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CPA Press Release
Contact: Chip Beck (914 822 5386)
February 28th 2004


28 FEB Baghdad, Iraq -- Ambassador L. Paul Bremer, the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) Administrator in Baghdad, approved public diplomacy support for a new initiative to establish an Iraqi Boy Scout and Girl Scout program with the backing of the World Scouting Organization (WSO) and Arab Scout Organization (ASO).

The initiative to formally create an “Iraqi Scouts” organization, along the lines of professional national Scouting programs worldwide, came about through the formation of an energetic network of volunteer Scouters and adult Eagle Scouts currently serving in the “Green Zone” of Baghdad, various regions of Iraq and a vast group of Stateside, Regional and World Scouters who are ready to enthusiastically support this historic effort.

The Iraqi Scouts Initiative committee is being led by Co-Chairmen Chip Beck (Baghdad, Iraq) and Michael Bradle (Lampasas, Texas). Mike Bradle (39) is an Eagle Scout and Texas businessman with extensive national Scouting connections who is organizing U.S. and international donor and fund-raising support for the program. Chip Beck (58) is a retired Navy Commander and Assistant Commissioner for Venture Scouting in the National Capital Area Council (NCAC) of Washington D.C. who is serving a 6 month CPA tour of duty in Iraq.

Beck and a cadre of 100 experienced multinational Scouters informally established the “Green Zone Council” of Scouting in February as a loose fraternal organization for fellow Scouters serving in Iraq. Through various Scouting networks, the “GZC” as it is called, came to the attention of Bradle and his corporation, who offered their full support, suggesting both groups work to formally re-establish a legal, recognized, and fully functioning Scouting program in Iraq.

The Scout program will be open to boys and girls of all ethnic and cultural backgrounds, and will allow for local nuances to shape various regional program options.

An immediate goal is to identify Iraqi adult leaders, youths, and community supporters to be recruited and trained in all aspects of a professional and volunteer Scouting organization. The Co-Chairmen have set a goal of establishing a national Scouting program with a minimum of 10,000 Iraqi Scouts, with Troops or Crews in all 18 Iraqi provinces, and regional Councils in the north, central, south-central, southern, and Baghdad areas of Iraq.

A National Iraqi Scouting Headquarters is envisioned for Baghdad as well. Five national Scout camps in the various mountain, lakes, desert, marsh, and “fertile crescent” areas of the country are also under consideration, with Iraq-based Scouters beginning to survey suitable terrain and facilities in conjunction with various Iraqi regional and community leaders.

Scouting is not new to the Middle East or even Iraq, where Scouting was first introduced in 1921, but was later expelled from the WSO during the Saddam era.

As a people-to-people example of “public diplomacy,” Bradle and Beck hope to solicit funding and professional training support from active Scouters in countries such as Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the Gulf States.

The Iraqi Scouting Initiative is viewed as an opportunity to create a positive atmosphere and sense of national unity among Iraqi youth, parents, and community leaders from all parts of the country. Universal values of good citizenship, community service, individual honor and self-confidence are natural products of Scout programs.

For more information, contact:
POC IRAQ: Co-Chairman Chip Beck, 914-822-5386
POC U.S.: Co-Chairman Mike Bradle, 512-556-4100



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