As well as being lots of fun, Scouting is a values-based programme with a code of conduct. The Scout Promise and Law help instill the values of good behaviour, respect for others, and honesty. Members of a scout group (regardless of age) learn skills that will last a lifetime, including basic outdoor skills, first aid, citizenship skills, leadership skills, and how to get along with others; for example, just ask anyone who has been a Hawke Kea how to build a campfire. Over the last century, Scouting has instilled in young women & men the values and knowledge that they will need to become leaders in their communities and country – the list of scouts who names are known internationally is extensive.
The mission of Scouting is to contribute to the education of young people, through a value system based on the Scout Promise and Law, to help build a better world where people are self-fulfilled as individuals and play a constructive role in society. This is achieved by:
- involving them throughout their formative years in a non-formal educational process
- using a specific method that makes each individual the principal agent of his or her development as a self-reliant, supportive, responsible and committed person
- assisting them to establish a value system based upon spiritual, social and personal principles as expressed in the Promise and Law.
Non-formal education is organized educational activity outside of the established formal education system that is intended to serve an identifiable learning clientele and identifiable learning objectives. Scouting is clearly distinguished from a purely recreational movement, though recreation plays a large part in in its activities.
The Scout method is defined as “a system of progressive self-education through:
- A promise and law.
- Learning by doing.
- Membership of small groups (for example the patrol), involving, under adult guidance, progressive discovery and acceptance of responsibility and training towards self-government directed towards the development of character, and the acquisition of competence, self-reliance, dependability and capacities both to cooperate and to lead.
- Progressive and stimulating programme of varied activities based on the interests of the participants, including games, useful skills, and service to the community, taking place largely in an outdoor setting in contact with nature.”
The Scouting method is best seen when young people, in partnership with adults, are:
- enjoying what they are doing;
- learning by doing;
- participating in varied and progressive activities;
- making choices for themselves;
- taking responsibility for their own actions;
- working in groups;
- taking increasing responsibility for others;
- taking part in activities outdoors;
- sharing in prayer and worship; and
- making and living out their Promise