Creating a Lasting Impact

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“Living the Scout Law”

By Eli Chan

This post is part of a series on our upcoming International Service Project to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.  You can read more about the project here: http://pccrovers.com/international-trips/mexico-2014/

Having multiple opportunities to interact with the local Scouts and culture is an important aspect during each of our international projects within the 180th Pacific Coast Scout Group. From making lifetime friends with the Scouts in the Philippines to inspiring the lives of youth leaders in China, we aspire to provide a lasting impact to all those we meet outside of Canada. These experiences will become the root of our lessons learnt and stories told when we return back home and bring forward to all future projects to come.

Since confirming that we will be heading to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for our 4th International Project, we have contacted the President of the Pacific Coast Province of the Scouts Association of Mexico, Moisés Ruvalcaba Ceja  who has expressed his excitement and happiness for the arrival of one contingent comprised of two Canadian Scout groups, 22 members from 180th Pacific Coast and 8 more other rovers from 1st Rivorton in Fredericton, Canada. As we approach the day we leave Canada for Puerto Vallarta, we will be continuing to work out details of exactly what projects and activities we will collaborate with the Mexican scouts during the two weeks in Puerto Vallarta.

Service Project

We will be carrying out two main service projects during our time in Mexico, one of which has been proposed by Moisés himself.  He would like us to assist his Scouts in renovating their Scout Hall that would soon house more than 500 Mexican Scouts in the local region. As mentioned in a previous blog post, the Mexican Scouts are not as fortunate to have a meeting area as we do.  Therefore, this would be a fantastic way to provide service to the local Scouts, and overall contributing to the success of the worldwide scouting movement outside of Scouts Canada.

Moises is asking us to take on 3 following exciting projects:

1. Draw and paint inspirational Scouting quotes/phrases on their walls throughout the entire Scout Hall

2. Paint a large scale version of their Scout group banner on one of the walls near the grand entrance of the Scout Hall

3. Create a design for a mural that will be painted on the walls in the Banquet Hall. As this room will be known as the grand meeting room, we will want our design to be our gift to the Mexican scouts.

Cultural Exchange

Moisés has been continuing to bring great news for us in Canada as we quickly approach the day we leave for Puerto Vallarta. He has graciously helped us contact the Chief Scout of Mexico, Ana Lorena Gudiño Valdez, who has confirmed her attendance at an upcoming city-wide event that will be held to celebrate our arrival. This event would take place in the centre of the city, and will consist of a competition race between the Canadian and Mexican Scouts, followed by a great bonfire held at a nearby beach complete with songs and dances.

We are visiting a country that most of us have not been before. We are exposing ourselves in a seemingly dark foreign place to people who speak a different language from us. What are we exactly doing to prepare ourselves for this?

For the past few months, we have been challenging ourselves to be ready for this trip. We have taken on learning basic Spanish to better communicate with the locals once we arrive in Puerto Vallarta. We are continuously working together in teams to plan out every intricate detail of the trip. From evaluating the risks and hazards of our destination to practicing singing (in tune!) well-known scouting songs that celebrate the Canadian culture, the amount of effort and hard work we all put in will ultimately determine the success of the trip. With the service projects and interactions with the Mexican Scouts, we as one contingent are all striving towards the common goal of creating an unforgettable impact on every single individual we meet.

It is a given that we will need to mentally prepare ourselves to take on and look into the eyes of impromptu challenges and obstacles. It is also a given that we will further test and develop our existing skill set, and soft-skills along the way during those two weeks in Mexico. I am certain though, that this experience in May will give us all the golden chance to work as one team, as one group, and as one united contingent.

Dylan Book

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