Scouting in Puerto Rico
|Scouting in Puerto Rico|
Puerto Rico Council of the Boy Scouts of America
Scouting in Puerto Rico has a long history, from the 1920s to the present day, serving both boys and girls. Troops, Venturing Crews and Sea Scouting units are part of the Boy Scouts of America, for both boys and girls, or the Girl Scouts of the USA, for girls. Several campsites are owned and maintained by these organizations.
Boy Scouting in Puerto Rico today
Puerto Rico Council
|Puerto Rico Council|
Puerto Rico Council shoulder patch
|Concilio de Puerto Rico|
|Owner||Boy Scouts of America|
|Headquarters||405 Esmeralda Ave.
|Founded||November 15, 1927|
|President||Dr. Ángel Velázquez|
|Council Commissioner||Virginia García|
|Scout Executive||María Molinelli, Esq.|
Puerto Rico Council Facebook
Puerto Rican Boy Scouting is served by the Puerto Rico Council (Spanish: Concilio de Puerto Rico) of the Boy Scouts of America. Originally founded in 1927 as the Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands Council and part of the Northeast Region of the Boy Scouts of America, but the Virgin Islands District was separated into a new Virgin Islands Council in 1965.
Thousands of youth and volunteers participate in four programs, Cub Scouting, Boy Scouts, Venturing and Sea Scouting, with the mission of preparing youth to make correct choices ethically and morally for their future by learning the Scout Law and Scout Promise. The council serves more than 6,200 youth and 3,500 volunteers in more than 300 units.
The Puerto Rico Council is divided into six districts, all named based on the Taíno name of each of the districts' base area:
- Arasibo District, based in Arecibo, covers the northern and central area of Puerto Rico, from Quebradillas to Vega Baja.
- Borikén District, based in Caguas, covers the eastern area of Puerto Rico, from Aibonito to Ceiba.
- Caribe District, based in Ponce, covers the southern area of Puerto Rico from Yauco to Patillas.
- Guaitiao District, based in San Juan, covers the northeastern area of Puerto Rico, from Guaynabo to Fajardo.
- Majagua District, based in Bayamón covers the north-northeastern area of Puerto Rico from Vega Alta to Bayamón.
- Yagüeka District, based in Mayagüez, covers the western area of Puerto Rico, from Isabela to Sabana Grande.
Puerto Rico is the only council of the BSA where the Spanish translation is in primary usage. The Scout Law, or Ley del Escucha, in Spanish is:
A Scout is: – Un Escucha es:
- Trustworthy – Honrado
- Loyal – Leal
- Helpful – Servicial
- Friendly – Amigable
- Courteous – Cortés
- Kind – Bondadoso
- Obedient – Obediente
- Cheerful – Alegre
- Thrifty – Ahorrativo or Económico
- Brave – Valiente
- Clean – Limpio
- Reverent – Reverente
Guajataka Scout Reservation
|Guajataka Scout Reservation|
|Owner||Puerto Rico Council|
San Sebastián, Puerto Rico
|Ranger||Leopoldo "Junior" Alicea|
|Program Director||Juan Laboy|
Guajataka Scout Reservation or Campamento Guajataka, often simply referred to as Guajataka and nicknamed Santuario de Amistad (English: Sanctuary of Friendship), is the Puerto Rico Council's camp reservation, it is located at the northwest part of the island in San Sebastián annex to Guajataca Lake. Camp Guajataka is the reservation where Scouts and leaders of the Boy Scouts of America program attend for recreational activities, summer camp, seminars, leadership training and Scouting-related meetings.
1938 marked the inauguration of Guajataka Scout Reservation, Puerto Rico's main camp center. It is located in the municipality of San Sebastian and on the shores of Guajataca Lake, from which the camp takes its name. Since then the camp has evolved and has seen many changes, both in structure and program.
Scouts and leaders who visit are lodged in one of the ten campsites, in-campsite cabins or stand-alone cabin campsites of the reservation. These campsites feature a series of cement-and-wood cabins that house its campers. The campsites have very simple names (Campsites A, B, C, D, M and SP or Swimming Pool Campsite), while there are in-campsite cabins (Paquito Joglar and Palomar) and stand-alone cabin campsites (Manolín and Cobana Negra). The Paquito Joglar and Manolín are cabins named in honor of distinguished Scouting figures of Puerto Rico while the SP or Swimming Pool Campsite, Palomar and Cobana Negra cabins are named based on their location, flora or physical characteristics.
The camp's operations are divided into two seasons, Summertime and Christmastime. The main program is presented during the summer, in which ten weeks are divided for Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and Venture Scouts. The Christmas season runs for a single week and summarizes the summer's offerings open for both Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. A short three-to-four-day camp has also been offered during Spring Break with a similar program to the one offered during the Christmas camp. The camp also operates off-season for special troop activities or external groups that wish to experience the outdoor spirit of the reservation.
Guajataka is the official home of the council's Order of the Arrow Lodge Yokahu 506. Most of Yokahu Lodge's activities are celebrated in the camp and for years the Order has given service to the facilities. The OA has its own campsite, called "The Cabin", which occupancy has been discontinued due to structural damages, but remains standing. In the past, the Paquito Joglar campsite area was considered the official gathering place for the Lodge, later becoming a campers area due to the need of space for the many Scouts that attended camp in summer.
The staff of the camp are structured based on Scouting's patrol system. These patrols are based on different specialization areas in the camp's program. The current patrols are known as Program Aide (Scoutcraft/Scout skills), Nature Team (Ecology/Conservation), Aquatic Team, Sport Team, Staff Administrativo and Voyagers (High Adventure, Treks and Project C.O.P.E.). Other former patrols are Administration Team, Order of the Arrow Patrol, Guías de Expedición and Ranger Team.
The patrols are led by a Director, which serves as an administrative official, and a Patrol Leader, in charge of the patrol's specific program. In the past, each patrol had its own campsite in which they pitched their own tents and worked on pioneering gates that awed campers and visitors alike. As of 2006, all staff members were located in a single house cabin called "Casa Staff" (Staff House). Since the relocation, only the Program Aide patrol builds pioneering gates to their work area with the inclusion of the Sport Team patrol as of 2013.
The Counselor In Training (CIT) program works in a special way, compared to other camps. Any Scout or Venturer that becomes a Staff member, regardless of age, is considered a CIT during his or her first year in camp. During this first year, the CIT learns the basics of the patrol and gets to know the "traditions" on which it is based. After successfully completing the CIT year, the Scout or Venturer is considered a full Staff Member. Staff members are known for their passion and loyalty toward their patrol, and it is very rare in current times to see a Scout that actually transfers from one patrol to another.
Due to its long history, the patrol system has served to develop a series of traditions inside each patrol. A tradition shared by all patrols is a simple recognition, symbolized by a neckerchief. The neckerchief symbolizes a Staff member that has truly served the patrol and the camp, demonstrates and shares his knowledge, and, most of the times, has been a member of the patrol for two or more years. Each patrol has its own prerequisites for this recognition, and each has its own induction ceremony. Their neckerchiefs as well as their shoelaces (a tradition of Guajataka Camp patrols) have different colors, each color representing a specific patrol: red (Program Aide), forest green (Nature Team), light blue (Aquatic Team), purple (Sport Team), yellow (Administrative Staff), and navy blue (Expedition Voyagers).
Order of the Arrow
Girl Scouting in Puerto Rico
|This section requires expansion. (July 2007)|
Caribe Girl Scout Council
|Caribe Girl Scout Council|
Map of Caribe Girl Scout Council and its campsites
|Owner||Girl Scouts of the USA|
|Headquarters||500 Elisa Colberg St.
San Juan, Puerto Rico 00907
Caribe Girl Scout Council official website
Girl Scouting in Puerto Rico is administered by the Caribe Girl Scout Council of the Girl Scouts of the USA. It is headquartered in San Juan. The first troop was formed in 1926 in Cabo Rojo by Elisa Colberg.
Girl Scouts earn a badge created as well as uniquely designed by the council, called Los Faros de Puerto Rico (English: The Lighthouses of Puerto Rico).
In 2006, Moisés Fragela donated one of his paintings entitled Quedo en Nada (English: Left in Nothing) to the Caribe Council. to be sold by auction for funding part of renovations and improvements to the council's campsites.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Scouting in Puerto Rico.|
- Hook, James; Franck, Dave; Austin, Steve (1982). An Aid to Collecting Selected Council Shoulder Patches with Valuation.
- "Guajataka Scout Reservation". Guajataka Scout Reservation. Archived from the original on October 24, 2009. Retrieved May 25, 2009.
- "Campamentos". Caribe Girl Scouts Council. Retrieved August 18, 2008.
- "El Yunque National Forest — Centennial Timeline". USDA Forest Service. Retrieved August 18, 2008.
- "Arte a beneficio de nuestro Concilio". Niña Escucha (in Spanish) (Caribe Girl Scouts Council): 10. January–March 2006.