of the event began since last year. He noted that the support of President Granger, who is patron of the organisation, has played a significant role in the event becoming a reality.
Liam Carter, a Cub no more than eight years old from Barbados, in an invited comment, excitedly remarked that it was his first time in Guyana. He said he is excited for the week of activities planned for the Cuboree.
The President and First Lady, Mrs. Sandra Granger, later in the evening, hosted a welcome reception for the team leaders on the lawns of State House. There, the leaders were given the opportunity to interact not only with their counterparts, but also photo opportunities with the President and Mrs. Granger.