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Aiming for Growth – Hungarian Scouts Reach Out and Open Their Tents to Non-Scouts
By Rupert Schildböck On 31 October 2012 · Leave a Comment
(Budapest/MCSSZ) – This year Magyar Cserkészszövetség (MCSSZ), the National Scout Organisation in Hungary, is proudly looking back on the first century of Scouting in Hungary and a number of activities have been organised to mark this important occasion.
“Cserkészen az életre” (Be Prepared for Life) was one of the events during this summer and also part of an 18-month project on growth supported by the European Region’s Partnership Fund.
Project managers Balázs “Kobalt” Tekse and Balázs “Balu” Solymosi explain the background of this unique project:
“As part of our association’s growth project we had decided to organise a series of summer camps and to open them for non-Scouts, and in particular to children from socially and economically disadvantaged families and communities, such as the Roma minority living in our country. The idea behind this was to make Scouting visible and to provide a true Scouting experience to boys and girls not yet familiar with the Scout Movement.”
“Several of our existing Scout Groups also participated, which meant that we ended up with a 50-50 ratio of Scouts and non-Scouts and both groups were able to benefit from this experience.”
“I think, a number of the non-Scout participants had never before lived in tents, cooked their own meals, enjoyed the atmosphere of a camp fire or experienced a variety of outdoor sports and other adventures. For all this, we created camp-patrols and camp-troops, trying to mix Scouts and non-Scouts from the same geographical area.”
“Now that the new Scout year has started, we already know that many Scout Groups across the country have been approached by more than 300 non-Scouts who had participated in the camp”.
“In some places the demand was so high that new Scout Groups have been opened, too, as for example in Szajol, Pilisvörösvár, Karancsság or Rácalmás. Thankfully, we had anticipated this development and the training of regional mentors – which had been part of the growth project – really paid off. Initially, these new Scout Groups will be accompanied by a regional mentor and also twinned with an existing Scout Group in the same area.”
“The months ahead of us will show us, whether this concept will succeed, whether the newly recruited members will join the Movement and whether newly opened Scout groups will sustain.”
“But we remain optimistic and already a new target has been set: by 2013 we want every Hungarian girl and boy as well as their families to be familiar with Magyar Cserkészszövetség and the Scout Movement in general!”
And, indeed, it looks as if the efforts invested by Magyar Cserkészszövetség really paid off: here are some remarks participants of the camp and their families left on the association’s website:
“Thanks a lot to the Scouts. They did a great job and the camp provided me with a lot of new and enriching experiences.”
“I would like to thank the Scouts for all their work, energy and enthusiasm! This camp really was a memorable experience for my son!”
“I would like to thank you for this exciting camp. The kids really enjoyed every moment and don’t stop sharing stories of what happened during those days. I hope you will continue providing similar camps in the future!”
Have a look and see for yourself:
– By watching a short film taken during the camp;
– By watching an interview with Balázs “Balu” Solymosi broadcast by the Hungarian Television;
– By visiting the event’s photo gallery.
To keep up to date, you can follow the Growth Project on its facebook page. And for more information about the Hungarian Scout Association check out the website and follow them on their facebook page.
Tagged with: ethnic minority • Growth through Quality • Hungary • non-Scouts • Reaching out • Roma minority • Social Inclusion
Rupert comes from Austria and is the Executive Assistant to the Regional Director. His responsibilities include internal and external communications and administrative assistance in Regional events.
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