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The President of the Republic met with the participants of the National Jamboree of scouts and guides

President Arnold Rüütel and Mrs. Ingrid Rüütel today attended the opening day of the National Jamboree "Rännumaa" (Journey around the world) organised by the Estonian Scout Association and the Estonian Guide Association at Tagametsa in Järva County. President Rüütel is the patron of the Jamboree.

Greeting the participates of the Jamboree the Head of State noted: "The idea of scouting, which soon will be a hundred years old, has found a very good soil to grow in Estonia. As young people all over the world wish to stand for noble ideas, also in Estonia young people value ideas of helpfulness and diligence. I am certain that also you will follow those principles throughout your lifetime and will pass them over to next generation."

The President of the Republic drew a comparison between the development of scouting through difficult times in Estonia and the growing of a forest that from time to time is ravaged by storms, but where new and stronger trees replace the fallen ones.

"The storms of history have ravaged the scout movement at different places and times, but the units have been restored again or new units have been organised, which have then joined into associations. The scout organisations carry on old traditions, and introduce new modern ideas. This shows that the underlying principles of scout movement have survived the test of time and are important also today," President Rüütel stressed.

The Head of State reminisced about Anton Õunapuu, a hero of the War of Liberation who had died on the battlefield 86 years ago. Under his leadership the scouts were fighting alongside with the others for Estonia's independence. The President of the Republic expressed hope that our scout movement, which had been initiated by Anton Õunapuu, would come out stronger from every test of endurance and would grow into a storm proof natural forest where different ages of trees grow.

President Rüütel made a tour of the camping site. He was accompanied by Siimon Haamer, Camp Chief of the Jamboree, Kristjan Pomm, Chief Scout of the Estonian Scout Association, and Triinu Sagor, Chief Guide of the Estonian Guide Association, who gave explanations about the activities of the Jamboree.

Public Relations Unit of the Office of the President
Kadriorg, July 24, 2005

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