About 100 participants from six countries: Aruba, Australia, Belgium, Curaçao, the Netherlands and Suriname gathered in hotel Pelikaan in Willemstad, Curaçao for the 1st Caribbean gathering with the suitable theme: “Reach out to join the Caribbean".
Upon arrival at the airport the friendly welcome by the organization made you comfortable. The well-balanced program over 3 days and 4 evenings (8 – 11 September 2010) was very comprehensive but time management and the professional handling of the agenda was in the good hands of the National Scout and Guide Fellowship “Copernicia”, Curaçao, Netherlands Antilles.
At the opening ceremony there were presentations from the Ministry of Youth and Culture and about a sea desalination project. Also an interesting lecture about a non-scout best practice in reaches out to join the Caribbean. The ceremony ended on the stage with a lively show represented the islands culture with costumes and dances and participants also joined.
As keynote speaker and moderator of a workshop Grace Goede-Martina, Commissioner for WAGGGS sub-region Caribbean, asked the participants to set up an “action plan” for the ISGF development in the Caribbean. The workshop was an excellent opportunity for participants from the Caribbean to gather, discuss and exchange ideas. Grace, insisted that "former" scouts and guides must join ISGF. She referred to the Caribbean Link for Guiding which is a consortium of 21 Girl Guide Associations from throughout the Caribbean. These include associations from independent countries as well as from BritishOverseasTerritories, coordinated by Girlguiding UK which was created in 1958.
The participants from Surinam and Aruba got interesting to become member of ISGF.
A part of the island was explored and snorkeling and swimming could be practiced. Also a visit was organized to an old people’s home where two of the Guild members are staying. Click on this link to read more.
The happy hour diner ended in an impressive thunderstorm that lasted for two hours and flooded the area so we had to tip toe through the water back to our hotel.
The campfire was very special with a lot of singing. A huge drum was made by a petrol company in which the fire could be lighted in the open on the premises of the hotel Pelikaan where we stayed. Many sketches and folkloristic dances were part of the program.
Bravo, NSGF Curaçao, well done. Click here to see the photo gallery
NB: While this article was published Suriname joined ISGF with 37 members.