"Eurofax is the monthly newsletter of the European Scout Region. It is produced by the European Scout Office and is distributed to all member associations in the European Region, and others. Reproduction of articles without alteration is encouraged but Eurofax should be acknowledged as the source of the information."
For this special issue of EuroFax, we asked Ray Saunders, now Director of
Information Technology at the World Scout Bureau, to tell us how this tool
for communicating with the National Scout Associations came about. It all
started eight years and four months ago precisely, when Ray was working at
the European Scout Office.
"I remember entering over 100 fax numbers for all the associations and
committee members into the memory of the Phillips fax machine in the days
leading up to the launch, and assigning each to one of three groups,
'English', 'French' or 'Both'. I remember passing the two language versions
of that very first Eurofax through the fax machine and into its memory,
scheduling them to be sent to the groups during the night when telephone
charges would be that much cheaper. And I remember with some satisfaction
arriving back in the office the next morning to find all but a handful had
been successfully delivered overnight. Or was the feeling one of relief?
After all, nothing like this had been tried on this scale before!
Eurofax was an innovation created from two ideas and one possibility. The
first, expressed by International Commissioners at a summit in Vari, Greece,
was the need for the European Scout Region to produce a regular, timely
briefing which would help them to manage meeting the deadlines for seminar
applications, census returns etc. The second was the idea that automation
should be used to deliver information in the region in a simple, more timely
and economic fashion.
Our Phillips fax machine, with its capacity to store over 120 numbers
permanently, create groups and schedule deliveries gave us the technical
possibility. (You cannot imagine us employing someone to send the same fax
to over 100 destinations manually through the night. Sad then
to see it finally retire a couple of months ago!)
Behind the scenes, Eurofax has been used to push the boundaries of what
could be achieved with technological innovation: introducing email, World
Wide Web and portable document format (pdf) versions along the way, in line
with the increasing sophistication of the technology available in national
Scout offices. During that time, Eurofax has been delivered using the fax
machine polling overnight; then by fax software direct from the computer it
was written on; then by using an email-to-fax server in the United States
(significantly lowering the distribution costs), until today when probably
less than 10 copies are being distributed by fax each month and most people
receive their copy by email. You may not be surprised to learn that this was
the intention from the very beginning!
At various times, Eurofax has also appeared in Esperanto, German, Italian,
Spanish, and even for a short time in Swedish. Such developments could not
have been made without the dedication of volunteers like Guido Ricci
(Esperanto), Martin Schulze (German), and Giordano Neri (Italian) who
arrange the translation of each month's issue and Gino Lucrezi and Sergio
Strampelli at Global ScoutNet
Ray Saunders, Director, Information Technology, World Scout Bureau
Every month, the European Scout Office sends EuroFax to more than 100 addresses, mainly National Scout Associations and Organisations, but more than 700 people have subscribed to receive it regularly via the "scoutnet.org" network, which has been publishing the newsletter since 1994, thanks to the efforts of Gino Lucrezi at AGESCI. EuroFax is produced by the European Scout Office in English and French.
Young people in 2001 have great opportunities to travel, make friends and explore new places abroad through Scouting. This year, the 'European Scout Voluntary Programme' aims to offer even more young people aged between 18 and 30 from all round the world the chance to work at a Scout or Guide site in Europe. This year's 'European Scout Voluntary Programme' offers places at 27 different sites in 11 countries all over Europe. The sites range from islands to castles, mountains to flatlands, old and new, from Iceland to Croatia passing through the UK, Poland and Switzerland. At present, all of the sites are established Scout or Guide Centres; many of them are open year round and have been working with volunteers for years. They provide "basics" such as a bed and food, as well as training and development within the framework of each sites organisation. To take part in the programme, the young people must be a member of a WOSM member organisation, be available for at least 4 weeks between May and September, be able to work hard and have lots of fun! Last year, more than 75 young people from all over the world took part in the programme - this year we are hoping for even more! The programme helps young people to learn from other cultures and become responsible and skilled leaders. They will experience the richness of international Scouting and, with their development and knowledge, the movement will grow stronger and we can together provide better Scouting for more young people! We would ask you to help us promote the programme in your association so that more young people can have the opportunity to benefit from this programme. The 'European Scout Voluntary Programme' is administrated from Kandersteg International Scout Centre. Please contact us for more information about the programme or to obtain copies of the sites booklet. Contact details: Kandersteg International Scout Centre, CH - 3718 Kandersteg, Switzerland Tel. +41 33 675 82 82 Fax +41 33 675 82 89 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Twice a year, these two informal networks meeting to talk, work together on the subjects of in the case of the Overture Network opening Scouting and Guiding to new audiences and, in particular, to take account of social and cultural realities, and as far as the North-South Network is concerned swap ideas and lead co-operation and development activities with associations in the South. Both networks depend on considerable voluntary commitment by their members. The next meeting will take place in Palermo from 30 March to 1 April, under the co-ordination of AGESCI. The topics on the agenda will be: How to create an awareness of one's own attitudes and how to convince groups/associations to change theirs. Changing the values and attitudes of our leaders: local experiences. Any associations or leaders who are sensitive to these questions are invited to join these networks. For more general information, consult the European Scout Region's website at http://www.scout.org/europe/networks and regarding the next meeting in particular, write to email@example.com
Five associations from five different countries have joined forces to organise such an event: Pfadfinder und Pfadfinderinnen Osterreichs (PPÖ, Austria), Zvesa Tabornikiv Slovenije (ZTS, Slovenia), AGESCI, Novora, Italy), Nykirke Scout Group (Oslo, Norway), and the host association, Verband Christlicher Pfadfinderinnen und Pfadfinder (VCP, Germany). They are inviting you to spend Easter at a castle belonging to the VCP in Rieneck. In the international creative workshops, Guides and Scouts aged 17 or over can take part in craft, artistic, theatrical and musical activities with a view to acquiring new skills in these areas in an intercultural climate where the participants can exchange their ideas and visions of Europe. If you are interested, the VCP, who are co-ordinating the event, are waiting to hear from you! Write to: firstname.lastname@example.org
By organising this jamboree, the Scouts of Croatia want to show and share what they have achieved in their associations, as well as their values, and spend time with Scout friends from other countries, together with the whole Croatian community. The jamboree will take place in the Fuzine region from 20 to 30 July this year. After the difficulties of the years of war and the human and material disasters, the Scouts of Croatia want to demonstrate that they have made tremendous progress and that they belong to to large family of World Scouting. Through their activities, they have contributed to the growth of a new generation of young people. Many of the activities will focus on nature and the environment. For more information, consult http://www.sih.hr or write to email@example.com
The five Guide and Scout associations in Sweden belonging to the Swedish Guide and Scout Council are organising their the 1st Swedish National Jamboree from 28 July to 5 August this summer . The event is open to units from associations anywhere in Europe. The theme is "Building Bridges". One of the objectives of the camp will be to build bridges between the five Swedish Guide and Scout associations, as well as bridges between countries, ages, religions and between town and country. Numerous patrol activities will be on offer, geared towards social, spiritual and personal development. More information is available at http://www.2001.scout.se or from the International Service at firstname.lastname@example.org
WONDER is a network established by the Educational Methods Service (Youth Programme and Adults in Scouting) of the World Scout Bureau. It is designed to bring together people from all over the world who want to exchange views and develop new ideas for their Scouting activities. In concrete terms, WONDER offers a monthly email newsletter, electronic forums led by people concerned in the various WOSM regions, as well as a link with what is happening in the European Scout Region. One of the WONDER Forum topics in the pipeline is that of the participation of young people in Scouting. If you would like to receive the monthly newsletter or find out more, check out http://www.scout.org/wonder
The above message is from:
Official Eurofax home page: www.scout.org/europe/eurofax