At the invitation of Bishop Ntambo Nkulu, Indiana Conference scouting volunteers will host a Camporee in the Democratic Republic of the Congo for the purpose of strengthening Boy Scouts as a counter to boy soldiers in central Africa. Scouting volunteers are planning a mission trip to host a week-long Camporee for 200 African Boy Scouts in Tenke, DRC, during summer 2013.

Camporee leaders say the goal is to strengthen Scouting and the connection between Scouting and the UMC in the DRC. Leaders hope this will work for peace and justice in central Africa.

This mission trip is being planned jointly by United Methodist Men and the Scouting Ministry Committee of the Indiana Conference, the Pathfinder Chapter of the National Association of United Methodist Scouters, and Friendly Planet Missiology.

Scouting leaders believe Boy Scouts are one of the best counters to the problem of boy soldiers in Africa. Scouting provides camaraderie, a sense of belonging, the uniform, the sense of making a contribution to society – most of the things that glamorize military service in the eyes of boys.

However, Scouts do not carry weapons, do not kill people and do not take orders from government. Scouting shapes undisciplined gang energy into a disciplined force for good. As Baden-Powell put it, the Boy Scouts are one of the world’s pre-eminent peace organizations.

Doing Scouting as as ministry means that pastors and youth leaders carry great weight in articulating just what kind of community service will be undertaken, as well as giving an entry to the Gospel.

For more information, contact Phred Cain, Indiana Conference Scouting Coordinator, at revfgcain@yahoo.com.