scouts-l Mail Archive for May of 2000: Units Abroad
Alexandria Lone Scout (scouts_alex@HOTMAIL.COM
Mon May 15 2000 - 04:53:58 CDT
This is a follow up commentary on the status of units abroad.
"3. Direct Service Council
To add to what Phil Abbey & Mike posted, I'd like to add that it's not
just American youth in the troops. I've been involved with units in
DSC & FE that had youth who's home Scouting organization didn't have
units in that country (actually, BSA & British scouting are the only
one's I've seen with remote units, although others could have them),
so they came to BSA. Earned exactly the same rank advancement, same
fun times, added some nice background. I believe this is possible in
the US, but not as common."
My troop as a lad in San Diego, CA produced a Pakistani Eagle Scout.
BSA is one of the few scout associations to still have a Lone Scout Program.
The UK and Canada no longer have this option. Australia and New Zealand
still retain a "Lones" program. Both those associations do have units
abroad. Canada most notably in Washington, DC has a few groups abroad. The
British Scout Association has over 50 unified units (little guys through big
guys in different sections of a group) in the British Groups Abroad program
(BGA) which functions very much like BSA's Direct Service Council.
Here in Egypt there are a thriving BSA pack and troop centered on the Cairo
American College (a K-12 school) and our tiny Lone Scout unit down in
Alexandria. There are rumors of a British group in Cairo. The BSA troop is
diverse in its membership as is common with many DSC units. In some
countries the local government will not allow their own nationals to
participate while others don't care or don't care as long as their nationals
are also attending the "American" school.
BSA's rules about membership and nationality of leadership sometimes get
stretched in order to make the program work. In our time in Saudi the SM and
CC were Canadian and British while the membership had at least 5 countries
represented. The council was unhappy but a letter from the Ambassador
cleared up the issue. The latest Eagle was an Indian national while the next
one coming down the line was a Canadian to be followed by an American. Great
GSUSA also operates a "Lones" program and a "Lone Troop" program wherein a
local committee mimics a voluntary council organization. Kuwait has a large
and thriving GSUSA Lone Troop with multiple units.
When we got going here in September, 1999, I pulsed the American school to
see what the possibilities were for getting more kids involved, a troop
would have been nice, and found that there simply weren't enough ex-pat's of
any variety interested so didn't pursue the matter. The school is less than
25% American (K-12) and is roughly 40% Egyptian in its student body of 235.
The Egyptians have their own scouting program through the schools and
mosques. We have been challenged enough as a family as it is without adding
more of a burden on the time.
Alexandria Lone Scouts
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