Archive | International

Scouts represented at COP17

Posted on 13 December 2011 by ScoutingNewsStaff

The World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) and the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGS) have recently sent representatives to participate in the UN’s COP17 Conference on Climate Policies in Durban, South Africa. With 30 Million youth Scouts throughout the world, WOSM has a large impact on teaching youth how to care for and appreciate the environment. Both organizations believe in responsible stewardship of the environment so generations of Scouts and Guides have a place to get outdoors and learn.

You can read more about WOSM’s participation at














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Chinese Educators Learn About Scouting

Chinese Educators Learn About Scouting

Posted on 05 December 2011 by ScoutingNewsStaff

Sam Houston Area Council - International Scout CommitteeHOUSTON, TEXAS – On December 5, 2011, the Sam Houston Area Council’s International Scouting Committee shared insights about the Boy Scouts of America and its counterparts from around the world with a Chinese delegation of educators – largely consisted of principals – from Xi’an in the Shaanxi Province, People’s Republic of China. The trip was coordinated by the Houston Mayor’s Office of International Trade and Development department. The delegates made their stop at the Cockrell Scout Center before visiting with area school administrators.

Tyler Smith, Coordinator of Special Projects from the Mayor’s Office, stated that the interest was primarily on “educating young men to be civic-minded citizens and how to be leaders of society by example.”  The International Scouting Committee organized a panel of six volunteers and professional Scouters led by Dan Ownby, a Sam Houston Area Council Board Member and a newly elected member of the World Scout Committee.  The panel presented and answered questions about morals and ethics; how the Scout Oath is put into practice; public service; the educational aspects of Scouting including advancement, leadership, life skills and citizenship; and how local Chinese scout units incorporate cultural aspects into their program.

Until recently, there has been little interest in establishing a Scouting program in the People’s Republic of China. The Chinese delegation recognized that they had a “misperception about the Scouting program” and had thought that it was mainly a military program for youths. That perception was dismissed after having heard the history of how Scouting had started by Lord Baden-Powell right before World War I and how different countries have adopted their own National Scout Organization to meet the aims of Scouting today. “We are pleased to provide guidance to these educators and hope that Scouting’s character building program can begin to reach mainland China,” stated Dan Ownby. The Scout Association of Hong Kong is home to 95,000 uniformed Scouts and the Scout Association of Macau has 36 groups with a total of about 5,000 members. Evidenced by their wanting to visit with the Sam Houston Area Council and by their engaging conversation with the panel members about the Scouting program, there is renewed optimism that their new found interest will spark further discussion or even action to charter a new National Scout Organization in the People’s Republic of China.

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Award-Winning American Band Performs with Algerian Boy Scouts


Award-Winning American Band Performs with Algerian Boy Scouts

Posted on 25 February 2011 by Press Release

Drummers from Louisiana’s Southern University Marching Band entertained residents in the Algerian cities of Algiers, Bentalha, Sidi Fredj and Tiaret from January 31 to February 5.

For band member Alexander Riggins, a trip to a Muslim Boy Scout camp in Sidi Fredj made him feel at home.

“They were taking pictures with us, hugging us, greeting us,” Riggins said. “It was like we were one big family.” Some scouts are keeping in touch with him on Facebook.

Sponsored by the U.S. Embassy and supported by the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in cooperation with the Algerian Ministry of Youth and Sport, the band’s visit to Algeria was the second leg of a North African tour. Before arriving in Algeria, the band experienced the Maghreb’s hospitality when they performed in Morocco.

Riggins said musical tours like this build bridges of understanding among diverse cultures.

“I think it is beneficial because, first, you get to learn a new culture,” Riggins said. “Do something that you have never done before, experienced a different society, a different way of life.”

The 14 drummers are members of one of America’s top collegiate marching bands. With 225 members, the band is a leading innovator of performance styles and plays at America’s most storied venues including the Super Bowl, the American football championship.

Throughout the North African tour, band members engaged with audiences and performed with other musicians. In Morocco, they were joined on stage by deaf drummers, and in Sidi Fredj, Boy Scout musicians joined them in an impromptu performance.

In Bentalha, the group performed to a standing-room-only audience at FOREM, a nongovernmental organization. FOREM provides vocational training for women widowed during an era of terrorist attacks and promotes psychological health for their children and families.

Following the show, the group made a three-hour journey to Tiaret, where they played to a packed house of 600 at a local theater.

The band held its final performances during two half-times at basketball games in Algiers. More than 1,200 spectators watched as the percussionists played complex rhythms with perfect precision.

Lawrence Jackson, director of bands for the university, said the trip to Algeria was a memorable experience.

“I hope that someday we get to go back,” Jackson said. “The young people were so welcoming and happy to see us.”

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