Learning through experience

One knows that it is “back to school” time. The stores in Bridgetown seem to be extremely engaged as the parents and guardians of these school aged children attempt to gather everything that is needed for their entrance into the hallowed halls of primary and even secondary learning.

As a matter of fact, some of the very children as shown in the dailies seem excited to try on their new uniforms for all to see, not only to make sure they are fitting well, but, maybe the kicking in to the “I can’t wait to be in the new place” attitude. Whatever it is, the excitement and the happy looks on their faces can easily move one to tears of joy.

In reality, when these children get to secondary school and even at the primary level, parents must understand from very early that they need to be rounded students, hence they should be engaged in some form of extra-curricular activities. Remember the adage, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”.

We admit that they are many wonderful, self-fulfilling programmes at many of the schools, among them the programme which is sponsored by the Barbados Boy Scouts Association. The programmes are divided where the Beaver Scouts Section is found in some schools or at colonies which meet on Saturdays; the Cub Scouts Section is almost in every primary school and the Scouts and Venture Scouts Sections at the secondary schools.

Scouting is a value-based educational movement for young people.

Scouting is a dynamic, innovative movement with resources, simple structures and democratic decision making processes where organization, management and communication are effective at all levels.

In the Boy Scouts programme, boys learn through the experiences of camping, hiking, building projects, and community service. Scouting also fosters self-esteem, a sense of value and belonging, a sense of accountability, and teamwork using broad and flexible theme under activities, adventure, leadership, fun and team work.

The programme builds boys mentally, physically, socially, and spiritually. The skills they learn in Scouting help them overcome obstacles and challenges with courage and character throughout their lives. The time the adults invest in the young men today will make the difference in the persons they become tomorrow.

Scouting is also very progressive, always keeping up to date with the technologies of the present. There has been the constant integrated modern technology with scout craft. For example, Geocaching, which is a mixture of computing, outdoor Scouting and treasure hunting is a big thing now in some associations.

This has shown to have great potential for Scouting, at least in the countries where it is tried. Using a Global Positioning System receiver, a hike is planned taking in one- or two-way points, to a location with a hidden cache. If the container has an object for one to take, then it is taken and another left in its place. Once the individual arrives home a record of their find is placed on a dedicated website page. his is a scout element which would be totally alien to our Founder, but very realistic as we advance scouting throughout the years.

Scouting, which has been in the news very often in recent months, has made several modifications to its rules to protect the boys under its charge. Worldwide in Scouting, there are legislations which are progressive thinking which we in Barbados support and keep forward in our minds and administration. A few of these pieces of legislation are the Safety Policy, the Child Protection Policy along with the Anti-Bullying Policy.

Some pictures showing the successful face of Scouting.

The programme for the Sea Scouts in Barbados has a particular emphasis on water-based activities such as kayaking, canoeing, sailing, and rowing. Depending on the country and the available water, these activities are conducted on lakes, rivers or sea in small or large ships.

Sea Scouting can be a programme for all Scouts or just older Scouts. It provides a chance to sail, cruise on boats, learn navigation and even learn how to work on engines. The boys are always supervised by qualified instructors as seen in the picture to make sure things are done the correct and safe way.

Leaders are recognised for their contribution to Scouting with National Scout Awards presented by the Chief Scout.

The community-mindedness of the Scouts is seen as the Scout Band leads the Palm Sunday Procession.

The Minister of James Street Methodist Church, Dr. Edwards leads the procession.

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