Thursday, December 18, 2008

Nicaraguan Boy Scout follow up

In my last posting to my blog I noted under a photo of me at the Managua, Nicaragua airport in 1949 the following "From left to right is Pablo Steiner, myself, Julio Pinel (who worked at the airport) and Gus Wilson. One of these days I will spend some time on the world wide web to see if I can track them down."

Well, I did track them down and here is my report:

It seems that in that one photo I had three of the early founders of scouting in Nicaragua. I wonder if the Boy Scouts of Nicaragua have a photo of the three of these founders in one photo? I will send them a copy of this one. You will note that my International Letter of Introduction from the Boy Scouts of America was signed by don Porfirio Solorzano who is noted below as having gotten the Nicaraguan Boy Scout Association recognized by the World Scout Organization. Gus Wilson (Gustavo Wilson Batleman) joined the first troop founded in Nicaragua in Bluefield on the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua. When he moved to Managua where he became a professor in a small Moravian college (Colegio Bautista) he founded the third Boy Scout troop in Nicaragua. Julio Pinell founded Troop Four "Leon" in Managua.

In 1945 the scout movement in Nicaragua was restructured and Professor Wilson became the first Chief Scout Executive of Nicaragua. The note in this history of scouting in Nicaragua (appended below) ends with a comment that the first national scout camporee was held at the Hacienda Las Mercedes, near the International Airport. The head of that camporee was Pablo Steiner (known as 'the Raven') who is also in that photo with me. Pablo Steiner has quite a personal story. He barely escaped capture by the Germans as he fled his home in Hungary in 1939. As a Jew he would have been exterminated in the Holocaust. He opened a print shop and began publishing in Managua and married a woman who became one of the most famous authors in Latin America. He died in the 1980s.

Happy holidays,


En 1943, el sennor Julio Pinell fundó la Tropa Cuatro “León”, en la ciudad de Managua, el profesor Gustavo Wilson Batleman, la Tropa Tres en el Colegio Bautista. Originario de Bluefield había sido uno de los primeros jóvenes que se integraron a la Tropa fundada por Campbell y el reverendo Harrison. En 1945 don Gilberto A. Blanco se convirtió en Primer Jefe Scouts Nacional.

En 1945 el Movimiento Scout de Nicaragua inicia una nueva estructuración. El profesor Wilson se constituye en forma voluntaria en el Primer Director Ejecutivo, con el apoyo de don Adrian Espinosa Orochena y el joven Róger Mendoza Solís. El señor Espinosa Orochena debido al derrocamiento del presidente Leonardo Argüello tuvo que salir exiliado. Actualmente reside en Miami, con más de 60 años de ser Scout, uno de los más activos dirigentes de su época.

En 1946, don Porfirio Solórzano Marín, logró el reconocimiento oficial de la Organización Mundial del Movimiento Scout. En 1946 se celebró en la Hacienda Las Mercedes, cerca del actual Aeropuerto Internacional, el Primer Campamento Nacional de Patrullas. El Jefe de Campo fue don Pablo Steiner, también importante funcionario de Caritas de Nicaragua y esposo de la escritora María Teresa Sánchez.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

December 2008 Holiday Greetings

December, 2008

Here it is, almost the end of the year and time to give thought to writing that end-of-the-year letter that brings family and friends up-to-date on what the Drake family had been up to the previous twelve months. I thought that maybe I should get one off to my blog also but finally decided that I would merely submit the one I wrote fifty eight years ago in December of 1950.

I am attaching a photograph of me at the US Boy Scout Jamboree at Valley Forge with Colonel Gus Wilson, Chief Scout of the World Association of Scouting. A year earlier I was visiting the Boy Scouts of Nicaragua and there met the other Gus Wilson, a black scouter who told me that he was the photographic negative of the other Gus Wilson that I was to meet the following year. So you can see both Gus Wilsons. I am also posting a copy of a picture of me with three Nicaraguan scout leaders at the Managua airport in March of 1949.

From left to right is Pablo Steiner, myself, Julio Pinel (who worked at the airport) and Gus Wilson. One of these days I will spend some time on the world wide web to see if I can track them down.

In January of 1950 I did enlist in the army for three years. While at Fort Devans, Massachusetts in training to be a high speed Morse code intercept operator I worked on my scout badge collection in my free time.

Here is a picture of me working on the collection and a picture of one of the panels of scout pins from various countries.

May you all have a good holiday season. George