Some 700 children, members of the Explorers Youth Groups, made their mark marching around the Warner Park Cricket Stadium as part of Thursday’s 36th Independence Day Ceremonial Parade.
Representing their respective communities in St. Kitts — Molineux-Phillips’ (Mol-Phil), Shadwell, Cayon, St. Peters, Newtown, Old Road, Trinity, Lodge, St. Pauls — the contingent received some of the largest cheers and applause of troops on display.
“It really is something good to see,” said B’jorn, a young entrepreneur who took photographs of the parade.
The Explorers Group, which caters to children between the ages of 3-19 years, launched in July 2017, with the start of the Mol-Phil Club. The programme is a key component of the Ministry of National Security’s Crime Reduction and Prevention Strategy, as it is designed to promote positive experiences, and highlights alternative pathways for youth.
“Oh, it was wonderful because she chose it,” said Emma, whose 11-year-old granddaughter was marching alongside peers in the Newtown Explorers Club. “She chose it and I am here to support her.”
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National, Osmond Petty, said that marching is a foundational activity of the Explorers Movement.
“Marching is an important part of discipline. They follow rules, and they learn to obey commands,” Mr. Petty said, noting parents also look forward to seeing their child/children on parade at various times of the year.
In April, the group marched through the streets of Basseterre to raise public awareness about the Club, and again in August as part of the Police Force’s Annual Summer Camp.
“But the big one for all of these children and their proud parents is the Independence Day Ceremonial Parade, and that is the foundation activity for the Explorers,” Petty added.
Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris commended the young people of the Explorers Groups and the police officers that work with them for participating in the parade.