BOSCOREE Preparation Camp for Don Bosco Scouts and Guides
The first of the two-day programme kicked off in true scouting fashion with a flag break conducted by FMA sisters. The flag break served as the inaugural event of the programme and Father James Tuscano, provincial councillor of the Mumbai province, welcomed all who had gathered and wished them a fruitful experience.
The flag break was followed by a series of sessions that served as indicators for the path that Boscoree is intended to take. Father Savio Silveira, vice provincial of the Salesian province of Mumbai, delivered an emphatic session bringing before all the participants the significance of the Boscoree and its importance in the life of the province. He urged the participants to prepare well and to ensure that they involved themselves completely in the planning and execution of the Boscoree programme. Father Robert Simon, the South-Asia coordinator for Groups and Movements was present and addressed the gathering. He stressed the importance of the event in the life of Salesian India and how it plays a crucial role for the work carried out by Salesians in the country. He also highlighted the cooperation the Salesians enjoy from the Bharat Scouts and Guides office. He lauded the province for the manner in which it has undertaken to prepare for the event and wished the organisers a fruitful experience.
These preliminary talks were immediately followed by a turn to the brass tacks. Father Glenford Lowe, provincial councillor of the Mumbai province, instructed the participants on the daily schedule of the camp and allotted time for discussion in groups and delegation of responsibilities. The charge of animation and leadership was put into the hands of the sub camp chiefs. This allowed them a first-hand experience of what planning and working together would be like. Post-lunch, the sessions were more of a practical nature and dealt with aspects that the participants will directly be in charge of during the Boscoree. First, they were briefed about the content of the sessions that they would be required to take and were also given the know-how about conducting the sessions. They had some time to discuss in groups, clarify their difficulties and express opinions with regard to the model sessions that were prepared and displayed.
In addition to the sessions, the liturgical and other prayer services that would be conducted during the camp were also displayed and explained. Father Gregory Almeida, the in-charge of the catering department made known the plans and arrangements regarding the service and distribution of food. The participants were then ushered on the ground for a trial of whistle and hand signals. They were taught and asked to practice the signals in their groups. Immediately after tea, the practice of arranging the scouts and guides for the various programmes, flag procedures, and other important aspects of the camp routine was practiced and revised.
In the final session of the day, the participants' knowledge and practice of knots and lashings were refreshed. They were instructed in the art of pioneering and gadget making. They were further given opportunities for practice and assessment of one another. It was heartening to see the enthusiasm of all the participants trying to put their best foot forward in preparation for the mega event. Father Silveira, in his morning talk, made it amply clear that for nearly every scout and guide attending, this would be their first, last and only Boscoree and it is up to each one to make it a memorable occasion for them. The participants and in a special way the sub camp chiefs were kept on their toes throughout the day, as a foretaste of things to come. They are presented with a wonderful opportunity to learn and grow together and they seem to be making the best of it.