The 38th World Scout Conference was held 14-18 July 2008 on Jeju Island, Korea. It was attended by 1189 participants from 150 countries. Hosted by the Korea Scout Association, The Conference was officially opened by Dr. Han Seung-soo, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea.
Aside from the official sessions and workshops, participants had the opportunity to take part in a varied evening programme and an educational tour of Jeju Island on the Wednesday afternoon.
The World Scout Conference is the governing body, the "general assembly" of World Scouting, and is composed of all the members of the Organisation: the National Scout Organizations (NSOs).
Its function is to consider the policy and standards of the Scout Movement throughout the world, formulate the general policy of the World Organization, and take the action required to further the purpose of the Movement.
The Conference welcomed five new members to their first Conference: National Association of Cambodian Scouts (NACS), the Organization of the Scout Movement of Kazakhstan (OSMK), Association of Scouts of Montenegro; Scouts of Syria; National Organization of Scouts of Ukraine (NOSU).
The admission of Montenegro as a Member Organization has changed the status of the National Scout Organization of Serbia, which retains membership in WOSM.
All were presented with a certificate of membership on the opening day of the Conference.
The Conference endorsed the decision of the World Scout Committee by which the Kenya Scout Association will host the 13th World Scout Moot, Kenya 2010.
Progress reports were made about the following future events:
39th World Scout Conference and 11th World Scout Youth Forum, Brazil 2011
22nd World Scout Jamboree, Sweden 2011
Association des Scouts du Canada was chosen by the Conference to host the 14th World Scout Moot, Canada 2013.
Japan was chosen by the Conference to host the 23rd World Scout Jamboree in 2015. Singapore also made an invitation to host the event.
Six people were elected to a six-year term and one to a three-year term on the World Scout Committee, from a field of twelve candidates:
Mr. Eric Khoo, Malaysia
Mr. Wahid Labidi, Tunisia
Mr. John C C May, United Kingdom
Mr. John Neysmith, Canada
Mr. Oscar V. Palmquist A., Brazil
Mr. Simon Hang-Bock Rhee, Korea
For a 3 year term:
Mr. William F. "Rick" Cronk, USA
The World Scout Committee elected the following officers:
Chairman: Mr. William F. "Rick" Cronk, USA
Vice-Chairman: Mr. Mario Díaz Martinez, Spain
Vice-Chairman: Mr. Simon Hang-Bock Rhee, Korea.
Continuing their mandates on the World Scout Committee are: Mrs. Thérèse Bermingham (Ireland), Mr. Mario Díaz Martinez (Spain), Mr. Georges El-Ghorayeb (Lebanon), Mr. Nkwenkwe Nkomo (South Africa), and Mr. Gualtiero Zanolini (Italy).
Retiring World Scout Committee members are: Mr. Philippe Da Costa (France), Mr. John A. Gemmill (Canada), Mr. Habibul Alam (Bangladesh), Mr. Wayne Perry (USA), Mrs. Ana Elisa Piubello (Argentina), Mr. Mohamed Triki (Tunisia).
The Bronze Wolf, the only award of the World Scout Committee, was presented to Mr. Willian "Bill" Cockroft (United Kingdom), Mr. William F. "Rick" Cronk (USA), Lalit Mohan Jain (India), Sir Garth Morrison (United Kingdom), Yongyudh Vajiradhul (Thailand). The following were presented at another time following the previous World Scout Conference: His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, Klaus J. Jacobs (Switzerland), David Bull (United Kingdom), Toby Takemichi Suzuki (Japan), Henry R. "Bill" Hall (United Kingdom), and Mrs. Kirsty M. Brown (Australia).
KEY AGENDA ITEMS
Key-note reports were made by Philippe Da Costa, Chairman of the World Scout Committee; Luc Panissod, Acting Secretary General of the World Organization of the Scout Movement; and Maurice Machenbaum, Treasurer.
Governance was a key focus throughout the Conference. Some of the issues identified were:
- The need for continued debate and analysis in the next triennium;
- Policy and Strategy for World Scouting need to be developed at world level but delivery should be local;
- A deeper debate on membership criteria;
- The financial implications of good governance must be addressed;
- The need for improvement in the Organization's communications, having regard to differing situations around the world;
- The need to develop more partnerships and to find ways of making sustainable developments in our governance.
On the Strategy for Scouting, progress on each of the seven priorities was reported with many countries presenting examples of success and best practices. NSOs had the opportunity to participate in a choice of over 30 workshops on topics such as membership growth, Youth Programme, support to volunteers and developing volunteering in Scouting, and Scouting's profile. Some of the main issues identified to work towards in the coming triennium are: involving young people, supporting adults, better communications and improving the image of Scouting.
Issues relating to membership growth were addressed such as the need to offer better Scouting to more young people. A new membership development toolkit was presented to the Conference in order to encourage NSOs to think about the topic and learn how they can get new members and retain existing ones through the example of NSO best practices. A dynamic workshop allowed NSOs to interactively explore the toolkit and take a copy was provided to each NSO to home with them.
The new corporate identity of the World Scout Shop Scoutstore has been launched during the Conference, following the decision of the Board of Scout Resources International (SCORE) to start a plan of development for 2008-2011. Scoutstore, as it is now known, will provide new services to the NSOs and all Scout event organisers.
The new World Scout Environment Programme (WSEP) was launched at the Conference; this includes the World Scout Environment Badge, activity resources, and a framework for environment education. The WSEP strengthens the commitment of World Scouting to the environment. The Web of Hope, a partner organisation of WOSM, were present at the Conference, collecting data in order to carbon footprint the event.
The success of a World Scout Conference lies for a great part on the shoulders of the Host Association and the Host Committee. The Korea Scout Association hosted the 38th World Scout Conference, with special thanks going to the following members of the Host Committee: Dr Young Joong Kang, newly elected President of the Korea Scout Association, who also happens to be President of the Badminton World Federation; Mr Simon Hang-Bock Rhee, International Commissioner, Chairman of the Host Committee and newly elected member of the World Scout Committee; Mr Nam-Shik Heo, Vice-chairman of the Host Committee in charge of Planning and Management Team; Dr. Eun-Gui Kim, Vice-chairman of the Host Committee in charge of Travel, Public Relations & Events Team; and Mr Seung-Soo Hong, newly appointed Secretary General of the Korea Scout Association.
The following official social events took place during the Conference:
- OPENING CEREMONY
A new era of the Movement was ushered in at the 38th World Scout Conference as World Scouting marked its 101st anniversary in 2008. A variety of performances welcomed all participants from around the world, making their stay on Jeju more pleasant and enjoyable.
- WORLD SCOUT FAIR
Based on the Scout values of respecting diversity and multiculturalism for harmonious coexistence, the World Scout Fair provided participants with a platform for peaceful mingling. A range of amusements such as the Scout Uniform Parade and entertainment contest was offered to promote unity and harmony among participants from member countries, while the International Food Festival was an opportunity to share each other's cultures.
- JEJU FANTASIA NIGHT
Jeju is an island boasting a magnificent natural environment and unique culture. It is remarkably distinct from that of mainland Korea and has long been known for preserving peaceful traditions. On such a calm island, it was a pleasure to network between Scouts in the friendly atmosphere. Jeju Fantasia Night was the opportunity to showcase some of the wonders of the island and what it has to offer.
- FAREWELL DINNER
Concluding the Conference, the evening's programme reminded participants of the Scout duty to contribute to society, the global community and to remember the great 5-day event held on Jeju.
The following Special Guests were present at the 38th World Scout Conference:
- World Scout Foundation, Lars Kolind, Chairman. He was accompanied by other distinguished members of the
- Foundation and of the Baden-Powell World Fellowship
- World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), represented by Linden Edgell, Deputy Chairman of the World Board, and Mary McPhail, Chief Executive
- Scout Resources International (SCORE) with Scoutstore - the Official Shop of World Scouting - Neil Westaway, Chairman of the Board
- DESMOS - The International Link of Orthodox Christian Scouts
- International Catholic Conference of Scouting (ICCS)
- International Union of Muslim Scouts (IUMS)
- International Scout and Guide Fellowship (ISGF)
- Kandersteg International Scout Centre (KISC)
- World Scout Parliamentary Union (WSPU)
- Council of Protestants in Guiding and Scouting (CPGS)
- International Forum of Jewish Scouts (IFJS)
- World Buddhist Scout Brotherhood (WBSB)
- Conférence Francophone du Scoutisme Laïque (COFRASL).
Special guests also included representatives from organizations that are working with World Scouting. It was a pleasure to welcome representatives from:
- Korean Committee for UNICEF
- World Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA)
- International Award Association (Asia-Pacific Region)