1,200 youth from Scouts and Guides of Europe to participate as volunteers
Madrid, December 6, 2010- The Scouts have spent months preparing for World Youth Day (WYD) in Madrid. The event will not only be an occasion for thousands of them traveling to Spain in August 2011, as the Scouts are also part of the organization that will provide 1,200 youth to the organizational volunteer corps.
The participation of these young people is the result of an agreement between the organization of World Youth Day and the International Union of Guides and Scouts of Europe. It is the first time that World Youth Day has signed an agreement with the association, allowing its members to collaborate in the organization of the event.
During the days of WYD, the Scout volunteers will help out with the management and accommodation of pilgrims in the hosting sites and in the main events. These Scouts, who come from 17 different countries worldwide, will work in groups of six.
The International Union of Guides and Scouts of Europe is a federation of 17 national Scout associations formed by 55,000 young Catholics from around Europe, including Russia, Czech Republic, Ukraine, France, Italy, Spain and beyond. This Catholic movement was recognized on September 19, 2008 as a Private Association of Faithful by the Holy See and the Spanish Bishops’ Conference.
Not Only Volunteer Work
Scouts who are not volunteers will also enjoy the experience of WYD in the spirit and unity that characterizes this movement. In the days leading up to August 11-15, 2011, the Scouts participating in the program of Days in the Diocese (in preparation for World Youth Day), will have the opportunity to stay in various dioceses in Spain in order to meet up with local Scouts and those from other countries. During those days, we will promote prayer, solidarity, and the discovery of the Christian roots of Spanish culture through activities related to history, sports, art, and cuisine.
"Solidarity and Fraternal Love"
John Paul II himself delivered a message to these young people in 1994, saying that the Scouts are called "to participate, with all the enthusiasm of your youth, in building a Europe of nations, to establish a society based on solidarity and fraternal love." These are the foundations of the principles of the Guides and Scouts of Europe.
However, the spirit of the Church is also found in other aspects. The Guides and Scouts of Europe are committed to a lifestyle based on the formation of one’s character, health, manual habilities, service, and awareness of God. As the Leader of Scouts and Guides of Europe in Spain, Juan Pedro Sánchez-Horneros, affirms: "They are a pastoral instrument for churches, promoter of faith education for its members, and thus, a font of vocations to leadership and social life, as well as the personal vocation - religious and lay alike.” Priests and religious also encourage the progress of the groups and the activities they undertake in the various parishes.