Chief Commissioner of the Barbados Boys’ Scouts Association, Dr. Nigel Taylor, believes the Government can do “much more” for the association — and he is imploring its leadership to do so.
Addressing guests at the National Centennial Scout Association Awards at the Combermere School last night, Taylor said he believed both the Democratic Labour Party and the previous Barbados Labour Party administrations must first understand the importance of the association and the impact it had on the lives of many young men on the island.
Referring to the Boys’ Scouts Association in El Salvador’s decision to take their troops into juvenile prisons to help deal with wayward young people, he also said there were so many initiatives that Barbados could implement to help curb the “men in crisis” phenomenon.
BBSA, which celebrates its 101st anniversary this year faced great challenges in areas such as leadership, parental understanding and fiscal strength, Taylor said they were committed to continuing to do great work.
“The Government in factoring of monies…, physical and other wise … can do much more … to deal with some of the issues,” Taylor said. “We talk about youth but I am not sure whether we give serious consideration … to the whole thing.
“The authorities must be able to see what scouting can do. If authorities are lethargic, if authorities are myopic in visions they are not going to see what we are doing. Our scout programme is phenomenal.
“The Ministry of Education in Australia has actually taken the scout programme and used it as part of the educational process by granting its leaders with something like an Associate Degree. In some countries … they have scouting as an elective to be taught by a scout persons…; that’s novel. Scouting has been doing very novel things in recent times.”
Taylor also said: “We always face fiscal challenges and people use the whole story about the economy is this and the economy is that … To me, you need to see what Boys’ Scout is doing. You can go to any troop, any pack, any colony, any unit and look to see what the boys are doing.
“We have in here leaders who are teachers, leaders who are bankers, leaders who are in all of the other professions… But there is no difference when you are in scouting … because we try to bring everybody together for the purpose of executing a scout programme that is always to the benefit of the boys to make them better persons.”
Last evening scout leaders were honoured for their contribution to the association. These included: posthumous Centennial Awards to Sir Frederick Clarke, Reverend A. E. Armstrong, W. H. Carter, Major J. E. Griffith, Major L. G. Quintyne, E. V. Matthew and Charles McClean.
Dr. Nigel Taylor and Basil Forbes received the President’s and Centennial Awards. Other recipients of the Centennial Award were: Lisle Harrison, Trevor Jones, Anthony Archer, Diana Murray, Geoffrey Roach, Richard Arthur, Andrea Cheltenham, Hamilton Cumberbatch, Gloria Bryan and John King. Also receiving the President’s Award were: Diana Bovell, Deborah Stoute-Burke, Deborah Waithe-Jones, Petrona Branch, Victor Goddard, Don Layne, Richard Perkins and Cheryl Padmore. (KC)††