Scouting is an educational movement
Scouting has it’s own unique education process known as The Scout Method which has 5 components that can create fantastic learning opportunities when all are operated together.
Using the out of doors. The out of doors throws endless challenges our way (often because of the weather or because we are not in out usual comfort zone). To these challenges you have to respond using your own resources. You need to work something out then and there. You cant cheat or cog someone elses ideas out here.
Using small groups. By working in small groups (Patrols) everyone can be involved in the decision making and knowledge and skills can be shared. The small group can provide an identity and a sense of belonging.
Learning by doing. In scouting you get a chance to do things for yourself and to organise your own affairs. Of course it often doesn’t go to plan but chances are you will learn from the experience. That’s why it is often called experiential learning and why we promote the Plan-Do-Review cycle so you learn from the experience.
A shared set of values. The scout laws “trusty, loyal a friend & brother, courageous, careful, respect for others” helps a group of youngsters in their interactions with each other and with the environment
A progressive training scheme or more often called merit badges helps young people to set goals and have their achievements recognized. It provides the material for patrol meeting where skills can be learnt so that activities take place in a safe fashion.
These days many leaders instead of sitting back and letting the kids get on with it they have taken on all the fun jobs. When you’re a kid there is something magical about pitching & sleeping in a tent, or making your own “den”, cooking your own meal over an open fire, chopping wood and making yourself comfortable using camp gadgets. Not only is it fun it is educational all at same time. This is scout camping and can be done by any age group all be it in an age appropriate fashion. Leader are only there to keep a watchful eye on things and make sure its safe but not to do things for the kids that they can do for themselves.
Nature and the great outdoors can provide those unique moments of inspiration, wonder and awe that can be life changing in terms of our relationship with the world. So scouting isn’t all about acquiring camping skills (the country hardly needs more good camper) its about using the out of doors to create opportunities to develop life skills (teamwork, creativity, problem solving, leadership etc) and here Imagination is often more important than knowledge to quote Albert Einstein.