Editorial: The Boy Scouts of the Philippines celebrates its 77th Anniversary

The Boy Scouts of the Philippines (BSP), the biggest uniformed youth movement in the country, celebrates its 77th Anniversary on October 31, 2013. With 2.3 million members, the BSP is one of the world’s largest Scout organizations. The BSP is a member of World Organization of the Scout Movement and the Asia-Pacific Scout Region. The motto of Filipino scouts is: Laging Handa (Always Prepared).

Filipino scouts hold varied activities that promote brotherhood and sportsmanship such as camping, tree-planting, sportsfests, community service, awards and recognition programs, and outdoor games. The anniversary will be celebrated with a parade by Kid/Kab Scouts, Boy and Senior Scouts, Rover Scouts, and Scout Leaders in towns and cities nationwide. Assisted by local governments, Boy Scouts take over the reins of a town or city for a day as local officials, as part of character building and citizenship training.

As scouts reach higher ranks, they earn merit badges to help them choose a hobby or life work. Badges are symbols of goals to build friendship, give happiness to others, perform good deeds, and live the ideals of the Scout Oath and Law. The BSP holds the annual search, now on its 24th year, for 2013 Ten Outstanding Boy Scouts, and awards the Eagle Scout Badge or Jose Rizal Scout Badge, the highest rank that a senior scout aspires for.  Scouting develops young Filipinos – spiritually, morally, physically, intellectually – and mold them to be responsible, law-abiding, productive citizens. The BSP has produced leaders, not only for the Philippines, but also for World Scouting. It prepares the youth for responsible leadership, guided by scouting ideals and principles.

The BSP was established on October 31, 1936, by Commonwealth Act No. 111, signed by President Manuel L. Quezon. American businessman Joseph Emile Hamilton was BSP’s first National President from 1936 to 1942. The Philippines became an independent Scouting nation in 1938, when the Philippine Council of the Boy Scouts of America gave way to the Boy Scouts of the Philippines. The Philippines first participated as an independent Scouting country at the 6th World Scout Jamboree in Moisson, France, in 1947. The 10th World Scout Jamboree, the first to be held in Asia, was held on Mt. Makiling in Los Baños, Laguna, in 1959.

We congratulate the Boy Scouts of the Philippines, headed by the Chief Scout President Benigno S. Aquino III, and National President Vice President Jejomar C. Binay, for inspiring the Filipino scouts to participate in the task of nation and community-building in our Republic of the Philippines. CONGRATULATIONS AND MABUHAY!

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