Message from Lawrence Stanton, National Young Leaders Representative
For 45 years we have celebrated Youth Day and remembered the Soweto uprising that took place on the 16th of June 1976. This occasion is also a regular reminder of the importance of learning, of being young, and of daring to change the future.
Today, we are challenged to protect the learning and development of our youth — both in our everyday lives and in our journey through Scouting.
It can be easy to forget how slowly time passes when we are young. There is a reason why children ask “are we there yet”. Although the times of hard lockdown felt long to all of us, for our youngest this time was a significant period of their lives. The incredible efforts and ingenuity of Scouting youth and volunteers kept the movement going. We discovered new opportunities to do Scouting over a distance.
That being said, our young Meerkats, Cubs and Scouts have missed many of the milestone events that many of us reminisce. Our first Kontiki, Winter Camp, the Cederberg Adventure, or even a simple game of British bulldogs. Their Scout experience is now vastly different from most of us older folks. Now is the time for us to reflect and assess how we have adapted. Whilst our youngest members were able to learn and grow through new means and tremendous efforts from our volunteers and parents, many struggled to achieve programme advancements.
The reality is that learning and development is an effort in construction, and every building must have the entire foundation set or else the later costs will be high. By this I mean that, while we continue to navigate the challenges Covid and lockdown bring for us as a youth movement, we must remember to stay focused on the individual journeys of each and every child and youth. It is our collective duty to make it possible for them to achieve their advancement goals in new and creative ways.
I have no doubt that we will continue with our Scouting adventure with the same stride and vigour as ever. So long as we remain observant, work as a team, and plan our path ahead, we will reach our goals as always. Thank you to all our leaders for their leadership through these testing times. And to all our youth: seize the opportunities before you! There are many here in Scouting.
National Young Leaders Representative
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