Lay Member officials (non-uniformed) from Branch Associations of the Sri Lanka Scout Association, participated at the conference held at the Hilton Hotel in Colombo last week. The Chief Guest was Prof. Kapila C K Perera – Secretary, Ministry of Education. Ms. Visakha Tillekeratne, – Chief Commissioner of Sri Lanka Girl Guide Association, was the Guest of Honour. 27 Scout Districts of Sri Lanka were represented.
The Chief Commissioner Major General Milinda Peiris delivered the Welcome Address and stressed on the need for lay officials to work together in harmony for the efficient functioning of the Scout Districts and briefed on the Strategic Plan for the Sri Lanka Scout Association.
Mr. Craig Turpie, Chairman of the World Scout Committee of the World Organisation of the Scout Movement, addressed the Conference on Zoom from Scotland. He said that Sri Lanka Scouting has made positive progress in the recent period and during the Pandemic. He further said there has to be quality scouting and effective team work. He stressed on the need to listen to young people and support them to be the change in order to achieve the goals of the movement.
The Chief Commissioner Girl Guides in her address insisted on the Change Management of the Child. She said Scouts and Girl Guides should work together to bring in young people to join the fold of Scouting and Guiding despite the fact there is scouting for Girls as there are a large number who could be recruited to both organisations.
Prof. Kapila C.K. Perera the Chief Guest said that he was a President Scout from Sri Sumangala College in Panadura and shared many of his personal experiences in Scouting and how it helped him in his career. He said that he had sought health clearance to restart scouting after the pandemic. He said there are 4.5 million students in the country and expects to have scout units in every school with a programme to bring awareness to Principals. He further said, Scouting is Skills for Life.
The Deputy Chief Commissioner and World Scout Committee Member Mr. Janaprith Fernando proposed the vote of thanks and thanked Mr. Craig Turpie - Chairman World Scout Committee for addressing on Zoom and appreciated the presence of the Chief Guest, Guest of Honour and all participants from almost all Scouting Districts and requested the assistance of the Education Ministry to achieve our goals in Scouting. Quoting the Founder Lord Baden Powell, “The most worthwhile thing in life is to bring happiness to others” he thanked all those involved in the Scout and Guide movement for their commitment and doing what the Founder expected from the adults. He also informed the Chief Girl Guides Commissioner to work together with the scouts. He thanked the Sponsors Litro Gas Lanka, Hilton Colombo Gas and Prima Group.
A video presentation on recent activities took place.
The Conference continued with sessions on related subjects by Mr. Janaprith Fernando Deputy Chief Commissioner, Mr. Sarath Mataraarachchi – National Programme Commissioner and Mr. M. F. S. Muheed – Special Commissioner.
The participants later had discussions in breakout groups and came up with recommendations.