HM The King's speech at a Baden-Powell Fellowship Event in Haag, Saturday 9 April 2011

(The spoken version shall take precedence)

Your Majesty,
Your Royal Highnesses,
Your Excellencies,
Dear Friends,

At this event we have combined the forces of the Olave Baden Powell Society and the Baden Powell Fellowship. Together we support the two international organizations of scouting. World Scouting serves both boys and girls and World Guiding serves girls. During my many trips I have witnessed the importance of female leadership as a role model. Women often take a lead in providing education, fighting poverty, and protecting the rights of children.

I have met so many young girls and boys around the world that have made a difference in their society and seen how strong the union between guiding and scouting is.

Our world is in a greater need of these brave young women and men than ever before. We are facing global challenges that need leadership capacity and good values. Climate changes, migration, population growth, are all threats we have to deal with in the future.

Through Scouting young people learn that being a good example you can influence others. To face and reduce climate change we know that it all comes down to what you and I can do together. Scouting gives the tools for young people to develop the courage to take the lead in these matters.

All of us gathered here today have taken a stand towards supporting the youth development. We want to encourage young scouts to feel responsible and to work towards a sustainable environment. Scouting is unique in its ability to foster leaders into role models. The ones we met in Rotterdam and Vlaardingen Scout Troop are proof of this.

The highlight of our visit was the meeting in Rotterdam with the scouts. Here we encountered young people, inspired by their leaders. They were confident young men and women who seemed ready to take on any challenge they faced. 

This is why you are so important! The funds you invest in, they help to train, support and inspire leaders in some of the world's poorest countries. Scouting definitely can change the lives of young people in difficult circumstances. Your contributions have made a big difference in many projects around the world!

I wish to congratulate the new BP Fellows and members of the Olave Baden-Powell Society being recognized tonight.  Our work is an ongoing challenge, so I do encourage you to support us!

Thank you! And thank you all for what you are doing!