Honoring Lord Baden Powell
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of Scouting by Lord Baden Powell in England. Italy has been marking this event all year with a traveling display that recently stopped here in Ascoli Piceno. They also have been promoting “Centro piazze per Baden Powell”, a move to name 100 places in Italy after the founder of Scouting. In nearby Folignano they dedicated a park area to Lord Baden Powell with a ceremony including a mass and the requisite speech by the mayor.
We have seen small groups of Scouts from time to time in the centro storico and you can always tell them by their colorful shirts. They are mixed groups of boys and girls and each “troop” is differentiated by a different colored scarf. Scouting here is broken into as many different types of groups as there are political parties…and in Italy that means a lot. There is not one national Scouting organization similar to the Boy Scouts of America.
I joined Scouting when I was eleven, the regular camping trips being the strongest appeal to me. I come from a family of Scouters: both of my older brothers are Eagle Scouts, my dad was active in the local Scout administration for many years and even my mom was a Den Mother when I was little. Even my sister tried Brownies but her interests were elsewhere. I obtained my Eagle rank before I obtained my driver’s license and have been active in Scouting off and on for the past thirty years. I strongly believe that this organization, though it has changed over the years, helps to develop sound character traits in young people.