Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Humanitarian Car Race with Scouts

Two Scout Leaders take part in the 4L Trophy

Bastien (22 years old) and Mélanie (24 years old) are brother and sister. She likes thrills and travels, he likes mechanics and music. They are both Scout Leaders of the French Scouts and Guides Association (SGDF) in Sallanches (France). They had been looking for some time to participate in a humanitarian project in the spirit of Scouting. So when they inherited the mythical Renault 4L car from their grandfather, it was very natural for them to decide to take part in the 4L Trophy Raid to fulfill their dream and promote their values.

Mélanie explains the goal of their approach: "We want to show that volunteer work is something that has great rewards. Of course, it takes time and one must work hard, but what a joy it is to pass on to young people the values that we live by: sharing, solidarity, autonomy, team spirit, self-confidence".

The 4L Trophy Raid is an Adventure Raid which allows students, exclusively driving a Renault 4L and equipped with a simple compass and a map, to go through France, Spain and Morocco, to distribute school supplies and sport equipment.

A ranking is prepared every night. Speed is completely excluded from the challenge, instead it is the team which achieved the least kilometres and which easily overcame the trial, which wins that day's leg.

"The 4L Trophy is for us the means to accomplish a humanitarian project in a certain continuation of our Scout journey. The 4L (painted with the colours of the SGDF units) attracts the attention of passers-by. It becomes an original way to present Scouting. This adventure is also a way to surpass ourselves and meet new people", says Bastien.

Departed on February, 19th 2009 from Paris, the 12th edition of the Raid arrived March, 1st in Merzouga, Morocco having transported almost 58 tons of school supplies over 6000 km in hundreds of vehicles.

Ranked 665th out of the 1000 participants, Bastien and Mélanie declared: "The Scout Movement is often presented as the “school of life”. For us, this challenge mainly allowed us to impart to the young people we supervise, the taste of adventure and solidarity, and we are proud to have been able to contribute to the elimination of illiteracy for deprived children".

Yours in Scouting Service
Mark W
Junior Assistant Scoutmaster
Troop 1616
Great Alaska COuncil
Eagle Scout OA Brotherhood Member
NSJ '05 WSJ '07 Philmont AA '08

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