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Gromo 2017: Health, Harmony, Holiness

By Clerics Chris Ferreira and Joyston Machado
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Mumbai, Oct. 25. LONAVLA: Nearly eight hundred scouts and guides, along with their respective scout masters and guide captains, are participating in a Don Bosco scouts and guides meet, popularly known as GROMO (Grow More). Themed on Health, Harmony and Holiness; GROMO 2017 began at the Don Bosco School grounds, Lonavla on October 24.
Participants from 23 Salesian schools, 23 scout troops and 16 guide troops made their way to the campsite for the mega-scouting event. They first pitched tents and then received the camp kit - the GROMO Scarf and Woggle and acclimated themselves to the campus.

The campsite was divided into three sub camps for the scouts and guides respectively. In great reverence to the workers in the vineyard of Lonavla, the sub camps were named in the honour of the Salesian fathers and sisters, namely Father Bianchi, Father Alessi, Father Casarotti and Sisters Camila, Mary and Valentina, who laboured on the soil.

Once the troop assembled at their allocated positions for a solemn welcome, the inauguration ceremony began. It was followed by a march past. Smita Patil, the principal of the Police Academy, Khandala, also the Chief Guest for the event, inspected the campsite and applauded the organisers for their efforts. She exhorted the virtues of discipline, honesty and punctuality.

After the traditional prayer song, the unfurling of the scout flag and its anthem, the guests - Patil, the Guests of Honour Father Godfrey D'Souza, the Provincial of the Salesian Province of Mumbai,  Abhishek Patil, Divesh Chauhan and Unita Doulton, illustrious past pupils of Don Bosco, Lonavla, Father Savio Silveira, the vice provincial of the Salesian Province of Mumbai, and FMA sisters were felicitated.

The scout leader for the inauguration, Parth Pujari, a scout from Don Bosco, Borivli said, ''It was a moment of excitement, and the honesty of the chief guest amazed me,'' he added later cheekily, ''I'm happy to be away from home!'' Father D'Souza said, ''An event of this magnitude is a beautiful learning for all in brotherhood and sisterhood.''

The day included an elegant performance with flags in the colour party event and the lowering of the flag for the day. The vibrant indulgence of energy and zeal by the scouts and guides was commendable and kept the spirit of Lord Baden Powell, the Founder of the World Scouting Movement alive.

Mark Pereira, assistant district commissioner of scouting - North Mumbai and representative of the Maharashtra State Scout Council is the Camp Chief for GROMO 2017.

The other trainers who would share their expertise in the days to come, are Suresh Lohar, leader trainer for National Bharat Scouts Guides Association, Bolar Maharudra, assistant leader trainer and district commissioner of scouting, East Mumbai, Angelina Bhakre, leader trainer and district commissioner of Pune and state level in-charge of campsites, Sudhir Raul, assistant leader trainer of scouting in North Mumbai and Zahid Qureshi, HWB in scouting, training commissioner of West Mumbai and India's first and youngest bungee jumping trainer certified in Canada.


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