13 January, 2019
An unforgettable experience at 13th Boscoree
-Sahil Thakkar 8D

The 13th National Boscoree with the theme ‘Holiness, Harmony and Health’ began with great pomp and fanfare with 4058 scouts-guides and 477 officials (from our Salesian schools of India and S. Asia) and dignitaries on Sunday 30th December 2018. We gathered on the Father Sean McFerran Parade Ground, Divyadaan to begin this mega event that was going to take us through 4 days of intense and thrills-filled camping. The solemn inaugural ceremony that began at 14:00 hours on Sunday 30 Dec 2018 showcased varied cultural performances portraying the grace and colour of the different regions of the states of Gujarat and Maharashtra.
At the camp there were traditional scouting activities around and within the tents for campers coupled with other wide variety of specialized activities and competitions. The Scouts and Guides did the mandatory morning practices of the Scout’s Own, Inspection, and the Flag Break with the usual discipline. The students were engaged in dance competition, art and craft competition with physical display, Grand campfire, BP exercises, cultural programs, pioneer projects and cultural dance. The Adventure games and the Peace March were additional highlights at this Boscoree.
The Scouts and Guides arrived at the ‘adventure games’ zone-the theme “Embracing Harmony through adventure’-with great enthusiasm. Mr. Zahid Qureshi, the only Indian to be certified as a Bungee Jump Master from the Bungee Consultant International, Canada (BCI) and a professionally certified mountain climbing expert, designed and set up the ‘adventure games zone’. The Scouts and Guides thoroughly enjoyed the games: Tarzan Swing, Vertical Rope Ladder, Swing Crossing, Horizontal Ladder, Log Balancing, Plank Walk, Sloth Walk, Bamboo Wall Net Climbing, Monkey Crawl, Commando Bridge and Tyre Jumping among others. Fr Glenford Lowe, Programme Coordinator, said: “These adventure games at the 13th National Boscoree are designed to evaluate and build up resilience, common sense, kindness and an independence of mind among the young Scouts and Guides. Grit, resilience, determination through outdoor activities frees the mind and liberates the spirit. Moreover, it helps develop camaraderie of sorts, allowing the young to live harmonious lives.”

The major highlight of the Boscoree, was the grand peace rally flagged off by film persona and Don Bosco collaborator Boman Irani. The day dedicated to the theme of ‘holiness’ focused on ‘peace’ as a way of life. The scouts and guides dressed in their traditional cultural attire with various peace message placards went along the already demarcated routes, accompanied by Leader Trainers, Scout Masters, Guide Captains, Salesian fathers, brothers and nuns. Playing on their traditional musical instruments and dancing along the routes, they proclaimed the message of peace as essential for nation-building. Among the dignitaries present for the function were Ranjana Bhansi, Mayor of Nashik; B.I. Nagarale, the Bharat Scout and Guide State Chief Commissioner of Maharashtra and other eminent scout trainers of India. Boman Irani Bollywood cine artiste was the Chief Guest for the programme. Addressing the enthusiastic scouts and guides assembled on the Father Sean McFerran parade ground, Irani said, “I have traveled the world, I have been to so many places and seen so many different cultures, but it is not often that I go to one place and see all the cultures of India gathered in one place. You children please protect your innocence. When money and fame comes, you will be lost. So please preserve your innocence and remember nothing is too small, for even if you are just a few performing, for later on this will help you in life. Build a better India, a harmonious India, a peaceful India”
The 13th National Boscoree 2018 culminated today, 03 January 2019, with the valedictory ceremony on the Father Sean McFerran Parade Ground, at Divyadaan Salesian College of Philosophy, Nashik. Father Maria Arokiam Kanaga, Don Bosco South Asia Regional Head of Operations was the Chief Guest for the Closing Ceremony.
Boscoree gave us a platform to experience and explore creativity in all forms. The scouts and guides also created awareness on environment. We experienced the diversity and the richness of Indian culture through song, attire and dance displayed at the Boscoree. Be it during the planning stage or at the camp the committed efforts of all the organizers and volunteers involved made the Boscoree a memorable and largely successful event. We are especially grateful to our scout masters Sir Manoj Koli and Sir Rajesh Tripathi for all their efforts and initiatives to train and prepare us for this camp. It was a valuable experience for all of us. The maximum number of Gold certificates that we won at the different competitions at the camp is an additional cherry on our cake that makes us feel proud!