Saturday, 18 June 2016

15th European Guide and Scout Conference - Day 1

500 people from 50 different countries have ascended on the Oslofjord Convention Centre over the last few days. Neckers of all different colours, people speaking different languages,  friends reuniting and people being introduced for the first time all here for one reason, The15th European Guide and Scout Conference.
The European Conference is made up of 3 conferences, The European Guide Conference, The European Scout Conference and The Guide and Scout Conference. The conference is a place to network with people, share ideas and make decisions on the organisations future.
The first day of the conference consisted of networking sessions for International Commissioners, Chief Volunteers,  Program &Training and Finance. Here we got the opportunity to talk to other organisations, we shared what is working for our member organisations , what struggles we face and came up with ideas about how we can help each other overcome these.
Later that evening we had the Opening Ceremony, We were welcomed to Norway by the Chief Guide and the Chief Scout of Norway. The European WAGGGS Chair and WOSM Chair both welcomed us to the Conference. We then listened to a speech from Stian Seland, President of the Norwegian National Youth Council. What he had to say was very relevant to what we do and what our vision is.
He said that Young people make up one quarter of the world's population, this is the largest amount of young people there had ever been. When young people were asked what large issues they cared about they said Health care,  Care of the elderly  and Poor people. Young people don't always think of themselves.
It's been said that the Youth are the future, but Seland tells us that this is incorrect, because youth are the present, in the future they won't be youth anymore! He ended his speech 
with a phrase that stood out to us; Youthless development is useless development.
The European Conference holds lots more exciting sessions, people to meet and things to learn. We look forward to the week ahead to see what unfolds.

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