Juan Salazar and Mathilde Zubieta accompanied by members of the Local Scout and Guide Fellowship of Panama City
As the Local Scout and Guide Fellowship (LSGF) told me "this was the first time we have de opportunity of having Fellowship visitors from another country".
The Panamanian Guild welcomed us in a really perfect Scout Spirit. They showed us how true the meaning of the word, "FELLOWSHIP" is.
From the 19th till the 22nd of May we, Juan Salazar and Matilde Zubieta, both members of the Chilean National Scout and Guide Fellowship (NSGF) visited Panama not for an official trip but just as Scout fellows we are. On our trip we decided to visit our fellows Adult Scouts from Panama. I made contact with Marquelda Arauz, International Secretary for Panama NSGF.
At the airport on the day of arrival, they offered us a warm welcome by a group of seven people. They guided us in Panama City where we had the chance of visiting many interesting places. We spent our last evening with them where we gathered with most of the members of their LSGF and two leaders of the respectively WOSM and WAGGGS National Associations. The meeting took place at the "Guide House" in Panamá City. At this unexpected meeting, I talked about ISGF as they want to be updated and many things to know from the organization. As far as I saw they have some minor problems, such us their members are getting older and not many young people are getting involved with Adult Scouting. The explanation for that is that Scouting and Guiding in Panama has been decreasing their membership in the last few years. Their relationship with Guiding is stronger than with Scouting, and this NSGF is working close together with the Guide Association.
I think after my visit and the meeting we held, the Scout Association will try to improve their contact and make it strong. Moreover this NSGF has offered their assistance to the Scout Association in 2010 when the Interamerican Regional Conference will take place in Panama City.
Finally I conclude that personal contact with other NSGFs or Central Branch groups or individuals from different countries make a great difference and motivate others in a positive way.
Juan Salazar, Central Branch Coordinator Latin America