Scouting, together for a better world

Solidarity, tolerance and democracy are just some of the scouting values. Through these values, Scouting contributes to the education of children and young people. Together, the group plays a constructive role in our society and is committed to creating a better world. In the run-up to Christmas, we introduce you to the FNEL, its missions and how the Girl and Boy Scouts continue the Advent wreath tradition. Instructions included!

The largest international network for children and young people

Worldwide, Scouts and Guides have over 50 million members in 216 different countries and territories. It is the largest international network for children and young people aged between 6 and 26.

The first groups of the FNEL (Fédération nationale des éclaireurs et éclaireuses du Luxembourg) have existed since 1914, and the federation itself since 1916. It is a founder member of today's WOSM (World Organisation of the Scout Movement). However, the FNEL is not the only scout federation in Luxembourg. Its counterpart is the Lëtzebuerger Guiden a Scouten, whose origins are Catholic. Together they represent Scouting in Luxembourg and therefore Luxembourg scouting, with HRH the Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume as Luxembourg's "Chief Scout".

Scouts on a raft
© FNEL Scouten a Guiden
Scouts cooking outdoors
© FNEL Scouten a Guiden

Values that do good

The FNEL respects the individuality of each scout and guide. It promotes mutual aid and listening to others. It is involved in national and international aid programmes. Independent, the federation defends the fundamental values of democracy without being linked to any political ideology or party. Scouts and Guides are receptive to new ideas and critical of socio-political issues. Inhumane ideologies are denounced. 

© FNEL Scouten a Guiden

The FNEL is a secular movement: everyone is free to choose their religious and philosophical beliefs. Living together means being tolerant of others and open to new cultures. Everyone has the right and the duty to express themselves - that's the federation's democratic way.

A good Scout keeps his promises and respects the rules

The ideas of Lord Robert Baden-Powell, the godfather of scouting, are the "ingredients" of the "Scout recipe". Play and fun are the spice of the soup.

In the world of scouts, you discover, learn and develop continuously and independently in a fun programme adapted to your age.

Girl and Boy Scouts discover and learn:

  • Life in and with nature, and a commitment to nature;
  • Working in a diverse group with mutual respect and openness to different ideas;
  • Autonomy and community;
  • A sense of responsibility;
  • Volunteering;
  • Traditions.

Scouts and Guides promise to respect the principles and methods and to abide by the Scout Law.

I promise to do my best to fulfil my obligations to society and myself, to live in accordance with our Scouting principles and to commit myself, together with you, to a better world.
Assembling a wooden structure
© FNEL Scouten a Guiden
Scouts travelling abroad
© FNEL Scouten a Guiden

Advent wreath

Traditions are passed down from generation to generation. They create bonds. Scouting also uses symbols and ceremonies that are the common thread running through its activities.

Every year the group Les Panthères Noires from Lorentzweiler devotes itself to a Christmas tradition: the Advent wreath.

Its origins date back to 19th century Hamburg, to a Protestant foundation that looked after children. In the run-up to Christmas, the children kept asking their theologian when it would finally be time. To anticipate this question and make the wait easier for the children, he put together a sort of Christmas calendar with a wagon wheel and as many candles as there were days between the first Sunday in Advent and Christmas Eve.

It wasn't until the 1860s that the wreath was also decorated with fir branches, and it became generally popular. The green of the fir tree in winter is a symbol of hope: in the midst of ice and snow, cold and darkness, new life is being prepared. Added to this is the light, which gains in strength from Sunday to Sunday in the early winter darkness.

List of materials for the wreath:

  • A straw wreath
  • Fir or other conifer branches
  • Craft wire
  • Pruning shears for cutting branches

Material list for the decoration:

  • 4x candles
  • Wire pins or candle holders
  • Glue gun for other decorative elements

There are no limits to your imagination when it comes to decorating: here, everyone can use whatever they find beautiful, from pinecones to sparkling bows.

Instructions for use:

  • Cut branches to the correct length (around 15 centimetres) using secateurs. Use thin branches, not twigs.
  • Attach the craft wire to the straw wreath by wrapping it once around the wreath and twisting the ends. Then place the branches: the longer ones on the outside of the wreath, the shorter ones on the inside. To secure the greenery, wrap the lower end of the branches twice with the craft wire. Attach from the inside out.
  • The next layer of greenery is laid on top of the previous one. Make sure that the branches overlap like tiles, so that the straw wreath is not visible underneath.
  • To attach candles to the Advent wreath, skewer candle holders or candle plates with thorns are perfect and can be easily attached to the wreath.
  • Finally, decorate to your heart's content.

A non-religious Advent wreath

In the Middle Ages, servants could take advantage of an unwritten law according to which they did not have to work outside when it was too cold. To symbolise this rule, the wagon they usually used to go out to the fields was stored in the barn. One of the wheels was unscrewed and hung from the ridge of the roof or inside the house.

As the wheel is also a symbol of the sun, it was decorated with evergreen branches - a symbol of the hope of seeing the sun again in spring.

Last update