GNRC Europe Works with Muslim Scouts from 10 CountriesAround a hundred and fifty young people, men and women from 14 to 25 years old, animators and spiritual leaders participated in the International Muslim Scout Camp in the valley of "La Consolation", near Besançon in France, from the 21 to the 28 of July 2010. The Camp was organized by TerrEspoir and the main theme was "Citizenship, Autonomy and Sustainable Development". Participants came from ten different countries of Europe, Africa and the Middle East.NGOs dealing with environmental and educational issues were invited to organize workshops sessions for the young participants. The GNRC Europe implemented four workshops with the participation of around a hundred young people. Six leaders of the Muslim Scouts from France participated before in two GNRC training workshops where they became familiar with the Learning to Live Together Manual. The first two workshops included information about the GNRC and the Learning to Live Together Manual. In an experiential way, the participants were involved in activities that allowed them to appreciate diversity and celebrate what we have in common.
The other two workshops allowed the participants to concentrate, also in an experiential way, on issues of peace and reconciliation. In one of the sessions on "learning about other religions" we were encouraged to see that the young participants had a good knowledge of the world main religions. Through the different activities and reflections the young participants underlined the importance of cooperation and mutual understanding between people from different cultures, religions and ethnic backgrounds.
During the Camp the GNRC Coordinator for Europe and the facilitators met with a group of around 14 leaders of the Muslim Scouts. This was a good opportunity for sharing more information about the GNRC; for knowing more about the spirituality of the Muslim Scouts and also for exploring ways of collaboration. The Scouts methodology promotes discovering, collaboration, connection with the environment and encourages positive action.
During the Camp Sheik Khaled Bèntounes, spiritual leader of the Sufi International Association Alawiyya (AISA) underlined the importance of the common values that all religions shared and encouraged the young people to participate in the GNRC workshops.
The Camp was developed with a great harmony and flexibility. A deep spirituality permeated the daily life of the participants and also the events organized at the end of the day where they gathered together for singing and for sharing. Unity was also present in each of the activities implemented.
As a very concrete result, the participants were able to get some practical tools for their work back home. Ms. Marta Palma, GNRC Coordinator for Europe, expressed gratitude to the organizers for allowing the GNRC to be part of this wonderful spiritual journey.