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International Links

Calling all Scout Troops

Are you aware of the International Links Scheme? The programme helps to put you in touch with Scouts, Eclaireurs, Tropa and others around the world, says Peter Ford

T

he scheme offers a means of communicating with other Scouts abroad and provides an ‘international experience’ without necessarily having to leave your own town. The traditional concept of writing a letter has now given way to members all over the world, from Australia to Malawi to Hong Kong to Zimbabwe, requesting links with Scouts online. As well as exchanging emails, International Links/ penpals can now talk to each other on Skype, share photos and videos using any number of online tools (including Group websites, MSN and YouTube), and link up with each other in October during Jamboree-on-the-Air and Jamboree-on-the-Internet, the world's largest International Scouting event. There's still room for snail mail too... badge swaps, anyone?

Why make an international link? Scouting has always promoted international peace, understanding and co-operation through encouraging contact between young people from various countries and cultures. These connections help young people develop a broader awareness of the global community, seeing what they have in common and what the differences are between themselves and Scouting friends globally.

When you participate in the International Links Scheme your Scouts will: • Have an opportunity to make new friends. • Get an aid to complete the Global Challenge Badge and International Friendship Partnership Award. • Build a relationship that can last a lifetime. • Swap photos, programme ideas and camp experiences. • Maybe even visit and camp together. And don’t forget that leaders can also exchange ideas with, and gain support from, an international counterpart with similar interests and goals.

How do you find a link?

If you are interested in trying to organise a link, please contact Peter Ford, the International Links Co-ordinator at international.links@scouts.org.uk or register online at www.scouts.org.uk/intlinks . The scheme can be used by individual youth members and leaders, as well as Group links between sections.

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