Do you remember that as a result of a wonderful friendship between scout groups from UK and Germany, our federation was founded?

Lawrie worked, together with a German scouter, to shape that idea that we now call WFIS.

In previous posts we commented that in 1996 an article was published in a German magazine called “Scouting”, but who published it? who was the one with that idea?

Today we will talk about that person who reflects friendship, joy, respect and who enjoys being a Scout. That he has traveled all over the world and that many of us here know him. A man who also made all this possible.

It was Rüdiger Funk acca “Funko” from the German Scout group Solmser Pfadfinderschaft placed an article in the German scout magazine „Scouting“, lining out Lawrie Dring’s idea of a head-organization for all small and independent scout groups. Later-on, he invited all those groups who had replied with their interest to a foundation meeting in Laubach.

Funko started his scoutlife back in 1961, which means, that he was part of scouting for more than half of the 114 years of scouting history… From the very beginning, he belonged to the scouts of his hometown Laubach, gave his scout-promise in 1964 and went up through the scout ranks in the year thereafter. In 1965, he took over leadership of his own scout group, followed by responsibility for all groups of the Laubach scouts in 1968.

In 1972, the scouts of Laubach decided to leave their organization, the „Christliche Pfadfinderschaft Deutschlands“, because some political issues at that time. With only 9 scouts they founded the „Solmser Pfadfinderschaft“ (named after the county) and choose as their „fleur-de- lys“ the lion of the counts of Solms. Funko became the first association leader until 1977, and soon the Association was growing rapidly in the region. New partnerships were set up, one of these with the scouts of Stainsby in the UK – which led eventually to the foundation of WFIS in 1996. In the same year, he received his Woodbadge.

The Foundation Representatives

The Foundation Representatives

After the foundation of the „German Region“ with groups from Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and a Polish group as guests, Funko was elected 1st Chairman of the regional Steering Committee and stayed in this function until he had to step back because of job-related and health-related reasons in 1998.

Foundation Meeting of the German Region in Berlin

Foundation Meeting of the German Region in Berlin

But even thereafter Funko worked hard in support of the new WFIS Steering Committees – both in the newly created European Region and for the World Council. He was member of the taskforce, which set-up the training plans for the WFIS Woodbeads Course and later he became trainer for Woodbeads, running the first module of the very first Woodbeads training course.

Being the nominated delegate for „Solmser Pfadfinderschaft“, Funko attended the General Assemblies anywhere in Europe, and during the world conference in Mexico in 2011, he was appointed to arrange the NGO status for WFIS with the United Nations (which was eventually achieved three years later). For this job, he received the „Bronze Lion“ in 2015, after he already had received the „Thank You“ award of WFIS.

For the 20th anniversary of WFIS, Funko organized together with its Scout group, the Workshop that year. In that activity we were able to see the key sites of the WFIS foundation and remember how the beginning of our Federation was.

Funko has helped establish and deepen partnerships with scout groups from all over the world, by taking part in many international camps like World Jamborees and in all Eurocamps! He has traveled not only in many countries in Europe (like Poland, Switzerland, Denmark, Germany…) but also to Mexico, India, Ghana.

In 2021 Funko became 70 Years old and many Scouts and Guides around the world, gave their congratulation via Video Messages.