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News

Swiss Scouts get the heads up on recycling

1st Jan 2008

The Swiss National Jamboree 'Contura 08' has taken place in Eastern Switzerland on the Plain de la Linth with 25,145 Scouts participating in the two week event which takes place only every 14 years. This year's location was particularly special, because it was on the border of 3 cantons- St Gallen, Schwyz and Glarus.

Participants had the opportunity to take part in action-packed activities throughout the Jamboree which included a full day's programme in the Global Village. 28 workshops were presented by various NGOs and partners of the Swiss Scout Movement and World Scouting which explored issues relating to education, sustainable development, human rights and environmental protection.

A partner of World Scouting, the Alcoa Foundation workshop centred around raising awareness on recycling. Participants were in the 10-14 age range, and were taught how to recycle either by reusing materials from everyday life for new purposes, or learning how to separate materials so they can be disposed of responsibly and recycled by someone else.

The workshop was developed with support from the Alcoa Foundation and put together by Swiss Scouts Christoph Schwarz and Samuel Hagnauer, both 26, who then trained two other volunteers to help them in delivering the programme.

Activities included a quiz, making hand-made recycled paper, creating flowers out of recycled plastic bottles and making badges from recycled aluminium. Posters and a video also gave the Scouts greater insight into recycling and how it is an important issue in today's society.

With over 1,000 participants already having come through the workshop, Chistoph was very pleased with the reactions he was getting, stating that “the workshop is very productive - the Scouts get the chance to take items and materials they see everyday, and learn to make something new from them. The combination of this, the background info we give them at the start and then the quiz, makes it a very worthwhile workshop.”

Remy Meyer, 12, from the Swiss town of Kaiseraugst exclaimed that he “enjoyed all of the workshop, but especially the quiz, because I liked to learn how I can do something for the environment.”

Delivered in German, French and Italian, the Alcoa Foundation workshop had around 1600 participants take part in the 1hr programme.

The Alcoa Foundation has been supporting the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) in the development of the new World Scout Environment Programme. Part of this development involves WOSM supporting several National Scout Organizations directly to enhance their national environment programmes. The Swiss Scout Movement is one of these NSOs, and chose Contura 08 as the forum for developing a programme on environmental issues.

Image 1: Christoph Schwarz shows participants how to make recycled paper.
© MSDS / Moyo

Image 2: In the workshop Scouts learned how to make recycled paper.