Nashik — The five day National Boscoree being held at Nashik from December 30, 2018 to January 3, 2019 had a glittering start with 4535 people participating.
The 13th National Boscoree began with great pomp and fanfare at 2.00 pm on 30th December with 4058 scouts-guides and 477 officials and dignitaries gathered at Father Sean McFerran Parade Ground, Divyadaan.
The participants include 143 Scout and Guides Units consisting of 2057 Scouts and 1549 Guides, 165 Scout Masters and 137 Guide Captains, 107 Salesian Fathers and Brothers, 43 Salesian Sisters and 477 guests, dignitaries and event organisers.
The opening ceremony struck a solemn note as the dignitaries were escorted to the stage for the inaugural function followed by march past by 17 groups representing the scouts and guides from the different Don Bosco and Auxilium provinces in India and Nepal.
The Chief Guest, Ms Ann Choi, the Deputy District Commissioner of the Scout Association of Hong Kong took the salute.
The Boscoree Camp Chief Father Ian Doulton, welcomed the gathering and encouraged all saying, “Scouting is a way of life that reminds you that today you are a young citizen of this great country but before long you will be a full-fledged adult citizen of India.”
He also explained the Boscoree theme, ‘Health, Harmony and Holiness’ saying, “the connection between good physical health and a good all-round personality is very crucial and important as is harmony. It is the need of the hour of today and holiness can be achieved in the simple events of life.”
“We need you to be ambassadors for Scouting,” said Choi as she encouraged the scouts to continue the scouting legacy of instilling leadership, character and service and declared the 13th National Boscoree open and released the Boscoree Souvenir and unveiled the ‘I Love Boscoree’ selfie point.
Among the eminent dignitaries who addressed the campers were: Sister Rita Dora the Provincial of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians of the Mumbai Province; Father Godfrey D’souza, Salesian Provincial of Mumbai; Father Robert Simon – the Don Bosco Youth Association Delegate for South Asia; Bishop Lourdes Daniel of the Diocese of Nashik; Dr. Ravindra Singhal, Commissioner of Police, Nashik City.
The Guest of Honour, Dr Ravindra Kumar Singhal, delivered a fiery speech and congratulated the organizers saying, “I commend the discipline of the students and the helpfulness of the Salesians in educating the school students across Maharashtra.”
Dr Singhal encouraged students saying, “You students, scouts and guides, with your disciplined lifestyle and example can do whatever you set your mind to, provided you are willing to work hard to achieve it.”
Fr Godfrey D’Souza, Provincial of the Mumbai Province, narrated the story of good wolf and bad wolf encouraging the students to take the first step to do good and avoid evil during the Boscoree and carry forward all that they learn here to the places they come from.
Sr Rita Dora, Provincial of the FMA province of Mumbai, informed the gathering of the excitement that has been steadily building up among the organizers over the past 18 months. She encouraged the participants saying, “make the best of the opportunities that will come your way over the next few days.”
Fr Robert Simon, National Delegate for Groups and Movements, congratulated both participants and organizers for making this mega-event a reality. He emphasized the cultural dimension of the Boscoree and indicated its potential to help all the participants to grow in Health, Harmony and Holiness.
Bishop Lourdes Daniel, the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Nashik, extended a warm welcome to all those gathered, saying, “I am very happy seeing so many people from all over the country and beyond. I ask you Scouts and Guides to live up to the promises you made at your initiation.”