A European Guide in the USA
Have you ever had the opportunity to go abroad, to discover a new culture, a new new language and meet Scouts there? Cub in France, then guide in Germany within the KPE (Katholische Pfadfinderschaft Europas, member of UIGSE) I had this chance by spending a month in Colorado, on the foot of the rocky mountains, thanks to the Boulder group leader.
This emerging group is part of the Federation of North-American Explorers (FNE), a UIGSE aspirant association. The FNE is a growing movement that did not exist until recently (it’s slightly more than 10 years old). Recruiting leaders is a real challenge, because volunteering with young people is not very common in the country’s culture.
I had the chance to experience scouting, the pedagogy, the uniform on several occasions: a cub scout camp (as leader), a group feast and a patrol WE of the Littleton group in Colorado. I found the same scout life as at home, with its big games, neckerchief ceremonies, its coded messages. The cubs practice semaphore, jungle dances, and sing at songs, sometimes translated from French!
Some details were surpising to me, e.g. patrols use terribly heavy iron-cast bowls (but very useful as oven) and for camping in the Rocky mountains where bears and pumas are numerous, patrols must be trained and provide adequate equipment to food and camping. It is also essential to check the weather because thunderstorms and snowstorms in winter are frequent.
What a joy to discover a movement aspiring to the same Scout ideal, to live the scouts fraternity beyond the language, in the continuity of Eurojam, and to share our experiences: an ocean separates us but scouting makes us getting close. We have the same familiarity among us as with my guide sisters at home: we tell each other about our camps, our explorations, our failed dishes and our best scouting moments!
I will continue with pleasure to exchange with the guides and help them by sharing my experience with them because everything is new for them: from organising a trip, to the patrol trunk, or the way the patrol council works.
Deo Gratias for this beautiful month, and “Ad Mariam… America !”
Eagle Patrol leader, Munich company