GLEN JEAN, WV (WOAY) – The World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) released its health and safety guidelines for the World Jamboree to be held at the Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia July 22 through August 2, 2019.
Andy Chapman, vice chairperson of the World Scout Committee, said the co-hosts are working to implement requirements previously laid out by the World Organization of the Scout Movement.
“The World Scout Jamboree organizing team has worked with the co-host countries to align these requirements, which have been in place for the past two World Scout Jamborees, in a manner that is respectful to local laws and preferences,” Mr. Chapman said in a statement.
The guidelines require that host organizations, who in this case include the former Boy Scouts of America (now Scouts BSA),
“… ensure that condoms are readily and easily accessible for all participants and IST [staff] at a number of locations on the site. Heads of Contingent must be informed in advance and made aware of their responsibility in communicating this policy to their Participants, Unit Leaders, Contingent Staff, and IST in an appropriate way.” (See Guideline 7.3 on page 10 of the document.)
WOSM is an international scouting organization that oversees a regular Jamboree (usually every four years) attended by scouts from all over the world. In guidelines for the event adopted in March 2016, the WSOM said:
“The host organization must ensure that condoms are readily and easily accessible for all participants and IST at a number of locations on the site. Heads of Contingent must be informed in advance and made aware of their responsibility in communicating this policy to their Participants, Unite Leaders Contingent Staff, and IST in an appropriate way. When making this information available onsite, consideration shall be given to the various cultures and beliefs present.
The 2019 Jamboree will be far from the first time condoms have been made available at the event. A 2011 handbook for an event in Sweden encouraged safe sex and noted the availability of condoms at the health center:
We contacted WOSM to find out exactly when condoms were first made available at Jamborees. According to a 2006 report, this policy has been in place since at least 1992:
For nearly 15 years the policy of the World Organization of the Scout Movement — which is the authority responsible for the World Scout Jamboree — has been to hand out free condoms in the health centres set up for the event, to all participants that may request them.
The fight against AIDS and the resurgence of sexually transmitted illnesses (STIs) prompted WOSM to work closely with UNAIDS, UNICEF, WHO and UNFPA to set up educational programmes that, on the one hand, contribute to the emotional and sexual education of young people by integrating the emotional development of young people – whether boys or girls – and, on the other hand, through the prevention of risks linked to sexually transmitted illnesses (see story). The presence of the Scout Movement in many countries affected by STIs has naturally led national Scout organisations to include this problem into their educational programmes.
Vice Chairperson of the World Scout Committee Andy Chapman confirmed to us that WSOM sets the guidelines for the Jamboree, and that the three host organizations of this year’s event —Scouts Canada, the Scout Association of Mexico, and the Boy Scouts of America — are working to implement the requirements in an appropriate manner. Chapman also noted that the WSOM policies take into account the concerns of a variety of countries, not just the United States:
Planning for the 2019 World Scout Jamboree is currently underway between the World Organization of Scout Movement (WOSM) and the three National Scout Organizations who are co-hosting the event – Scouts Canada, the Scout Association of Mexico and the Boy Scouts of America.
“The World Scout Jamboree is an official program of the World Organization of the Scout Movement. As a world Scouting event, WOSM previously established the requirements and guidelines for the 2019 World Scout Jamboree. The co-hosts are working with WOSM to appropriately implement these requirements.
The World Scout Jamboree organizing team has worked with the co-host countries to align these requirements, which have been in place for the past two World Scout Jamborees, in a manner that is respectful to local laws and preferences. For instance, alcohol will not be offered at the 2019 World Scout Jamboree at the Summit Bechtel Reserve.
The 2019 World Scout Jamboree will focus Scouts from around the world on personal development, faith and beliefs, sustainability, adventure and other topics that cross cultural lines. Scouting’s founder Lord Baden-Powell of Great Britain believed that bringing youth of the world together would help foster greater cultural awareness, acceptance and cooperation. The 2019 World Scout Jamboree is being planned with this spirit in mind.
More than 160 national scout organizations representing more than 200 nations and territories are expected to participate in this massive West Virginia 12-day camping event, which based on recent membership policy changes should include openly-gay boys, openly-gay adult scout leaders, transgendered boys and adults and now also girls.
Information can be found at Snopes or by clicking this link: https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/boy-scouts-condoms-jamboree/