2017-04-22

H.M. The King's speech at the Baden-Powell Fellowship Dinner, Berlin, Saturday 22 April 2017

(The spoken version shall take precedence)

Your Majesty,

Excellences,

Dear Baden-Powell Fellows and Friends,

“A scout is a friend to all, and a brother to every other scout.”

This was the fourth paragraph of the original scout law, as it appeared in Baden-Powells, “Scouting for Boys”, published in 1908.

As you can appreciate, the words are still as relevant today, more than a century later.

I have been impressed by the response from the German Scouts to their country's commitment to accept one million refugees. Local Scout troops have taken the initiative to welcome newly arrived families and help them integrate into their new communities. Similar initiatives have been taken in many other countries, including my own.

During this global refugee crisis, Scouts and Guides have shown what it means to be a friend to all. Scouting has once again proved itself as a global grass-root movement, where actions speak louder than words.

A movement to be proud of.

Tonight we are here to celebrate you all; the remarkable people who make a difference to the lives of millions of young Scouts and Guides.

You help young people change the world!

This is indeed one of the most rewarding parts of my role as Honorary Chairman of the World Scout Foundation.

Standing here, greeting the new BP Fellows and Honours Programme Members – both personally and individually.

During the Investor Conference, the new Secretary General of World Scouting spoke about his plans for the future. He clearly stated the need for all of us – here in Berlin and in the Fellowship – to engage further and to be inspired by the commendable work done by local Scout troops.

Once again let us remember those words:

“A scout is a friend to all, and a brother to every other scout.”

In 1977, I re-committed to Scouting. I felt I had so much left to give. I wanted to make a difference. Forty years later, I still feel the same.

Every year, when I am standing here closing the annual Baden-Powell Fellowship Event, I not only remember why I took this step in 1977, but I gladly want to continue. And I trust I am not the only one!

It is truly encouraging to see so many new Baden-Powell Fellows and Honours Programme members being recognised here today.

World Scouting needs your support, both financially and morally. Thank you all for your continued investment in Scouting. You are indeed helping to change the world!