The Scouts Association of Belize remains active in the country with various activities and initiatives geared at engaging young people. One of those activities officially opened last night and is dubbed, The Join-In Jamboree. Last night, many gathered at Camp Oakley just outside Burrell Boom Village, Belize District for the launch. According to the Camp Director, Omari Neal, this jamboree is occurring simultaneously with one taking place in West Virginia, USA.
Omari Neal – Camp Director: “The Jamboree is just a way for the kids to interact or have a Jamboree here at home while the World Scout Jamboree that is happening in the USA with over 40,000 scouts attending. The Jamboree is basically for the kids is to experience what the other scouts are experiencing in the US at Wisconsin. We can’t do it large scale like they do but we try to bring it home so the kids who didn’t get a chance to go can also have a Jamboree here at home. We have a jam-packed program with different activities, they can expect to go on tours; we have an educational tour later on in the week, we have a bicycle rodeo, that is the first time we are trying something like that, we have shooting sports and other events.”
Currently, there is a recruitment drive in place that seeks to encourage young girls and boys to become a part of the scout movement. According to veteran Scout, Hilberto Riverol, the Scouts Movement serves to make young people develop analytical skills, leadership and constructive thinking.
Hilberto Riverol – Executive Director of the Belize Scout Foundation: “The Jamboree is bringing Scouts from all over the world to have fun, to participate in educational activities, to make friends and bring peace to the world. Scouting caters for boys and girls from ages 7 – 21. The programs are basically geared towards leadership development, developing good values in participating youths and to give them a sense of belonging with groups that are doing the right thing. We call them good gangs and that is the whole objective of scouting, to bring them together to be constructive citizens in their communities.”
Riveroll is also the Executive Director of the Belize Scout Foundation and works closely with the association. The Join-in Jamboree consists of an entire week of activities and closes on Sunday.