By Sgt. 1st Class Ron Burke
Multinational Division-Baghdad public affairs
CAMP VICTORY, Iraq - When Iraq embraced the scouting movement in 1921, its Boy Scout and Girl Guide program became a member of the World Organization Scouting Movement. Due to war and instability, it has been decertified twice by the World Organization Scouting Movement.
Improvements in security have led to a resurgence of scouting thanks to a group of dedicated service members. That group, called the Victory Base Council, is working to get the adults of Iraq to become more involved and, very soon, take over the program they've begun to build toward recertification.
Since the Victory Base Council established a scout camp and community center in April 2008, up to 150 service members have come together each Saturday to teach scouting lessons and implement new sporting activities to the area's youth.
"Today we have a small group," said Maj. John Crawson, who is the Victory Base Complex base defense operations center supply officer for Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 56th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, an Army National Guard unit with soldiers from Fort Worth to El Paso to Corpus Christi.
The week before, the turn-out was large with 80 children and more than 40 adults playing baseball, Crawson said.
In one tent March 21, Maj. Ken Broussard, the environmental science officer from the division surgeon's office of the 1st Cavalry Division, taught the younger children via an interpreter how to spot and prevent heat injuries.
After the lesson, the children moved over to the arts and crafts tent and began painting, coloring and putting together small, wooden model airplanes that were donated by schools in the United States.
"This gives me a sense of belonging and they (the children) accept me and have grown quite fond of the activities that we do," said Staff Sgt. Kelly Greene, a reservist and supply noncommissioned officer with Alpha Company, 301st Military Intelligence Battalion, Multinational Corps-Iraq, as she helped with the children's artwork. "I've been doing this since September and it's a good outlet for me."