On Sunday, May 7, the steps of the Arena will turn into a rainbow of colors to celebrate the centenary of the birth of Veronese scouting. A morning of celebration and reflection open to anyone who wants to live for a day the spirit of the scouts.
There are about five thousand Veronese members of Agesci, the Italian Catholic Guides and Scouts Association that this Sunday will fill the steps of the Arena to blow the hundred candles. After the reception at 9.30, the theatre company “Oltre il sipario”, formed by the Venetian scouts, will officially open the day with a show. The goal, however, will not only be to celebrate the centenary of the association but also to show what are the values and principles that guide it. For this reason, it will be possible to attend the event free of charge by booking the ticket in the Agesci site. The event will include, in addition to the renewal of the promises, some testimonies and moments of group reflection. And at the end of the morning, the Holy Mass will be celebrated by Bishop Domenico.
There will be a great participation. In fact, in the Arena there will be about 1,400 Lupetti and Coccinelle (the smallest members between 8 and 10 years), 1,700 Esploratori and Guide (aged between 11 and 12 years), 600 Rovers and Scorte (between 17 and 21) and 530 Capi scouts.
For younger scouts, the festivities will begin on Saturday, May 6. Lupetti and Coccinelle from the fifth grade will meet in the afternoon to relive the typical games of the first scouts from Verona. Also in this case, there will be no lack of testimonies from those who lived the Christian faith with joy. They will meet in the spaces of the Gresner Institute, at the Stimate school and in the parish of Santa Croce in Borgo Venezia.
The festivities, however, are only the goal of a project that began in October 2022 and which aims to recall the values set by the founder Robert Baden-Powell, affectionately called B.P. by scouts around the world. Scouting, in fact, is an international movement based on education. As B.P said: “This is therefore the most important purpose of Scout formation: to educate. Do not instruct, mind you, but educate; that is to push the boy to learn from himself, of his own free will, what he needs to form his own personality”. It is therefore not only Catholic education, but also for the outdoor life and the essentiality that it brings, for citizenship and, no less importantly, for globalization and peace.
The Agesci was founded in 1974 by the union of ASCI, Italian Catholic Scout Association, and Agi, Italian Guides Association. But the history of scouting has deeper roots in the territory of Verona. Its arbors began in the early years of the twentieth century with the first embryonic experiences. In July 1915, for example, the Gei (Giovani esploratori italiani – Young Italian explorers) took their oath in front of more than fifteen thousand people, right inside the Arena. After a few years, in 1923 in the church of Sant’Anastasia, the first five units of Catholic scouts of the Scaliger Asci were inaugurated. And it is precisely this last moment that will be celebrated on Sunday.
The Scout community has grown over time. If at the beginning it was dedicated only to boys, now the female presence has become very relevant within the groups. In addition, people of all ages, with different roles, participate. The Agesci of Verona, in fact, collaborates with the Masci, Italian adult scout movement and with the Civil Protection sector.