110 years of active action and solidarity
National Greek Scouts organization counts 110 years of activity in the country , started with Lord Beinden Powell in 1907 in England with a small group of boys and counts today 30 million members in 217 countries. In Greece appeared two years later by Athanasios Lefkaditis, a physical education teacher and head of the Greek sports team. The motive was his trip to London at the 4th Olympic Games, where he had the opportunity to attend at a show- presentation of the Scouts’ program where it caught his attention.
His enthusiasm for the presentation he had attended with a random encounter he had with an English scout, was enough to get him the idea of scouting and read the books published by Beinden Powell (founder of scouts) . After that he returned to Greece and he worked as physical education teacher at Dimitris Makris School, where he created the first team of scouts in Greece.
Athanasios Lefkaditis, Founder of Greek Scouting
In November 1910, his dream came true, he officially introduced the scouting in the country, causing the curiosity and comments of the Athenians, because of the suit and the backpack.
In 1912, took place the first great tree planting in Athens, since then it is happening every year until today. Two years later, Athanasios Lefkadis organized the first Scout Show in the capital, where 850 young people and children participated.
In the years that followed, there were objective difficulties due to wars and occupation, yet the Greek Scouts stand with strength and courage, with secret meetings during the war and with organization they tried to help in many ways.
A little later in the construction of Greece they were again there, declaring their presence, helping the young people and raising generations of Greeks and non-Greeks.
Their core today is more than 25,000, of which 8,000 are adult volunteers, their main goal is to educate children and adolescents properly, without discrimination in color, gender or religion. The SEP currently operates under the supervision of the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs while participating in the World Organization of Scout Movement.
The Scout Movement in Greece, as mentioned by Mrs. Benas (the communications officer of SEP) and worldwide, has a key role to play in raising the awareness of the adult and underage audience, but also in recognizing the incredible dynamic of volunteering, as well as in highlighting its valuable contribution to building societies based on trust, reciprocity, solidarity and acceptance.
It is no coincidence that the Scouts in this context are implementing in practice through their programs and the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals. sensitizing children, adolescents and young people.
Through their organized programs, they help to form great personalities based on the capabilities of each child individually. The Scout Movement is a volunteer movement particularly sensitive to social issues such as migration, poverty, environmental protection, and respect for human rights.
“The Scouts were for me an opportunity to meet parts of our country that I could not otherwise visit, from mountain tops to forgotten in time nature trails, and from villages built on rocks and hidden in gorges to border areas with few inhabitants, where we were the first children they had the chance to see after many years, “explains Christoforos Mitromaras, the General Commissioner of Greek Scouts.
Christoforos Mitromaras, Chief Commissioner of Greek Scouts
Many times you may have wondered what the scouts are doing, what they offer to society, to children, to the environment. This group is distinguished by its love for nature, its respect for the environment and its many actions. It enables children (and not only) to get in touch with dozens of sports activities, to love nature, to develop a sense of solidarity, and to create friendships of friendship.
The limit age for joining to the scout group is 7 years old, but the truth is that there is no ideal age for participation since even an adult could take part in the action and that’s what makes scouting so exciting . “Anyone who wants to keep join with us till his really old age, is welcomed ,” says Maria Bena, communications officer.
The Greek Scouts on of the World Environment Day have done and are taking action to remind us, the need to protect the biodiversity of the planet’s energy sources and natural resources. The special theme of this year’s celebration was “Atmospheric Pollution”, one of the greatest challenges of our time.
In the framework of strategic partnerships, scouts will buy for their own moves 10 electric scooters, which will be symbolically distributed across Greece, helping for another time the fight against air pollution.
In a year they celebrate 110 years of presence in Greece, as Mr. Mitromaras tells us, they have planned a big celebration program that will include a report on the historical course and the offer of Scouting in Greek society as well as actions in different parts of the country .
The meeting will conclude with The 5th National Scout Jamboree, with participation where it is expected to surpass 4000 teenagers from all over Greece.
Several parents are trying to find the best outdoor activities for their children, scouting offers over 200 different activities to young people (sailing, cycling, climbing, hiking, parachuting, canyoning etc .) bringing them closer to the nature.
All of Scouting’s activities reflect love and respect for the environment and that’s why there is a true philosophy behind each move.”It was an opportunity and a good fortune to create strong friendships that follow me to my life today, but also an excellent field to discover the slopes and possibilities, to cultivate skills and to acquire useful resources for my life” Mitrolateral.
The sure thing, is that people need solidarity and people with social sensitivity to go further, holding humanity from one hand and self-responsibility from the other. The Greek Scouts have the way to stand and give life lessons, and this is what they witness 110 years of actual presence and offering.