Zelazko (Fides Service) – More than 8,000 scouts and guides between 11 and 16 years of age are taking part in the 6th International Rally of Catholic Scouts from 1-12 August in Zelazko in Poland. This edition is special because it is organised for the first time by an all-international team and is being held in an east European country Poland where, as in other Eastern European countries, Scouting was banned until 1989. At this year’s Rally these countries are well represented; in fact the young people come from: Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Rumania, Albania, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Switzerland, Spain, and there are delegations from Belo-Russian, Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia, Russia, Bulgaria and Canada.
The objective of the Eurojam is to contribute to the individual formation of the boys and girls and to build relationships of authentic communion among peoples. The participants will form small for twinning activities with groups from other countries. The activities will include team games, field missions, workshops of Scouting activities, sports, camp cooking, means which will serve to propose Christian values such as loyalty, friendship, service and hospitality. Besides official ceremonies of opening and closing, the programme will include a pilgrimage to Czestochowa for a special Mass on 7 August where the eight thousand participants will make an act of entrustment to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Scouting is not an end in itself, it is seen as an apostolate and service, a means of building up authentic persons who have undertaken a spiritual journey on which they aim to live the Gospel values and put them at the service of the world. Special attention is given to fidelity to the Church and the teaching of the Pope and the Bishops and active membership in the local Church and particular parish in which the Scout group operates.
The International Union of Scouts and Guides of Europe - Federation of European Scouting UIGSE-FSE has 60,000 members in 15 countries of Europe plus Canada and it is in full expansion in eastern Europe. The Pontifical Council for the Laity recently has recognised UIGSE-FSE as a private international association of Catholics of pontifical right. SL (Fides Service 31/7/2003 EM lines 28 Words: 317)