The "Deutsche Pfadfinderschaft Sankt Georg" (DPSG), founded back in 1929, offers more than just adventure to over 95,000 members of all ages. As Germany's largest catholic scout association it encourages its members to take an active part in shaping their lives and their environment. In doing so they learn to become responsible adults and active members of their communities. This is best achieved in groups with members of similar age. The DPSG is co-educational; male and female members play, discover and learn together. Through group activities they learn to take responsibility for themselves and for others, and to develop their relationship with God.
Currently some 25,000 cub scouts, 21,500 scouts, 14,000 senior scouts and about 14,500 rovers are active within the DPSG. They are supported by more than 20,000 adult leaders. Cub scouts (7 - 10 years old) discover the world around them and develop their everyday lives. For scouts (10 - 13 years) it's all about adventure and personal development as they begin their teenage years together. Senior scouts (13 - 16 years) enjoy taking risks and testing their personal limits while exploring their own identity and attitudes. Rovers (16 - 20 years) get out and about discovering the world and tackling the problems they encounter.
Young people usually meet once a week for their unit meetings. This is their time and place to plan new adventures and develop their own projects. Without doubt, the highlights are trips, whether just for a weekend or for a couple of weeks at summer camp.
Annual Campaign and Commitment
One of the core values for all members of the DPSG, regardless of age or gender, is a commitment to justice and support for the disadvantaged. A regular expression of this commitment is the "annual campaign", a project running for a full year in which all groups and sections participate. This has been part of the activity programme for every local group since 1962. Within their neighbourhoods, local groups raise awareness and funds to support a specific project. The annual campaign also serves as an educational experience for members , for example by exploring how it feels to be blind, considering what we can do to protect the climate, or how children in Rwanda or Bolivia live. Further, scouts raise awareness of the relevant issues among politicians, their communities and the public generally. The topic of the annual campaign changes each year, being selected in turn from one of the DPSG's three main sectors of commitment - disabled people, international justice and ecology.
The international department, being regarded as a sort of "Ministry of Foreign Affairs", is lead by the International Commissioner(s), supported by volunteers in the International Commission (IAK) and by a full-time staff member at the DPSG's headquarters.
The International Commissioners are the primary point of contact for the DPSG's international relations. (According to the association's rules, up to two people can be appointed to this role). They represent the association abroad, take part in international conferences and preside over bilateral contacts between national scout organisations (NSOs). This is an unpaid voluntary post which has been held by Stefan Fett.
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