Catholic scouts ready for a new year

Marco Carvalho

After an exceptional year, the Lusophone Scouts Group of Macau is keen on attracting new blood, but the enrollment of new members is currently limited to the Explorers and the Pioneers. The Taipa Houses-Museum, near the Church of Our Lady of Carmel, was the chosen venue for the local Catholic scouts to re-launch their activities this Saturday morning.

The Lusophone Scouts Group of Macau (GELMac) will kick off its activities this Saturday after a short Summer break, with the organization of several activities outside the Taipa Houses-Museum, in Taipa. The initiative, which takes place from 10 AM till noon, will include games and songs with the aim of attracting new blood to the Catholic Scouts movement in Macau.

 “If every thing goes as planned – and if there’s no typhoon menacing Macau – our activities will start next Saturday,” Armindo Vaz, a scout leader, told O Clarim. “We will welcome new members and promote some of our current members to other sections. We will obviously have games and songs and activities of this kind,” Mr Vaz ascertains.

Tomorrow’s activity oversees the three sections – Cubs, Explorers and Pioneers – that integrate the Lusophone Scouts Group of Macau, but the enrollment of new members is, however, limited to children aged 10 or older. The circumstances are easily justified. The “exceptional adhesion” to the Catholic Scout movement that was registered since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic forced GELMac to moderate its ambitions: 

“We experienced an exceptional adhesion to the Cubs, the children aged 6 to 10. We are currently at our limit. We don’t have enough adult resources to do more,” Armindo Vaz explains. “In Macau, GELMac can only afford three sections. It’s really difficult to keep a Raiders section because most of our Pioneers leave Macau so they can join the University. It’s really a pity, because that would be the time when their contribution would be more than welcome,” the Scout leader claims.

Despite the pandemic, the last few months have been exceptional in more than one way for the Lusophone Scouts Group of Macau. For the very first time, the group did not lose a single member during the Summer break and managed to renew its leadership: “Curiously, this year there were no scouts leaving the group. On the contrary, there are two Explorers that are joining the Pioneers,” Armindo Vaz stresses. “And fortunately we managed to attract a few new scout leaders. Some were previously scouts in Portugal. But we still need more,” Mr. Vaz maintains. 

Covid-19 helped to strengthen the Catholic scouts movement in Macau, but the Covid-19 health crisis is still a hindrance for GELMac, forcing the Group to use creativity to answer old and new challenges:  “Within the constraints that the health situation has imposed on us and that forces us promote all our activities in Macau, we will try to be creative and, as we did last year, we will try to carry out innovative and interesting activities. The program is still being prepared,” Mr. Vaz claims. “We want our young members and the different sections to have a say in the elaboration of the programme. As soon as it is ready, it will be announced on the GELMac website,” the Scout leader ascertains.