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Zbigniew Minda HR, 2009-11-06

FSE Newsletter 4, 11 November 2009


A meeting of the National Council of our italian association was held in L’Aquila, capital of the region of  Abruzzo on 7-8 Nov 2009, in the spirit of solidarity with our guides and scouts from the region. The whole region, and in particular its capital, was badly hit by the earthquake in the beginning of April this year. An impressive total number of 1000 Rovers Scouts, rangers and rovers of the italian association of Guides and Scouts of Europe was helping the people in Abruzzo for 5 months (April-August 2009), with an average of 47 rovers and ranger per week. The service was coordinated by Franco Viggiani. The center of L’Aquila is still impossible to live in. Our scouts groups have lost their locals. The italian association decided to destinate 1 euro from the membership fees of each member for the 2010 to the groups of L’Aquila, which were able to start their normal scout activities only this month. Some activities take place in the tents built to shelter the victims of the earthquake.


Alice, ranger from Padoua, Italy: „I was in Eurojam and in Euromoot as simple participant. Both events absolutely fantastic. The pilgrimage to Czestochowa in 2003 was great, but to return there in 2007 was even more exciting. I would like to have more contacts with rangers from other countries. It is wonderful that our movement is international, that we are one in spite of the borders, that with the same uniform goes the same ideal.”


The Polish rangers and rovers organise a National Youth Forum on Life, Love and Family for all rangers and rovers from the whole association as well as for their friends. The Forum is dedicated to the questions of how to live a coherent christian life in a modern, secularized society. The Forum will be held at Warsaw University.

FRANCE: EURCAMP IN FRANCE 2010 (France, Poland, Germany, Russia)

It seems that there will be in 2010, at least one Eurocamp, an international camp with the participation of companies of guides from at least four countries. In this case, from the French initiative, the camp will gather one troop of guides from France (ND des Dombes), one from Germany, one from Russia and one from Poland (Chełm).


2010 will be a Holy Year in Santiago because the feast of Saint James (July 25th) will be on a Sunday.

Some scout testimonies:

Once I was arriving in Los Arcos (La Rioja) during a hot afternoon of August 2005. On that time, I was cycling with another scout. As we arrived in the village, we heard a choir. “Come on ! Let’s see where they are… Only Scouts of Europe are able to sing like this !”. On the square of the church, we met a crew of French rovers with whom we shared our meal, we discussed and we exchanged some T-shirts with scout drawings.
Other example: at the train station of Sarria (Lugo) I met two young Poles. I was welcoming some of the free patrols of my camp, in July 2007. These two young people came to us and asked us: “Are you Scouts of Europe? So are we”. They came from Poland and had just got married. Their honey moon was a pilgrimage to Santiago. This was an incredible testimony for the scouts who remained quiet in front of this couple!  

And now the most recent example. In Santo Domingo de la Calzada (La Rioja), on October 10th 2009. This time, I was walking with my wife. As we went along the main street, I saw in a fleeting way through a shop window a scene that drew my attention. I came back to watch more carefully. A young man, sitting against the shop window, with something on his shoulder. “It is a beret! For sure… And a beige shirt. It can only be a Scout of Europe ». Once again, a meeting happened. Thibault Seugnet is a young Pilot who walks alone on the Camino, in his scout uniform. He started from his home door, in Courcoury, in the region of Saintes (Charente-Maritime) and is going to Santiago. Incredible! What a testimony! Thibault meditates on the text of the Rover Departure every day and intends to make his Long Track in 2010. Both of us were surprised by this providential meeting. Further, I had the opportunity of receiving some testimonies from pilgrims who had met him. As I am writing these lines, Thibault is still wandering between Astorga and Santiago, which he hopes to reach on November 1st.  (Juan Pedro Sanchez Horneros Munoz, scout general commissioner)


There are already 139 Patrols enrolled which gives an impressive number of almost 1000 scouts. Congratulations. It’s not to late to enroll your troop from any country of our International Union. If you do not come, at least you can follow the game on its web site and learn how to do a national game like this. We hope that the Polish troop, 11thWarsaw with its 5 patrols, will take part in the game.

FRANCE: Mac Laren no 40!

In the first half of August 2010 the French association organises its scoutmaster training camp MacLaren for the 40th time! Congratulations for the perseverance and enthusiasm of the beginnings! The MacLaren camp was created 40 years ago by Pierre-Yves Labbe, the French national explorer commissioner of that time, on the example of Gilwell camp, created by Baden-Powell in 1919, and of Chamarande camp, created by Father Sevin in 1922. In fact, the first MacLaren in 1970  was called Chamarande-FSE (till 1979). During the 40 years of its existence more than 360 chiefs received a Wood Badge of MacLaren. The camp itself was held not always in France, but also in Belgium (1988, 1995), Italy (1989), Scotland (1990), Spain (2001) and Poland (2004). The chief of the MacLaren 2010 is Jean-Philippe Gayola, who is also the French national explorer commissioner (jean-philippe-gayola@scouts-europe.org).


Our German catholic association organises a national music festival in Neu-Ulm on 6-7 March 2010. Everybody knows that as far as scout music is concerned, there is nothing better than this festival. A great opportunity to enter into the beautiful world of our German association. Everybody is invited.


According to Jean-Luc Angelis book La vraie histoire de Guides et Scouts d'Europe, the French association counted 350 members in 1962; 4000 members in 1970 and 30 000 members in 1980. The italian association counted 7 800 members in 1980; now almost 20 000.