Scouting: Co- leader of life
Antonia Kattou discusses the scouting movement
Scouting is defined as an international movement of self-teaching for young people. The Scout Movement consists of several national scout organisations to which each member belongs. These members are youngsters and adults.
The harmony of the movement is ensured through the World Organisation of Scout Movement, which serves the recognised National Scouting Organisations. Scouting is voluntary, members are not paid and they participate out of choice. The universal meaning of Scouting is to include members of the World Organisation of Scout Movement united under a common, ongoing commitment and to help young people fully develop their physical, mental, emotional, social and intellectual abilities. Because of this they are better individuals and members of the society who share the want of a better world. “Education” can mean different things to different people. In some parts of the world, the term education is combined with learning, reading, writing, numeracy. According to the scouting educational philosophy, each person is born with a unique tendency that can be developed in a creative direction (e.g. a communication talent). This trend involves the development of all the physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual capacities of every individual as they all contribute to the achievement of goals. Nevertheless education is a life-long process.
Scouting accepts any young person or new as he is, a unique human entity with his own personal background, skills, interests and growth rate.
Like any movement and organisation, Scouting has a set of fundamental ideals that clearly form the basis of its purpose. The social responsibility that carries with it as an ideology and an ideal is reflected on the scouting values. These are referred to as “Duty to Self”, “Duty to Others” and “Duty to God”. It is worth noting that the values of Scouting have their foundations in Hellenism and specifically in the educational systems of Plato and Aristotle. Robert Baden-Powell himself (founder of scouting) at the first World Jamboree in 1920 in London, when Greek scouts were marching at the parade in front of him, said: “Behold, these are the first scribes of Scouts of the world.” The scouting approach is anthropocentric in the sense that: Scouting accepts any young person or new as he is, a unique human entity with his own personal background, skills, interests and growth rate. The symbolic framework of Scouting increases the physical capability for imagination, adventure, creativity, and ingenuity to trigger their multidimensional development, to help them identify the directions of development with the fundamental principles of Scouting. Furthermore, to envision the development of feeling of identity, but also to create cohesion and solidarity within the whole body.
Finally, Scouting is non-political in the sense that it does not deal with the effort of the political parties for power since the purpose is to help young people develop. The reason is that, young people cannot achieve this if they are separated from the social and political realities of the world. However, the Scout’s educational approach encourages young people to develop their personal abilities and to take an active and creative role in society which is in harmony with the values of Scouting.