14th World Scout Moot Canada 2013
Ottawa, Ontario, Thursday, August 8, 2013
It is wonderful to be with you in Ottawa to celebrate the 14th World Scout Moot, the very first time this event has been held in North America.
And you could not have chosen a better location. Here, you will experience, not one, not two, but three distinct cultures. Already, we have seen a moving display of Aboriginal culture. Add to that the English and French heritages living side by side in Ottawa, and right across the river in Gatineau, and you have a region rife for discovery.
As chef scout of l’Association des Scouts du Canada and patron scout of Scouts Canada, I have been honoured to meet with young people all across the country who have committed themselves to the movement, and to recognize the work they do for the community and the country.
The strength of scouting around the world rests on the shoulders of not only dedicated leaders, but also a plethora of volunteers, each one having answered a call to service that starts with their fellow scouts, but has a lasting impact on many others.
Today, Moot Canada welcomes not only Canadian scouts, but also scouts from around the world. Here we have young men and women who have dedicated themselves to the ideals of scouting, which cross borders, cultures and languages.
Principles of community well-being, of serving others, of leadership, fellowship and scholarship—these are the ideals that unite us and they are worthy of celebration. The means by which you pursue these principles helps explain why scouting remains relevant today, more than 100 years after its inception, and why so many young people, like yourselves, gravitate to this movement.
Many of you are attracted to the adventure of scouting and to the outdoor activities, but it is the possibility of change—in yourselves and in the world around you—that keeps you coming back.
Scouts have such energy and curiosity, and most of all, they have the resolve to transform the world for the better.
In my role as governor general of Canada, I have called on Canadians to join in the building of a smarter, more caring nation. Today, I extend that call to people in every country. How can we make our planet stronger and more united? How can we make this a fairer, more just world, where every child has a chance to flourish?
All of you will help find the answers, working together towards a common goal, co-operating to seek understanding.
And I have no doubt that the answers will be as inventive as the scouting movement itself was considered to be, more than a century ago.
I would also like to express my gratitude to the staff, supporters and volunteers of the World Organization of the Scout Movement and l’Association des Scouts du Canada for arranging this World Scout Moot here in Ottawa.
We have gathered here on Parliament Hill, where ideas become law, where debate and exchange are the orders of the day—may these surroundings inspire you and influence your own debates and exchanges.
I hope you have fun during this World Scout Moot, but I also encourage you to listen to others and to learn new ways of thinking and doing. Try to better understand one another so that we may bring harmony to this world, one step, one scout, at a time.
And now, I am delighted to declare the 14th World Scout Moot Canada 2013 officially open.