Christmas is not the only season this December. Various Scout Youth Forums (SYFs) from every corner of the country are being conducted in accordance with the Youth Development Program of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines. Forums serve as an avenue for young people to be a part of the decision-making aspect of the Movement. But what kind of ideas are floating in the atmosphere during forums? Are they resolution-based or election-based? Either way, we should let the spirit of February overcome us. Let us put our love for the Movement and its Scouts first before anything that might imply otherwise.
A major feature of SYFs is the formulation of resolutions that aim to create better policies. They also aim to improve existing projects and encourage Scouts to become more vocal about their opinions and ideas. Because of this openness of the BSP to hear from Scouts themselves, SYFs has easily become one of the biggest and most-awaited annual events of Scouts. It represents the other side of Scouting amidst the well-missed physical Jamborees and adrenaline-inducing modules. It is what makes these activities fun and comfortable for Scouts.
Intentions, however, sometimes get lost in the process of striving for what is best for our fellow Scouts. Forumers have adopted competitive approaches towards forums to establish their resolutions. But although we want competent Scouts to represent us in these kinds of events, being competitive is a different conversation. We should focus on being approachable and open-minded during forums. We should be helping each other create meaningful resolutions that would impact the Scouting Movement for the better. During forums, we do not represent ourselves as individuals. Instead, we represent certain groups that we come from, and eventually, we become one forum body that has one goal.
On the other side of the coin is the election for Scout Representatives. Scout Representatives represent their Scouting communities as part of their respective Scout Committees. They should be selected based on their capability in expressing their opinions and ideas and their capacity to aid the concerns of their fellow young people. The vote of the people should not be dictated by a strategy in the guise of unity and brotherhood; Nor shall it be dictated by a senior or person of authority. Each individual should have the right to vote freely as the elected will represent them, not those in power or authority.
The SYF is a platform for change and it is a platform that should be used responsibly. Not every young person has the chance to express themselves and directly affect a whole Movement. It is a privilege that must be protected and preserved for the generations to come by ceasing to bear witness to self-serving tactics and bringing back the true essence of SYFs— serving the people, serving the Scouts.
Let us not let SYFs become a breeding ground of crab mentality and dirty politics. Instead, let us embody the month of hearts and put our love for our fellows at the forefront. Let us be moved by this love to have the ability to create resolutions that will mould the Movement. Let us be moved by this love to be kind and helpful to each other especially when it comes to sharing each other’s opinions. Let us be moved by this love to help us make the right decisions, especially the ones that will not only impact us but also our fellow Scouts. Share the love, protect and preserve the SYFs.