MORE that 1,200 cub scouts and their leaders will be attending the 15th Caribbean Cuboree in Ocho Rios, St Ann from July 30 to August 5.
The event will be held at the Ocho Rios High School, Ocho Rios Primary School, and St John’s Preparatory School, where 600 locals, aged seven to 11, will be joined by 600 youngsters from the Caribbean, China, Australia, and Canada, for wide-ranging activities designed to shape their development.
Deputy Governor General Steadman Fuller says the triennial cuboree, which Jamaica last hosted in 1991, continues to build across communities.
“The hosting of the cuboree is indicative of a commitment to furthering this cause, and an opportunity should not be taken lightly. It provides an avenue for the right exchange among youngsters from different cultural and sociological backgrounds,” he said, while addressing the recent launch at King’s House.
Fuller encouraged the organisers and local participants to be mindful of the great opportunity to showcase Jamaica’s beauty and warmth, while hosting the visiting cub scouts and their chaperones.
Emphasising the enormity of organising and hosting the cuboree, he pointed out that the outcomes will “indeed, be worth the effort as you continue to teach youngsters self-reliance, creativity, responsibility and commitment”.
Assistant Chief Commissioner at the Scout Association of Jamaica in charge of cubs, Karen Harriott Wilson, said the event provides the youngsters with the opportunity for cultural exchange, where the participants learn new skills, adding that significant efforts are being made to afford children from inner-city and rural communities to attend.
Harriott Wilson said the event, which is being held under the theme ‘Cuboree – A Universe of Fun’, entails activities geared towards ensuring the youngsters have fun while being educated.
She said the participants will have the opportunity to tour several sites islandwide, and experience the annual Emancipation Jubilee at the Seville Heritage Park in St Ann on July 31.
Additionally, Harriott Wilson said the boys will have the opportunity to develop their leadership skills through engagements incorporating critical thinking.
The organisers anticipate that the cuboree will strengthen Jamaica’s tourism product as they seek to deepen the participation of young people within the scout movement, and encourage adoption of the association’s values and vision.
Director of Safety and Security in Schools, Assistant Superintendent of Police Coleridge Minto, who addressed the launch, said the movement is operating in 80 schools islandwide, adding that students participating in the various activities tend to be “more comfortable in groups”.
Emphasising the need to increase the number of scouts and other uniformed groups in schools, ASP Minto asserted that “the presence of these groups will assist with behaviour”.
“I am confident that the Scout Association can boast of many who served as Scouts, and today, have made our country proud,” he stated, while endorsing Jamaica’s hosting of the 2019 Cuboree.
The Scout Association of Jamaica was formed in 1910, and became a member of the World Organisation of the Scout Movement in 1963.
Key among the association’s mission are developing members into well-rounded citizens, and instilling in them a sense of self-reliance and camaraderie.