The Green Island

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This book is the result of a 10-year experience, which I lived with some friends and colleagues between 1990 and 2000 when I was Director of the European Scout Bureau. I was extraordinarily fortunate to have taken up this position around the time the Berlin Wall collapsed. And so our priority task was to support the rebirth of Scouting in Eastern Europe, from the Baltic States to Albania. A method had to be developed to help the reborn associations to develop a new educational programme that responded to the aspirations and needs of children, adolescents and young people at the end of the 20th century. Scouting had, of course, been remembered in those countries. The Movement had remained alive, even though it had been subordinated to the Communist regime in Poland and Yugoslavia. But elsewhere it had been banned, first by Hitler in the 1940s and then by Stalin from 1945 onwards (it is Scouting's honour to have always been banned by totalitarian regimes). Everything had to be reinvented 45 years later. So we developed a method called RAP for Renewed Approach to Programme and to present this method in an attractive way, we wrote not a manual but a novel featuring two main characters Vladimir and Ewa and we called it "the green island" because the task of creating or recreating an educational youth association is similar to that of Robinson Crusoe on his island. It is necessary to reinvent everything with the means at hand. I wrote this book with my friend and colleague Jacqueline Collier-Yespersen, to whom I pay tribute here. With the agreement of the World Scout Bureau, I offer it free of charge to any reader interested in Scouting.