Four Walloon municipalities ban alcohol in scout camps

The Belgian Scouts Federation explains that it prefers raising awareness among leaders rather than issuing bans that are difficult to enforce. The objective of the Walloon municipalities that have issued this type of ban is to be able to react more firmly in the event of serious problems, explains Le Soir.

According to the mayor of Florenville, Caroline Godfrin, the police and the Department of Nature and Forests (DNF) had to intervene several times last year in the face of slippages. “We have really problematic situations which are most often the result of movements coming from Flanders. I remind you that the majority of these camps are along the rivers. This is not trivial” for their safety.

Regarding the new regulations, she explains that “as long as the young people remain reasonable, drinking a beer in the evening, we will not intervene. Otherwise, we will have a basis for saying that their behavior will have been inadmissible. We can then make those responsible face up to their responsibilities and this could then go as far as expulsion”.

The spokesman for the Scouts of Belgium, Gilles Beckers, explains that the federation preferred, 11 years ago, an approach of raising awareness among leaders rather than banning them, wondering moreover how the new regulations adopted by the mayors may be applied. The approach towards the young volunteers who lead the summer camps is “to raise awareness and reflect, in the training we give, on the image we send back and the responsibility we bear”.

An animation quality code is also signed by each animator, asking in particular to remain under the limit of 0.5g of alcohol per liter of blood. In the event of slippage, sanctions are provided for.

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