During the past month, I was privileged to attend the activities of our neighbors to the south, Scouts de México. One Saturday a Grupo of Scouts was holding a recruiting event in Calvillo, Aguascalientes. A "Grupo" is like a family consisting of a Manada de Lobatos (Cub Pack), Tropa (Troop) de Scouts, a Communidad de Caminantes (Venturing Crew), and Clan of Rovers, all with the same number and pañoleta (neckerchief). Rovers are young adults, 18-22, and often also are serving the younger units as assistant leaders.
Start of the Event
The event started when a 10-year-old girl from the Manada took charge and conducted an opening ceremony. Scouts de México has been open to both boys and girls for many years, and I've been told by youth and adults, "No problems." This was followed by each age taking prospective new members for some informal games and "getting to know you". Each age level gained new members that day.
On a signal, all units formed a circle for the formal reception of a new Lobato. He was presented a neckerchief, and I was honored to be asked to present his purple WOSM insignia.
On another weekend, a Scouter from Grupo 24 of Guadalajara invited me to its' 42nd Anniversary party, complete with hand carved "Oscars". Members of this large Grupo and their families enjoyed the "Academy Awards", dancing and dining, including generous pieces of anniversary cake. The next day found Grupo 24 in a nearby park for weekly meetings.
Games and More
Among the games were Lobatos engaged in a confidence-building game that had members standing tall in the hands of other Manada members, assisted by leaders and Rovers. The older age units each played a game that called for tossing a braided loop for patrol members to catch and try to toss it to their "goalie" to catch with a stick. There had been a huge thunderstorm earlier, so the park lawns were a bit damp (read: muddy). When the games were over, the girls in their "skorts " were just as muddy as the boys and all were wearing big Scout smiles.