Scouts help direct traffic in Baguio City
Last week, during the holy days, my family and I went to Baguio City for vacation. We stayed at a friend’s place and I met a long time friend, Noel Salvacion. He encouraged me to write all my experience while I travel around the world because of Scouting. Please allow me to tell my story …
Baguio City Scout Council is one of the 101 local councils of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines. Every summer vacation, they launch a programme they coined as Operation SumVac (for summer vacation). Baguio City is the summer capital of the Philippines and tourist, local and overseas flock the city every year. Scouts are doing their “good turn” by assisting tourist for directions or with whatever they can. Senior Scouts and Rover Scouts are even involved in traffic, making sure that pedestrians are safe to cross the busy streets of Baguio City, especially at that time.
My heart always jumps with joy whenever I see Scouts helping tourist, or manning the traffic. Even when Scouts, in their uniform, walk the streets of Baguio City is itself a source of inspiration. It always makes me feel that Scouting is alive.
Baguio City Scout Council has 8,434 Scouts and adult leaders (as of Jan-09). The regional office coordinating Northeastern Luzon Region (NELR) and Ilocos Region (IR) of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines is also located in Baguio City. While in Baguio City, my wife and I took the opportunity to visit this office.
We met Flor Atinyao, who is the current Regional Scout Director for NELR-IR. Flor was once involved with our project of reviving Scouting in Cambodia. We also met Milo Nevarida, who retired as Regional Scout Director of the same region, was enjoying the retired life and was bragging about his two noisy pet turkeys. Mr. Neverida is a mentor when I was a young executive with the Boy Scouts of the Philippines.
Edwin Mutug was also there at that time. He is the Council Scout Executive of Nueva Vizcaya Scout Council. We also met Mark Cambod, the Regional Field Scout Executive. Mark, who is a wonderful person, was a classmate from the 22nd National Training School of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines. Mark and I were looking at our “class” picture and started counting who among our classmates were still active in Scouting.
These four people we met are full-time executives of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines. Scouting is their life and even during this time of holidays they still talk about Scouting. I was happy sitting with them, listening as they expressed their frustrations and dreams about how to make Scouting flourish. After a while, it was lunch time. I sat with them and ate lunch together – they still talk about Scouting!