Georgetown, Guyana – (November 9, 2019) President David Granger, this morning, implored upon scouts to prepare themselves to become the protectors of our patrimony, as it is the youth who will eventually have to shoulder the responsibility of looking after this great nation.
The President made these statements in his feature address at the opening ceremony of the Scout Association of Guyana’s National Camp.
The Camp, which is part of the 110th Anniversary celebrations of the Scout Movement in Guyana, is being held at the Association’s Woolford Avenue headquarters.
The President stressed upon the importance of scouting, particularly its role in awakening and shaping a person’s adventurous side.
“I am speaking to young people today … because the future of Guyana belongs to you. All you see around you, around us, the country is part of what you will inherit. You will inherit this land. You will become the protectors of our patrimony. You will become the defenders of this big, beautiful and bountiful country. You will look after Guyana. Young people need to be prepared to assume the inevitable responsibility of protecting the national patrimony,” President Granger said.
The President said there is no better organization than the Scout Movement that can prepare young people for the future.
“Scouting is not a classroom. Scouting is not an ordeal that you have to endure five days a week of lectures and lessons. Young people must learn to enjoy the outdoors – canoeing in the creeks; camping in the forests; hiking in the hills; swimming in the rivers and showering under the cold waterfalls. You must see the Scout Movement as a place for recreation and relaxation,” he said.
The Head of State reminded that scouting is carefree but not careless, and is guided by a ‘Code’ that has survived for over a century. Scouting, the President said, teaches young people the values of respect for one another, respect for property, respect for the law and respect for the environment.
The ‘Code’, he said, teaches the values of conduct which emphasise duty, integrity and loyalty to the country.
“Young people undergo physical and psychological changes as they become more aware of the people, places and situations around them. You seek answers to life’s questions. Scouting is an answer which answers some of these questions. Scouting is the answer to life’s experiences especially during adolescence, between childhood and adulthood. A time where many people go astray. But scouting keeps you on the straight and narrow,” he said.
The Head of State also noted that scouting affords young people an opportunity to be adventurous.
“Young people, during this critical period of your lives, you yearn for adventure, you seek excitement; you want to experiment. You want to find new experiences; you want to explore new places,” he said.
The President reminded that the Scout Association of Guyana which was established in 1909, is the country’s largest and oldest youth organisation. He said Guyana was the first country in the Caribbean, the second in South America and the ninth in the world to establish Scouts.
President Granger explained that the Scout Movement, originally linked to the churches and the schools, formed a connection with the community, church, home and school.
“This connection helped to build the character of young people and prepare them to become responsible citizens, while at the same time developing friendships and having fun,” he added.
The President said Guyana is changing continuously and this is going to accelerate, particularly from next year, when the ‘Decade of Development: 2020-2029’ is launched. During this ten-year period, there will be increased attention placed on youth education and development.
Further, President Granger said that his vision is that there will be scout groups in every capital town in every region and he called on Commissioner of Police, Mr. Leslie James to assist in this regard. The Head of State said that the second part of his vision is that the scout camps will go beyond ‘Thomas’ lands and go to the grasslands, lakelands and highlands of the hinterland so as to give scouts an opportunity to see the rest of the country.
He thanked the Scout Association of Guyana for its role in youth development over the past 110 years.
“I urge you the scouts… to look to the future, don’t always look back to the past 110 years…
Guyana’s future is in the hands of its young people. It is a wonderful time to be young. I expect that this Camp will confirm your commitment to assume this tremendous responsibility to this country, of protecting the environment, protecting your patrimony,” he added.
Meanwhile, President of the Scout Association of Guyana, Mr. Ramsay Ali, in hi9s remarks, said over the years the Association has received a lot of support, particularly from the Guyana Police Force.
He also pointed out that President Granger takes his role as patron of the Scout Association of Guyana very seriously as “today is his third visit to us here, since he ascended to the highest office in this country”.