August 6, 2019
On July 31, 2019 at the Summit Bechtel High Adventure Base of the Boy Scouts of America Rotary International held its most historic Make Up Meeting, the first of its kind.
The Boy Scouts of America celebrate 1910 as the beginning of the Scouting Movement in America, coming from England started by Baden Powell. Rotary actually was around a few years before that, and the partnership of the BSA and Rotary starts right at the beginning, with the first Chartered Partner ever in the United States being Rotary. Rotary was the largest partner of Scouting for the first 10 years, and is credited with the growth of the Movement in America. The natural partnership of the two organizations has existed through the past 109 years.
This was the 24th World Jamboree, as they are only held about every 5-10 years. The Jamboree first came to America in 1967 in Idaho. This World Jamboree was only the second on US soil, and was done in partnership with Canada and Mexico. Over 166 countries were represented and over 40,000 adults and leaders attended. I personally watched the German contingent shut down their display for a required Fellowship event with the country of France that has existed at every Jamboree since WWII. These relationships are taken very seriously.
What makes this historic beyond these events is that Rotary International President Mark Maloney was invited to a reception on behalf of Rotary and it’s world partnership with Scouting. This International Fellowship of Scouting Rotarians was able to, for the first time in history, have the current President attend the World Jamboree and address Fellow Rotarians and Scouters. Orchestrated by US President for the Fellowship Mark Kriebel and International Commissioner Brian Thiessen, President Maloney addressed a full house with a message and a charge.
This year’s theme for Rotary is that Rotary Connects the World. The action plans is first about Results such as the eradication of Polio and all the other local and worldwide efforts of Rotarians. Secondly we are to expand our reach to grow our connections and increase our many ways of being a member. Third is to enhance participant engagement so that Rotary is family friendly and inclusive. Fourth is to increase our ability to adapt, because to change and grow, we need to make it easier to be a Rotarian, and it shouldn’t be a full time job. The 114 year history of Rotary won’t continue if we don’t actively innovate, adapt and welcome change and make it our own to strengthen our membership and complete our desired goals. Rotary will also be working closely with the United Nations building ties for Sustainability as one of its major goals. There will be 5 events: United Nations Day in New York, three international events, and the final just before the Convention in Hawaii.
A surprise was sprung, as the presentation of the Silver Wheel Award was presented by International President Maloney to US President Kriebel. This is the highest award for service by the International Fellowship of Scouting Rotarians, and wouldn’t have been possible without the work of Brian Thiessen, the Commissioner. “Scouting and Rotary walk this path together”, said International President Maloney. I am hoping to see even more of this spirit in District 7610, and in the clubs in Stafford County and Fredericksburg Va.