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Bhutan Scout Tshogpa

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Membership badge of Bhutan Scout Tshogpa

Scouting was introduced in Bhutan in 1970. In July 1999, Bhutan Scout Tshogpa, the Bhutan Scouts Association, was welcomed as a member of the World Organization of the Scout Movement at the 35th World Scout Conference in Durban, South Africa. Membership as of 2001 stood at 16,441 (as of 2004).

The backdrop of the Himalayas makes Bhutan ideal for Scouting. Since 1995, Unit Leader Training courses were organized by the World Scout Bureau-Asia-Pacific Region with the assistance of the Bharat Scouts and Guides of India, Bangladesh Scouts, Pakistan Boy Scouts Association, the Scout Association of Japan, and the Canadian Scout Brotherhood Fund.

Scouts from Bhutan participated in the 1998 World Jamboree in Chile.

The isolated kingdom hosted the Asia-Pacific Regional First South Asia Foundation-Scout Friendship Camp from February 21-26, 2002, in which hundreds of Scouts and Leaders in the districts of Thimpu, Punakha and Wangdue participated. "Regional Cooperation" was the theme of the camp, in which 550 girls and boys from all South Asian countries participated.

The first National Jamboree was held from 31 January to 6 February 2007. [1]

Leadership

Scouting in Tibet

There is no current Scout organization in Tibet, with the Tibetan government in exile at Dharmsāla, India, and the PRC in control of the affairs of the country. It is still a matter of speculation whether Scouting ever reached the remote kingdom while still an independent country.

As the Bhutanese are a living, independent Tibetan culture, any eventual development of Scouting within Tibet will likely involve the assistance of the Bhutan Scout Tshogpa. Scouting has peripherally touched Tibet, when in 2004 a South African Scouter scaled Mount Everest from the Tibetan side [2]. Further, the Dalai Lama himself has had direct involvement with Scouting on at least two occasions, when on July 18, 1994 he was made a member of the Honor Committee for the 1995 World Scout Jamboree in The Netherlands; and later on September 3, 1999 when he was made a Patron of the Global Movement of Green Scouts in New Delhi, India. [3]

In addition, Girl Guiding may be making inroads into the remote mountain nation, as in 1993 a reception was held in Manila, Philippines in conjunction with the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts' Asia Pacific Symposium of NGOs for Women in Development. The aim was to introduce or reintroduce the Girl Guiding/Girl Scouting movement and to explore possibilities of starting/restarting Girl Guiding/Girl Scouting in Tibet, as well as Cambodia, Iran, Russia, Uzbekistan and Vietnam. Fifty women leaders from those nations attended the Asia Pacific Symposium, sharing their Girl Guiding/Girl Scouting experiences.

References

Members of the Asia-Pacific Scout Region

Full members: Australia | Bangladesh | Bhutan | Brunei | Republic of China (Taiwan) | Fiji | Hong Kong | India | Indonesia | Japan | Kiribati | South Korea | Malaysia | Maldives | Mongolia | Nepal | New Zealand | Pakistan | Papua New Guinea | Philippines | Singapore | Sri Lanka | Thailand
Associate members: Macau | French Polynesia
Potential members: Afghanistan | Cambodia | East Timor | Nauru | Samoa | Solomon Islands | Tonga | Tuvalu | Vanuatu | Vietnam
Countries without Scouting: People's Republic of China (mainland) | North Korea | Laos | Myanmar