H.M. Konungens tal vid middag med Baden Powell Fellows, i München
(Det talade ordet gäller)
Your Royal Highnesses,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Friends of scouting,
It is indeed a privilege to meet at Nymphenburg tonight and to be surrounded by friends - old and new. We are here for a very special reason - to demonstrate our dedication to the youth of the world and to scouting as a way of finding a meaningful life.
Tonight we are gathered around a common cause. We are all individuals who care and who are concerned. But we also want to act.
The code of values is constantly changing in society. Today we seem to focus more on ourselves than on others. Fewer people are ready to take on the challenging role as a leader. And on top of this, true global awareness and tolerance seem to decrease.
Friendship and understanding across all boarders are more important than ever. Scouting is a way of helping young people develop leadership qualities based on sound values. Scouting is a way of getting to know the kid on the other side of the street or the other side of the world. Scouting is a truly global movement which helps to break barriers and build understanding.
This is all something I know not only from the books, but out of personal experience during fifty years, ever since I became a scout myself. I have met thousands of young people around the world and we have had a lot of fun together.
A few months ago I paid a State Visit to Australia during which I had the opportunity to open the first Australian Chapter of Baden-Powell Fellows, a most memorable event.
We now have Chapters all over the world. Most of them are very active and I believe they can contribute a lot to our Foundation and Movement.
Let me tell you about the Swedish Chapter. We are recruiting several new Baden-Powell Fellows and we will definitively reach our goal which is 100 Swedish BP-Fellows. For a country of 9 million people this is not bad!
Our Chapter works closely with the Swedish Guide and Scout Association an important task for a Chapter. Three years ago we decided to arrange a leadership seminar for business people and scouts. In a week we will have our fourth seminar. We invite qualified speakers from Sweden and abroad and we engage in fruitful discussions between business leaders, academics and scouts about leadership.
A special fund for supporting young leadership training has been established in my name. The aim is to develop leadership training programs for scouts and others, based on the values of our movement. A special board, chaired by myself, will award scholarships once a year to young people who have shown leadership skills that they want to develop.
The Swedish Chapter has also taken an initiative to support scouts in trying to build multicultural scout groups. With special funding from our BP-Fellows a pilot project was set up in one of the suburbs of Stockholm with a large immigrant community. It turned out to be a success and the scouts decided to try to make it a national program.
I have told you all this because I want to underline the importance of the Chapters and to show you that we all can do a lot between our meetings. We can do much better!
I am pleased to see many experienced BP-Fellows here tonight. You have joined me on many journeys around the world and
I know you are convinced of the importance of the movement. Thank you so much for your support.
But I also want to welcome many new Baden-Powell Fellows and members of our Honours Programme. You all have made a great commitment to help young people all around the world. I hope you realize that and I thank you very much.
Before I end I wish to thank Your Royal Highnesses for your warm welcome to your home tonight. We appreciate your hospitality and are honoured by being received so generously. I also want to thank Eberhard von Koerber and his collaborators for making this event possible. The preparations have been excellent and the evening a great success.
After such a wonderful evening and - hopefully - a safe trip home, you just cannot forget to try to find new BP-Fellows and members for our Honours Programme. Just as much as we need you, we need them.
Good Night and thank you!