The Goodwill Games 2010: Groupe Saint Joseph’s Olympic Games

The Goodwill Games are Groupe Saint Joseph Cornet Chehwan’s proudest achievement among dozens of others in its 46-year history. “Goodwill” represents all that is unique about a scout and the scouts way-of-life.

Like all volunteer organizations, the volunteers themselves need to regroup, get to know each other, and have fun before retuning to their selfless schedule of sustainable, social development.

The Goodwill Games started in 1993, and since the games are the undisputed Olympic Games for Scouts across Lebanon. The event took place every four years, but special circumstances beyond our control have forced us to put the games on a 7-year hiatus.

This August though, the games have been brought back to life!

August 19, 20, 21 and 22 at Saint Joseph School Cornet Chehwan was the scene of dozens of matches, hours of fun and an innumerable amount of new friends made.

On the 19th, Groupe Saint Joseph welcomed the Lebanese Army’s Special Forces Maghawir Brigade, which carried out a series of tactical maneuvers and drills, displaying their high level of readiness to face the threats the nation has to face. The soldiers repelled off buildings, dove under a moving armored personnel carrier, and mimicked hand-to-hand combat.

After the 16 groupes paraded onto the SJS Greenfield, and the Maghawir dazzled the 1500-person crowd, the youngest scouts of Group Saint Joseph Cornet Chehwan did a “GWG 5” formation with helium-filled balloons as the hilarious 5-minute video parody introduced the 15 games that will be played in the next 3 days.

The cherry on top was the ceremonial lighting of the games’ flame. A 33-meter tall ship, with the 14-meter high mast built especially for the occasion by the scouts themselves, came alight with an elaborate display of fireworks that lit the torch at the very top and with that, the Goodwill Games 2010 were inaugurated!

Friday, Saturday and Sunday featured sports competitions from 8:00 AM till 7:00 PM, with a special entertainment program prepared for every night after 7. Friday saw a battle of the bands, with Lebanese underground reggae guests and jury Jammit, along with Blimp and the GSS troupe 2eme, animating the night after a long day of athletics and first-round team sports.

Saturday night, the scouts and their friends and families as well as members of the local community witnessed the best the Lebanese Civil Defense department had to offer in collaboration with road safety and traffic awareness NGO YASA. A an old car was subjected to any possible scenario, from jammed doors, to victims trapped under the wreckage and finally torching the run-down vehicle and putting out the blaze with a pressurized-water cannon. Other high-tech equipment was also used, such as a hydraulic claw to cut though the mangled car frame and airbags that lifted the car off the trapped victim.

A heavy dose of humor was then injected into the program, with a beauty pageant parody landing many funny scouts into the spotlight and making the crowd laugh for well over 2 hours.

Sunday, the finals were played in all major games, and with a spirit of sportsmanship not commonly seen in competitive sports, the teams magnanimously accepted defeat and celebrated victory. At 7:00 PM, the medals were distributed and the winners announced.

All in all, it was a magnificent 4-day event that will not be forgotten any time soon by anyone involved in it. All we can say is thank you fro the bottom of our hearts and see you in four years!

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