The 2020 edition of Woodbadge Days held in Romania (February, 14-16) gathered more than 40 leading training experts from 10 national associations of the International Union of Guides and Scouts of Europe – the European Scouting Federation.
Group leader training, using the scout techniques as pedagogical levers in the training camps, the balance between patrol activities and troop activities, or the place for huge events in the scout pedagogy were among the leadership training issues discussed. The Federal Commissioner Bruno Borde, his deputy Milisenta Miseviciute and his assistant Renaud Lannoy were present in the meeting. Little songs and funny games spiced up the typical structure of the Woodbadge Days event: plenary sessions on current training issues and simultaneous workshops on our three branches of scouting.
The venue – the Discalced Carmelites’ monastery, with its modern facilities, traditional, Romanian-inspired ecclesial architecture and a marvellous church decorated in mosaic by the Slovenian Jesuit Fr. Ivan Rupnik – contributed to the „happy family” mood we were in during the 2020 Woodbadge Days.
On Saturday evening, the participants toured Bucharest discovering the uplifting stories of the martyrdom at the hands of the Ottomans of the Wallachian prince Constantin Brancoveanu and his four sons, the strong Romanian resistance against the Soviet-imposed dictatorship in 1945 and also the disfiguring scars left by the Communism on the Romanian capital city.
A very special moment was the visit of the tiny, red bricked Greek-Catholic cathedral Saint Basil the Great. Welcomed by Bishop Mihai Fratila, we hymned together a beautiful Akathist to the Theotokos in front of the relics of two Blessed Romanian martyrs – the Greek-Catholic Bishop Vasile Aftenie (a scout in his youth) and Msgr. Vladimir Ghika – whose destinies were inextricably intertwined with the tumultuous life of this humble place of worship.
Organizing #WoodbadgeDays2020 in Romania was also a fruitful experience for the Romanian association. With a solid, old scout tradition, the association rediscovered in recent years the strength of unity and now the Romanian participants and volunteers truly lived the European dimension and fraternity of Christian, European scout movement.
Text and photos: Gelu Trandafir, Romania