Stories

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Scouts worldwide celebrated 100 years of Scouting in 2007 by presenting their “Gifts for Peace” locally, nationally and internationally. The aim of this global initiative is to inspire young people to tackle issues in their communities, build peace and bring people together. Building bridges between people has been a central focus of Scouting since its inception when Baden-Powell brought together boys from different social backgrounds. In 1920 young people from countries which had been at war with each other gathered at the first World Scout Jamboree, in a celebration of cultures, fun and friendship.

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Saudi Scouts welcomed 1,500 campers from 85 countries to Jubail, with the words “Welcome to Saudi Arabia! Welcome to the land of Peace! . The hosts had planned this camp as the first of their Gifts for Peace – with the aim to learn first-hand about other cultures, other nationalities and other faiths. Scout camp life in Saudi Arabia is full of singing, dancing and laughter. Participants exchanged food, songs and folklore on the international day, they made an expedition to discover the wonders of desert life, and joined in evening concerts and social activities. Soon the visitors felt completely at home.

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Abdullah Al Fahad, CEO of Saudi Scouting has worked closely with the leaders of the Boy Scouts of America to bring their Scouts together to build mutual understanding and the results have been outstanding. Sometimes things aren’t quite what they seem … At the BSA Jamboree in July, a troop of 40 Scouts from Saudi Arabia unloaded their gear from the vans, were divided into four patrols, and made their way to the assigned camp sites. Each patrol separated from the others. The Scouts - many of whom had only basic English - sat around in their tents on arrival, and to their American hosts, it seemed they might not budge.

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