GELMAC celebrates 25th anniversary under Covid-19 shadow

Marco Carvalho

A bicycle ride bound for the campus of the University of Macau on Hengqin Island set, once again, the Lusophone Scouts Group (GELMac) in motion, after a short Christmas break. The Catholic Scouts movement celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2022, but the Covid-19 pandemic threatens to overshadow the celebrations.

The Lusophone Scouts of Macau (GELMac) will celebrate later this year a quarter of a century of activities “on behalf of the youth and Lusophone Scouting in Macau,” but the current health constraints, resulting from the aggravation of the Covid-19 pandemic in mainland China, could deprive the silver anniversary of its rightful magnitude.

The group, affiliated with the Portuguese National Scouts Corp (Corpo Nacional de Escutas), does not intend to ignore the anniversary, but the way in which it will be commemorated depends, to a large extent, on the evolution of the Covid-19 epidemic scenario: “This year, GELMac completes 25 years of activity, at the service of youth and Lusophone Scouting in Macau. We would like to celebrate this important anniversary, but given the current constraints, we become reliant on the evolution of the pandemic. In addition to this celebration, we are planning to organize a Group Camp (ACAGRU), a Pioneer Camp (ACAPIO), as well as several other activities,” Armindo Vaz, a GELMac scouts leader, told O CLARIM

The Lusophone Scouts Group of Macau resumed its activities after a short Christmas break with a Scout Leaders’ formation and a bicycle ride that took a group of pioneers to the campus of the University of Macau in Hengqin Island. Last Sunday, a small group of Scouts cycled along the coastal perimeter of Taipa and Cotai to the premises of Macau’s largest higher education institution, an initiative that was both fun and educational: “The Pioneers are organized in a system of patrols. They choose the programs and the activities they want to carry out. The Scout leaders are there merely to give them their support. For the first time ever, these Pioneers decided that they wanted to promote a ride to the premises of the University of Macau in Hengqin island. We had already been there, but it was the first time we cycled to Hengqin,” Armindo Vaz explained. 

The Scout leader praised the choice, by considering that cycling meets some of the essential values ​​of the Scout movement philosophy: “Scouting promotes the integral development of young people and also its physical component. On the other hand, both the defense of Nature and the Environment are enshrined in the 6th article of the Scout Law (‘A Scout is a Friend to Animals’), while the 9th Law says that “A Scout is thrifty,” Armindo Vaz told O CLARIM.