Impressions from our first week in Lisbon

Since July the 21st, almost 800 scouts and guides from 15 different countries have been arriving to Lisbon to serve as volunteers in the World Youth Day 2023, that will take place from 1st to 6th of August! 

Installed in the scout camp near the beach of Santo Amaro, in Oeiras, clans and fires have been trained to be ready to help in different services during the WYD. Those teams with underaged people are sent to parishes and churches, where they will help with the needs during the event. The other teams will also provide help in massive activities, such as the meetings with the Pope, the Youth Festival, Rise Up and the opening events.

On the other hand, there are also specialized teams who will help to live a more scout life at camp: the logistics team, first aid, choir and the orchestra, the communication team, and of course 8 priests from different countries.

In the scout camp, there’s activity since five o’clock, when some teams have to wake up to start their volunteering activities. During the day, our volunteers can attend the Holy Mass at three moments: 7:00 in the morning, 12:00 or 18:00. Also, scouts and guides have at their disposal numerous priests to have confession or to receive spiritual council.

Also, twice a day there are team leader councils, where all the necessary information for a good functioning of the camp is given. After the services and tasks, scouts and guides can have lunch with the volunteer vouchers that allows them to discover the city of oeiras and Lisbon.

Then, services continue until night, when we have our traditional scout firecamp. Everyday, a different clan or fire prepares some performances, songs and games to discover different cultures and live our scouting fraternity.

24h UIGSE Day

On Sunday 31st, we all celebrated the UIGSE Day, which started at seven o’clock, with the prayer of the Angelus and the traditional gathering ceremony, where all country flags were raised. This marked the official opening of the scout camp. After having breakfast, rovers and wayfarers were divided into international teams to take part in the Big Game where they were divided into international teams of “bees” that had to save their Queen by gathering ingredients they could get in different stands organized by each international association to brew the antidote.

In the afternoon, we had a special time with the Folk dances, where the international orchestra of the UIGSE cheered up with traditional songs of different countries. After that, we celebrated the Holy  Mass in the church of Nossa Senhora da Purificaçao, in Oeiras, with the presence of the Sovereing Order of Malta and pilgrims of around the world. 

We ended the day as best we know how to do it: with a scout campfire, organized b the orchestra and choir . There, the story of bees came to an end, and we learned about the value of the scouting method to bring the Love of the Lord to the world.