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Scouting Never Stops with Costas Tsantilis

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CONSTANTINOS TSANTILIS, or Costas, was a Member of the World Scout Committee (1996 -2002). Before this, Costas served as International Commissioner (1986 – 1988 and 1991 – 1995) of Soma Hellinon Proskopon,. He was also appointed as Chief Commissioner (1987) of Scouting in Greece. During his many years of active service, Costas was awarded the Bronze Wolf in 2004. Let us listen to him tell his story that in the midst of any crisis, natural or man-made, Scouting never stops.

As a Scout

Costas was born in 1944 in Athens, Greece. He grew up when the country was in ruins, after the Second World War. He was a Cub and a Scout with the 17th Scout Group Athens, during those period when armed conflict was going on, one after the other. The 17th Scout Group Athens was founded in 1923 and still exciting until now. Indeed, Scouting never stops with this group!

Costas Tsantilis as a Leader (extreme right).

As a Leader

Costas served in different capacities as a Leader from 1965 to 1985. He served as Troop Leader, a Group leader, Deputy Area Commissioner, Public Relations Commissioner for Athens District, and then National Sea Scouts Commissioner.

As a young Assistant Troop Leader, he led a group of Scouts to support the refugees from the armed conflict in Cyprus. Scouts collected five truck loads of provisions, which included – food, clothing, blankets and temporary shelter. Scouts collected these supplies and were shipped from the Sea Scout Base near the Port of Piraeus to Cyprus.

“Most people would wish for world peace. I say … Scouting, with its activities, is what prepares children for world peace. Scouting, therefore, is education for peace.”

Costas Tsantilis

His Contribution to Scouting

Costas worked tirelessly to advance the cause of Scouting. When asked what he considers his significant contribution to Scouting as a Member of the World Scout Committee. He told us these three things that he is proud about.

Operation Chernobyl

In July and August 1990, 15 European Scout associations, plus Australia and Korea, welcomed more than 1,200 children from the area of Byelorussia irradiated by the Chernobyl disaster. The 13–15 year-olds were selected by the Soviet Children’s Fund, in accordance with criteria established by the WOSM and Pro Victimis, a Swiss foundation which financed a large part of the project. (This is an excerpt from WOSM document, “Scouting and Peace,” 2002).

Costas was part of the Task Force for the Operation “Solidarity with the Youth of Chernobyl” (1989 – 1992).

The birth of Eurasia Scout Region, 27 April 1997. From left to right: Jacques Moreillon, Malek Gabr, Jean Cassaigneau, Francisco Frankie) Roman, Costas Tsantilis, Harutyun Harutyunyan, and Alexander S. Bondar.

Scouting in Eurasia

When the Soviet Union was dissolved into independent states, Costas was involved in the development of Scouting in a number of these states. The creation of the sixth Region of the World Organization of the Scout Movement was approved by the World Scout Committee on 27 April, 1997.

The Eurasia Scout Region supports 12 member countries – Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, the Republic of Georgia, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Republic of Moldova, The Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Ukraine. Since 2010, the Eurasia Regional Office of the World Scout Bureau is located in Kiev, Ukraine.

20th World Scout Jamboree

What Costas is most proud of is representing the World Scout Committee to the Host Organizing Committee of the 20th World Scout Jamboree in Thailand. It was a challenging task as he sometimes found himself in difficult negotiations with the Host Organization of the 20th World Scout Jamboree.

The 20th World Scout Jamboree took place between 28 December 2002 and 8 January 2003 in Sattahip, Thailand. With a Jamboree Theme, Share our World, Share our Cultures, some 30,000 Scouts from all over the world participated in this Jamboree.

Who is Costas Tsantilis?

Costas studied Political and Social Sciences at the Panteion University of Athens and has PHD in International Public Relations from Devonshire University. He is the owner of the family business “Athens Weaving Mils” and retired in 2000.

Costas is a Sailing instructor and International Judge. He is the Chairman of the Hellenic Sailing Federation Appeals and Race Officials Supreme Committee. He served as Administration Manager of the Sailing competition at the Athens 2004 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

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2 Comments

  • August 2, 2020 at 5:08 PM
    GEORGE HOURDAKIS

    great interview about a dear friend and a great Scout

    Reply
    • August 15, 2020 at 6:43 PM
      Syd CASTILLO

      Thank you, George, for your feedback. Scout on!

      Reply

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