Jinja: Himself a Scout and a former camper at the same site, the Kyabazinga of Busoga, His Royal Highness William Nadiope IV spent his Saturday in a familiar crowd.
“I am a scout and I will forever be a scout,” the king told a cheerful crowd at the opening of his speech. “I used to camp here and I am happy to be back.”
Jinja Scouts Association invited the Kyabazinga to celebrate with him 25 years of BP Training and Camping Ground. The Campsite itself a got by the scouts with the help of the Kingdom was developed in 1993 with a partnership of the Jinja scouts and scouts from Avon County in the United Kingdom.
“We are grateful for the partnership and since 1993, a lot of young people have been mentored and nurtured through this place at the different camps and activities that take place here,” Mr Pithy Ndiko, the chairman of the Jinja Scouts Association Council said.
At the ceremony the king inspected a guard of honor mounted by scouts from over twenty schools from Jinja. He there after inspected different campsites where he scouts showcased their creativity in design and craftsmanship with items like dining tables, seats and showers made of only ropes and wood.
“It is our hope and desire that we continue mentor and inspire the young people of Busoga through scouting.
“You honoring our invite is a sign to the young people that their king and inspiration appreciates the work of scouting and we ask that you continue endorsing our activities as scouts,” the Jinja district Scouts Commissioner”, Michael Baraza said in his speech.
Earlier on, Mr Baraza had taken the King around the campsite to show him the work being done by the young scouts and the projects the district has earmarked to start.
Among these is a 100 bed Boy Scout hostel, the first of its kind in East Africa, which the Jinja scouts plan to use as an income generating project to be run and managed as an affordable hotel for tourists in Jinja.
It will run using the model of the YWCA hostels strewn around the world where card holding members of the YWCA sleep at the facilities at half price.
The Kyabazinga broke the ground for the hostel and it will be named Gabula Boy Scouts Hostel, after him.
Also, in honor of the Kyabazinga’s tree planting and environment protection campaign, the Jinja Scouts Association also introduced the Kyabazinga Environmental Challenge and the king launched trophy which will be competed for annually and will be won by the best scouting group in protecting the environment.
The Jinja scouts association also used the event to award Father Picavet a medal for his illustrious contribution to the development of scouting in district, especially the Buwenda Campsite.
The event was partly sponsored by Bigfoot Media flagship brand, Eagle Online Publication.