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Scout leader awarded Order of the Founder

Scout leader awarded Order of the Founder

Scout leader awarded Order of the Founder

28 August 2019

Commissioner Johnny Kleman (left) admits Philippe Clément, National Scout Leader of The Salvation Army in France and Belgium, to the Order of the Founder.

IHQ Communications

The National Scout Leader of The Salvation Army in France and Belgium has become the first French man to be admitted to the Order of the Founder, the Army’s highest honour.

Scouts from more than 15 countries gathered for the jamboree.

Philippe Clément was awarded the honour during a special ceremony at a 10-day jamboree in France that celebrated the 100th anniversary of Salvation Army scouting in France – known since 1941 as Torchbearers – and the 90th anniversary of Salvation Army scouts in Belgium.

Commissioner Johnny Kleman, The Salvation Army International Secretary for Europe, admitted Philippe to the Order of the Founder.

“This award is a recognition of your commitment to Salvation Army scouts in France and Belgium,” said Commissioner Kleman. “Thanks to your know-how, you have served young people and contributed to their social and spiritual development.”

The citation, signed by General Brian Peddle, said that for nearly 40 years, “Philippe Clément has skilfully and enthusiastically served young people through the scouting program of The Salvation Army in the France and Belgium Territory. He has participated in the development of children and youth through scouting, impacting their lives as a positive role model, teaching and discipling young people as a faithful servant of the Lord. Through his ability to network with other countries, his influence upon young people has been felt in many other European countries and beyond. Active in inter-church relations, he embodies the motto ‘Burning zeal to serve God and neighbour’.”

Philippe, 57, from Strasbourg, grew up in The Salvation Army as the son of officers. He has worked as a schoolteacher for deaf children and been involved in Salvation Army programs and events all his life, including songster leader at his corps.

He follows in the footsteps of more than 250 other Order of the Founder members, including five French women. Thirty-four Australians have received the honour.

Impacting young lives

Around 400 Salvation Army scouts from 15 countries gathered for the jamboree in the grounds of Château de Jambville, north-west of Paris, to live in the heart of nature, discover its benefits, get to know each other better and experience solidarity.

“Most of the participants come from disadvantaged neighbourhoods,” said Major David Vandebeulque, The Salvation Army Territorial Youth Secretary for France and Belgium. “There are also refugee children for whom the camp is an ideal way to integrate into their new society.”

Salvation Army centres, particularly in Strasbourg, have been welcoming children from disadvantaged families from Eastern Europe. Scout camps are therefore a way for these young people to get away from often-difficult family situations and go on holiday.

In France, Major Schumacher created the Salvation Guides and Scouts in 1919. In 1941 they became the Torchbearers, joined in 2011 by Sparks for six to seven-year-olds.

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