IAR Sub-regional Network Meeting in Trinidad

May 5-7, 2017

By: Bethlene Ferdinand - Youth Commissioner, Scout Association of St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Being greeted by warm, friendly Scouts of Trinidad and Tobago was what I needed to guarantee the fruitful weekend that was about to take place.  From the pick up at the airport to the departure at the hotel, this trip definitely has me wanting to visit the country again, the next time hopefully only to eat the delicious delicacies of ‘doubles’ and experience the exciting night life of which we only had a small taste.

The weekend was deemed to be intense.  Early mornings, late nights and very long days created friendships that will last a lifetime. Sharing and exchanging ideas and experiences has encouraged me to promote Scouting in my country of St. Vincent with a renewed vigor towards achieving the Vision 2023.

Topics discussed, which were centered on Vision 2023 and the basic institutional needs of the various NSOs present, gave me a clearer understanding on the way forward.  St. Vincent was fortunate enough to participate in the GSAT audit and welcomed the opportunity to share that experience with others at the meeting.  Other NSOs were also encouraged to take part in the GSAT.

Day two was packed with a fun and exciting agenda.  First was the ‘Youth Programme’, followed by ‘Youth Engagement’ and ‘Adults in Scouting’.  These three sessions made all of the participants aware of the developmental status of each area with emphasis on what needs to be done to ensure that youth are involved in the governance process of each NSO. The communications session was fun and exciting and we learned how to sell Scouts effectively. The night culminated with a lovely dinner hosted by ScoutsTT’s National Scout Commissioner.

Finally came day three, a sad time for everyone who had to depart.  While I had a heavy heart, I was very excited to return to the Scout Association of St. Vincent so that I can positively impact the youth and NSO.  Each network separated itself and I participated in the Youth Programme Network meeting where positive and negative features were discussed from experiences about each NSO.  However, these negative features were also remedied with positive ideas from the regional office and other Scouts to move forward.

Each participant received a certificate of participation, farewells were said and a lot of pictures were taken. ScoutsTT were the perfect hosts and I cannot wait to meet them again!

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