Whats Scouting about
Bruce Ward (Bruce.Ward@SMTPGWY.AGRIC.NSW.GOV.AU)
Mon, 22 May 1995 09:29:34 EST
Erik Ashby raised the question about the real purpose of scouting. I
must agree that we need to keep the real purpose in clear focus so
that we don't wander too far from our intended direction.
To my mind the basic purpose is the development of youth - ultimately
to be better citizens. The outdoors, camping etc. provide a great
opportunity to learn self reliance and develop as a person. At least
here in Australia, the Scout program (as distinct from Cubs and
Venturers) is based on Baden-Powell's Patrol System, so we also
emphasise teamwork in our outdoor activities.
So the Scouts NEED training so that they can experience the outdoors
safely and get the most out their experiences, but I personally think
that the training is only the first part. The experiencing part is the
really important part, through which the character development comes.
Fun is important, but it is not the purpose. It is important because
the training and the experience will be far more effective if it is
fun. I took 10 kids from our District to the Australian Jamboree in
Western Australia earlier this year. Sure there was dome drudgery,
cooking, cleaning and looking after the Quartermasters every whim.
Those kids grew so much over 10 days, and ALL the parents saw the
results, but the Scouts remember the fun.
So maybe our primary objectives are best achieved using their primary
objective (to have fun)????
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City