Re: What's a "moot"?
David D. Miller +49 6221 594535 (DDM@DHDIBM1.BITNET)
Thu, 24 Jun 1993 10:41:36 -0600
> So I also will be interrested to know the OFFICIAL discription of
> a MOOT.
Don, the best 'official' description of a Moot can be found in
"Scouting 'Round the World". Quoting from memory: "A gathering of
members of the senior sections of national Scout organizations,
traditionally called Rovers, and other young adults in Scouting."
T-shirts from the 8th World Moot define a Rover to be "a male or female
homosapien between the ages of 18 and 26, dedicated to fun and
adventure while serving the community in the Scouting way."
The World Moot is one of the three great World gatherings of Scouts:
the other two are the World Jamboree, for Scouts aged 14-17, and
Indaba, for Scout Leaders.
Rovers only became popular world-wide in the 20's and 30's, and it was
only in 1931 that the first Rover Moot was held at Kandersteg. The
World Moots have never been as large as the World Jamborees, because
the number of Rovers has never even come close to the number of members
in the younger age ranges. Participation at the first 7 World Moots
ranged between 1500 and 4000.
The Moots are unlike the Jamborees for several reasons: The programs
are organized and run entirely by Rovers, with little external support.
The last two World Moots were sponsored and run entirely by the Rover
section in the host country, and I believe that was the case for all
but the 6th Rover Moot. Even the HQ team supporting the UK contingent
at the 9th Moot were all of Rover age.
Another difference is in the funding: a Jamboree participant is sent
to the Jamboree with the help of adults in his or her home area. The
majority of Moot participants have to cover their own expenses, apply
for their own sponsorship, often arrange their own transport - most
have to get a job to pay for their Scouting. The contingent from
Lichtenstein, a small European country with a total Scout membership of
around 1000, raised enough money through selling special sweatshirts
and other souvenirs to help two Scouts from the Ivory Coast of Africa
to attend the Moot.
Also, because of the age range, most of the participants are much
further on with their education, especially in terms of foreign
languages, and communication between participants from different
countries can be done at a far higher level than is the case at
Jamborees. At the 9th World Moot, English and French were enough to
reach about 95% of all the participants, with German and Italian only
being used out of politeness towards the host nation. (The use of
Icelandic at one evening event was for other reasons altogether.) I
very much doubt if communication at a Jamboree could be as effective
with just two languages, and that the leaders of the Jamboree Troops
must do a lot of the translation work.
Also, improving international relations is far more important at a Moot
than at a Jamboree. The Moot participants are generally of age to
vote, and can return home and have their say in their government. Very
few Jamboree participants can do anything much beyond telling others
what a great time they had.
The World Bureau took advantage of the large collection of young
people, and hosted a session of the World Youth Forum at the same time.
Bob can probably explain what that is better that I could, since I was
away doing other things when they met.
Apart from the difference in age range, and the problems/benefits of
not having any "older leaders", many of the activities were probably
similar. There were the traditional high-adventure activities:
hiking, climbing, caving, canoeing, rafting, mountain-biking,
paragliding, as well as less demanding activities: conservation work
on hiking trails on the high alps; helping with track repairs on a
small-gauge railway; visiting Swiss Scout Troops and Cub Packs and
giving a presentation on international Scouting; doing a course on
photography, including spending time in a darkroom speaking five
different languages; learning traditional Swiss skills like Alphorn
blowing, woodcarving, folkdancing and cheesemaking. Letting young
adults loose on these is very different from letting adolescents try
them out with adult leaders getting under their feet.
The group of thirty that I was part of for the photography course
included representatives from seventeen different countries: Iceland,
Norway, Sweden, Denemark, Scotland, England, Germany, Poland,
Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Mexico, Korea, Australia, Canada, New
Zealand and Finland. Over five days, we became a close group,
totally forgetting the national origins of the members.
You may have noticed that I have separated the first seven Rover Moots
from the last two Moots, the 8th and 9th. The gap between the 7th and
8th World Moots was around 31 years, and there were many changes in
World Scouting during that time. In the early 1960s, after the 7th
Moot in 1961, the World Organization decided that participation in
Rovers at international level would be better if the Moot was replaced
with a year in which Rovers worldwide did special events at a regional
or national level. The idea was sound at the time, and participation
in events during "Moot Years" did increase to around 15000 during the
1970s. However, with the numbers dwindling, and the growing popularity
of Regional Moots, it was decided in 1989 to try once again at a World
The response was such that both Switzerland and Australia bid to hold
the trial Moot, and the World Committee decided to allow a double
trial, first in Australia in 1990-91, and then in Switzerland in 1992.
Both were outstanding successes, and the feeling of the participants is
that the trial should become a standard. New Zealand and Sweden both
put in bids for the 10th World Moot, even before the decision was made
that there will be a tenth, in the full knowledge that most of the
participants this time will be unable to attend in 1996-7 in New
Zealand - either because of age or for other reasons. (Of course I'll
still be 25 in 1996! ;-)
As for why the 6th World Moot was different, it was also a World
Jamboree and an Indaba all held at the same time at the same place:
1957 in Sutton Coldfield, England. The 50th Anniversary of World
Scouting was deemed a good excuse to hold all three together, so a fair
proportion of the organization for the Moot was done jointly with the
Jamboree - although it's probably fair to say that much of the effort
towards running the Jamboree was probably done by Rovers.
David D. Miller
Scouting in Europe - A Unique Experience
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City