Scout Education: Non Formal Education
Scout education imparts the lesson of self discipline in its students. Scouts help others selflessly. They become independent. They develop love towards their nation and learn to serve others. Organization of scout teaches their students games to increase their physical ability as well as to sharpen their mental powers. They teach methods by which people can be served efficiently like methods of extinguishing fire, methods of saving people getting drowned in water, providing first aid to injured people etc.....
It is not enough for mankind to become good humans unless they bring that humanity in action. The main principle of this organization is to teach their students, techniques of bringing their goodness into action and helping others. Youngsters are not only taught to serve others, in fact they are taught the methods by which they can lend their service to others in the best possible way so that receivers may greatly be benefited by it.
Scout organization teaches varieties of tactics to the individuals who are joining them. For example, if a horse due to any reason being disturbed, becomes uncontrollable and starts running towards crowded area. There no one dares themselves to control it and even if some one makes an effort to stop it, can get badly injured. There are certain special techniques to stop the running horse. By these techniques without making much effort and without putting one's life in stake, disturbed horse could be easily controlled. Such techniques are well taught to their students by the organization of scout. Apart from this, organization also teaches that students shouldn't sit idle. They must always keep themselves busy in work. This is because employed people always keep themselves far away from bad habits.
During Boer War which took place between 1899-1900 in South Africa, British army and few British citizens both male and female and children got surrounded by the enemy. Responsibility of their protection came on the shoulders of Colonel Robert Baden Powell. He adopted a strategy and as per that made each and every man to protect some part of the land. There arose a question in his mind that what kind of help could he take from young kids. At the end, he made these kids as scouts and took their help. Such tasks were earlier done by army men but even kids could easily lend their help in doing them. Some of the tasks were like keeping an eye on enemy army from a distant safe place, giving signals to distant areas with the help of lamps or flags, identifying signals of approach of enemy by keeping their ear close to the land. This proved to be very beneficial and was great success. Many army men freely participated in wars who earlier wouldn't be able to do so as they would get stuck in such tasks. These scouts worked more than what they ate. Children since had good sight and alertness they could easily complete all tasks and would gather many information which even experienced army men couldn't do.
After the war, Baden Powell organized scout camp in some other form. It's main aim now was not to help the army. It started developing self-dependency, power of knowledge, service and co-operation among children. In this organization, kids of very young age to youngsters were admitted and as per their abilities scout knowledge was imparted to them. Scouts were asked to take an oath that they will keep faith in God, King and Country. They were asked to do at least one good work on daily basis and they would always keep themselves eager in lending help to others. Ten rules were made for them. Efforts were made to make them follow all the rules. Some of the rules were like scouts will always speak truth, all will believe in them, they will become independent, all the other scouts will be like their brothers etc.....
Main principles of scout organization:-
Scouts should learn the way of co-operating, helping and living happily with each other. Each and every scout learns to become self dependent. They should remain always alert and use their powers properly. One can help others only if way of helping them is well known. Thus, scouts should learn these ways and keep themselves always ready to serve others. Just perceiving advice is not enough, in fact these advices and suggestions has to be practiced. Scout organization believe in giving less advice and helps students to practice and master the arts by which they can serve mankind. Scouts should not have expectation of receiving any regards or price or gift in favor of the service they lend.
In this organization, groups are formed of 8-10 children of same age. From each group one child is selected as the leader of their group. This leader imparts education to rest of the students under the guidance of scout-master. Each and every scout of that group obey the duty of their leader. There's lot of scope of laughter and entertainment among students but as soon as they receive the order of their leader, they become alert and obey their duties as if he is their army leader. Each group is named differently like Samdal, Bheemdal, Laxmandal, Arjundal, Hanumandal etc..... They are made to learn many songs which could fill in them a lot of enthusiasm in the time of struggle. They also learn to enact play, mimic, sing songs, play instruments and many more things. This is done to help them pass their time easily during leisure.
They are taught to wrap their bed sheets, clean their clothes, clean their shoes etc..... so that they do not have to depend on others for their work. For the same reason they are also taught to cook their own food. They are taught to collect woods and cow dung cakes and burn them without the help of match stick in their camps. Without the help of tea filter they are taught the technique of filtering the tea. Moral is to teach them not to sit idle during time of trouble and complete all tasks happily.
They too have a uniform the way army men have. Each one of them has a stick, rope and a bag to keep necessary items. With the help of all these articles they learn to make multiple arrangements like making their own tents during night time for relaxation, to make stairs or bridge, to make a rope which can save person from being drowned in water, to make stretcher to carry an ill or injured person. After receiving the training, scouts making use of their stick and rope can help others in many ways.
Scouts are trained in wood craft. This increases their ability of seeing and understanding the things. For example, if at any place burnt wood or cow dung cakes are present then each scout group is asked to find out what type of human had arrived over there. They are asked to identify many things like what was the reason of those people to come over there, why did they lit the fire, what kind of food was prepared by them, how long was the time spent by them, in which direction did they move and many more such questions. By looking at the foot prints of animals they can tell that it belongs to which animal and where did it go. By keeping their ears close to the land they can tell which activities are carried out in near by places.
Scouts by learning proper education from their leaders in the scout organization, serve people and the country. Even after doing so much of effort, they neither expect any sort of gift nor wants to be praised. They perceive their happiness by just serving others. Such is the power and magic of scout training.
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