The APR Ticket to Life Project has been existing for five year now. This project is partially funded by the Messenger of Peace Support Fund and implemented hand-in-hand with the Parish of Our Lady of Remedies in Malate, Manila. The Priest is so impressed with the transformation of the young people under the APR Ticket to Life Project, that the parish decided to extended Scouting to its youth, in general.
On 18 July 2013, an investiture ceremony for 20 young people was organized. They recited their Promise and Law and wore the scarf for the first time. You should have seen the joy and pride in their eyes. Jermie Trasga, the Scout Executive of Manila Council, was the guest speaker of the investiture ceremony. Jermie used the story of Spiderman to inspire these new Scouts. He said, “you are now Scouts. You now wear the scarf, which is a symbol of membership to the Scout movement.” He told that Scouts that the scarf is a reminded that we have “a Duty to God, Duty to others and Duty to self” and compare this with the power which Peter Parker suddenly acquired. He, then, ended his speech by quoting Uncle Ben’s challenge to Peter, “great power comes great responsibility.”
I was also asked to address the new Scouts. I continued where Jermie ended. Our sharing revolved around speeches to “spiders.” I told the new Scouts that when one is caught in a spider’s web – the more one struggles and move, the more you get stuck. I told them that Scouting is like a spider’s web – the more you do activities in Scouting, the more you love it and stick with it.
Fr. John Leydon, the Parish Priest of Our Lady of the Remedies, was present during the ceremony and he expressed his appreciation to the Boy Scouts of the Philippines for its noble work to mold children and young people. He also thank Sophie Castillo and Frederick Boniface for their commitment to the young people of Malate.
It is sad to admit that, in my work with the World Scout Bureau, I have very minimal direct contact with young people. I always believe that it is always good to have adequate interaction with young people in Scouting. This is how I re-charge. This is the reason why I see to it that I attend the Troop meetings of the Ticket to Life from time to time. In fact, last 6 July 2013, I was with them to give an input on World Scouting and World Brotherhood.