World Committee member Alf Runar Bakke represented ISGF at the combined 15th WAGGGS and 22nd WOSM European Conference at Melsomvik, Norway, 17-21 June 2016. Ivan Chetwynd, journalist for the St Georg Newsletter of NSGF Norway met him there.
I suppose you have met a lot of old friends from the time you were Chief Scout in Norway and deeply involved in international scouting?
Only a couple, I’m glad to say! If those who were active 25 years ago were still in charge today, it would be a very bad sign for scouting!
Have you seen any good signs for guiding and scouting here at the Conference?
Yes. Not least the fact that the average age of the delegates is much lower now than it was at the last international conferences I attended. And the younger guide and scout leaders are not afraid to stand up and make their voices heard. The enthusiasm of the delegates is a sign that guiding and scouting have a bright future!
Are the delegates familiar with ISGF?
A few are, but not many. That may be because the average age is so low. They don’t feel that ISGF is something for them. I explain to them that we are adult scouts, not old scouts. And that we exist to support the guide and scout movement.
Alf Runar leaves to mingle with delegates to tell them more about ISGF. He uses a PowerPoint presentation to explain about ISGF.
“In the footsteps of the Founder.” Runar measures his foot against a bronze cast of B-P’s footprint from 1928, which was exhibited in the booth of the Norwegian Scout and Guide Museum at the Conference.