There’s no escaping the fact that we live in the age of technology with gaming and screen time taking up a lot of our kids’ lives, and in fact it is a part of life, but it’s all about balance. Even though we live in this new world it’s important to get our kids outdoors experiencing all sorts of new and exciting adventures! And one amazing way to do that is through girl guides and boy scouts. Do you remember as a child belonging to that exclusive group of kids who could take on the world and experience all sorts of new things? If you did go, you should remember it with a smile on your face.
Did you know that of the 312 pilots and scientists that were selected to be astronauts since 1959, at least 207 were either scouts or they were active in scouting? Out of the 24 men who travelled to the moon on the Apollo 8 and Apollo 10 which included 12 missions, 20 were scouts including 11 of the 12 moonwalkers and all three members of the crew of Apollo 13 were scouts. So it just goes to show how much these kids can achieve in their future.
So, we’re going to give you a heads up on why the world of girl guides and boy scouts could be awesome for your kids.
First let’s take a look at why you should consider sending your kids out into the world of girl guides and boy scouts.
Healthy Outdoor Adventures
Scouts and guides meet once a week and participate in all sorts of amazing activities like hiking, camping, canoeing, sailing, playing sport and even doing some building and agricultural activities. How awesome is that? What amazing gifts to give your kids.
Build Life Skills Second to None
The life skills kids learn at scouts and guides are absolutely awesome, setting them up to be the next generation of true leaders. They learn about being good friends, how to work together and understand each other. But it’s so much more than that, as kids develop self-esteem, leadership skills, coping, confidence and the ability to take care of themselves. The programme can even help an introverted child come out of their shell and learn to interact with other kids. The whole system removes the rivalry factor so every child lands up doing what is best for them and they get awarded for it. On a more practical level they learn about helping the planet through recycling programmes, alternative energy sources, first aid as well as community projects where they learn the gift of giving and helping other people. They are challenged to do their best, build character and make some lasting friendships.
An award system of true achievement
Do rewards systems really work? Well sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t, but the ‘award’ system of girl guides and scouts do work. Kids are challenged to perform certain tasks and they’re awarded with badges that are sewn onto their uniforms. They can earn badges for anything like learning to build a fire, pitching a tent, arranging flowers, and completing a challenge or a game, kayaking, parasailing and even zorbing; but that only scratches the surface, there are heaps of adventures and we could have you here for hours. It’s certainly a comprehensive programme and kids get a real sense of achievement as they master these new skills and get to wear their badges loudly and proudly.
So what’s a Typical ‘Meet’ all about?
Scout and guide activities are exceptionally varied and as one of the basic ideas behind it is to learn good social skills and make friends, activities can be as simple as celebrating a birthday or a civic holiday.
Something that is at the heart of the ‘movement’, shall we call it, is to help communities by raising money for specific events or projects or even for their country as a whole. Quite big goals for these kids, and they achieve them. These skills are difficult to achieve elsewhere, but with the sense of camaraderie as a group and the sense that they can achieve almost anything, they pretty much can.
As we’ve said outdoor activities are extremely important; hiking, boating, camping and conservation are high on the list of priorities and the motto of ”Be Prepared” has a strong association to the community and outdoor focus. Scouts and guides are trained to be prepared in everything they do; to look after themselves, others and the community through all the awesome skills they’ve learnt.
If it’s good enough for Bear Grylles, it’s good enough for our kids
The great survivor and adventurer Bear Grylles is a number one fan of scouts and guides, so if it’s good for him, it’s good for our kids for sure.
Scouts and guides have changed heaps over the years, and at the moment in the U.K. there are over 500,000 kids involved in the movement. How many scouts and guides are there all over the world? You might be surprised at this…there are 38 million across the world! That’s quite something. Interestingly one of the biggest changes that have taken place the world over is that girls are now able to join scouts and not just girl guides.
What’s awesome about the programme is that quite frankly volunteers are needed more than ever as times are tough for charities and good causes, so enter our awesome scouts and guides to help out. But in the past scouts and guides used to walk the streets alone, knocking on doors and let’s face it this isn’t possible anymore, so safety has become a major focus. These kids now work with voluntary groups in a more co-ordinated way so safety has come a long way.
Bear Grylles was involved in Scout Week in the U.K. and he had this to say.
“In every part of the UK, Scouts will be putting something back into their community: helping out in hospitals, protecting wildlife, visiting the elderly. One group in Leeds will be taking action against domestic violence: pounding the streets raising awareness of charity White Ribbon. The list is endless, but what a way to heal our society from the inside out. I’ll be out there with them too, and I’m proud of it.
Scouting is a character factory. It teaches young people that there’s more to life than having the latest trainers or stressing about exams. It encourages the idea that we’ll only really be happy if we work together, push our limits and do our best to help other people.”
So, if you’ve been unsure about whether to get your kids involved, you should definitely consider it…imagine how these kids can one day conquer the world and make it a better place to live. Now that’s character building of note.
If you are interested in seeing which organisations run scouts programmes in your country, take a look at the World Organization for the Scout Movement. For girl guides take a look at the World Association of Girl Guides and Girls Scouts.