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BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – The Nangarhar Cub Scouts recite their Scout oath before senior provincial leaders during a transfer of responsibility of the Nangarhar Scout Program Oct. 12. The responsibility was handed over from the Nangarhar Provincial Reconstruction Team to the Ministry of Education and Afghan Strategic Research and Services organization during a ceremony in the provincial governor's palace. (Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. Scott Davis, Regional Command-East Public Affairs)BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – Afghanistan Cub Scouts from Kabul and Nangarhar Province came together Oct. 12 to transfer the responsibility of the Nangarhar Cub Scouts from the Nangarhar Provincial Reconstruction Team to the Ministry of Education and Afghan Strategic Research and Services organization.

Senior representatives of the U.S. military and Nangarhar government including the governor, Command Sgt. Maj. Scott Schroeder, command sergeant major for Combined Joint Task Force-101, and several provincial ministers came to the governor’s palace to attend the ceremony. The representatives applauded the Scouts for their hard work and showed support for the Scout program.

“I am most honored and humbled to stand before this great assembly of Afghan leaders today,” said U.S. Army Capt. Glenn Battschinger, the former Scout Master of the Nangarhar Scout Troop and a Soldier with 404th Civil Affairs Battalion. “Today we come together to celebrate an opportunity for Afghan children. The Afghan Scout Program is the revitalization of an internationally recognized Scout program that thrived prior to the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.”

The Nangarhar PRT developed the program in March 2010 and since then it has spread to 30 high schools with enough financial aid for 60 troops to lead 1,200 boys and 1,200 girls for the next year.

“Worldwide scouting is a movement; it begins in someone’s heart and it becomes his soul,” said Battschinger. “These Scouts before you have the passion to become more than 98 percent of people.”

With a team of five, Battschinger spent roughly two hours a week with the boys, teaching the basic first-year Scout program. They gained skills that included first aid, building fires, tying knots, leadership, responsibility and kindness.

“When these boys grow up, as former Scouts, they will take the lead in getting the job done in making a better future for their country,” said Battschinger, a native of Mays Landing, N.J.

Gul Ahamd Mustafa is the assistant Scout leader for the Nangarhar Cub Scouts and has been a Scout in multiple countries since 1964.

“I believe this program is teaching these boys the honesty and dignity they need to help their country,” Mustafa said. “I would tell the world my Scouts want peace and think there should be no word of fighting anywhere. They want to help and provide for their people.”

There will be less inclination to join the insurgency when young boys are encouraged to grow into responsible, contributing citizens of their society, said Battschinger. This is something not yet generally encouraged by today's adults.BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Scott Schroeder, Combined Joint Task Force-101 command sergeant major, talks to the Nangarhar Cub Scouts Oct. 12 before a ceremony transferring responsibility of the scout program from the Nangarhar Provincial Reconstruction Team to the Ministry of Education and Afghan Strategic Research and Services organization. The ceremony was held in the governor’s palace and was attended by many of the senior government and U.S. military officials. (Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. Scott Davis, Regional Command-East Public Affairs)BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Capt. Glenn Battschinger, former Scout Master of the Nangarhar Cub Scouts and a Soldier with the 404th Civil Affairs Battalion, talks to a Nangarhar Cub Scout Oct. 12 before a ceremony transferring responsibility of the Scout Program from the Nangarhar Provincial Reconstruction Team to the Ministry of Education and Afghan Strategic Research and Services organization. The ceremony was held in the governor’s palace and was attended by many of the senior government and U.S. military officials. (Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. Scott Davis, Regional Command-East Public Affairs)BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – The Nangarhar Cub Scouts march toward the governor's palace before a transfer of responsibility of the Nangarhar Scout program ceremony began on Oct. 12. The responsibility was handed over from the Nangarhar Provincial Reconstruction Team to the Ministry of Education and Afghan Strategic Research and Services organization. (Photo by U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Scott Schroeder, Combined Joint Task Force-101 command sergeant major)

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 14 October 2010 02:10
 

    

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