The winter vacation scout programs will keep students from all 20 dzongkhags, including students from the four thromdes, involved in experiential learning and educational activities.
The leadership training will begin from 25th December 2017 till 15th January 2018 at the Military Training Center in Wangduephodrang for the 125 scout students consisting of 62 boys and 63 girls from 20 dzongkhags for three weeks. The program is organized by the Department of Youth and Sports (DYS), Ministry of Education (MoE) in collaboration with His Majesty’s Secretariat and the Royal Bhutan Army (RBA).
The objective of the program is to assist in acquiring leadership qualities in students.
The school based scout program was introduced in schools in a country in 1996 as one of the channels to promote discipline, leadership and inculcate strong values of “Tha Dhamtsi and Lay Jumdray” in youths.
The Chief Program Officer of Scouts and Culture Education division, Karma Tenzin, said that the program achieved considerable progress and has reached all schools with more than 38,000 scout members (students) and around 1,500 trained scout leaders. He said the leadership training for scouts is one of the programs under Royal Command that was introduced in 2013 to revitalize the scouting program for the positive development of youth.
He said camping offers a solution since winter is a period of moral deterioration with most children. “Children wander during the vacation time into paths of wrongdoing largely because of a lack of directed play life and a natural outlet for the expenditure of their surplus energy,” he said.
He said the three-week long program provides the opportunity for students to personally develop in areas of leadership and discipline, acquire professional and social skills to be better prepared in emergencies and provide physical development through exercises and other outdoor recreational activities.
The program also provides an opportunity for the best scouts in the country to compete for annual scholarships and a bonding opportunity. “It will mostly teach to respect our tradition, culture and to live meaningful lives,” he said.
He also said the real purpose of camping is “something to do, something to think about, something to enjoy in the woods, with a view always to character-building”.
“We are highly privileged for having His Majesty as Patron who has always accorded great importance to the wellbeing of the youth”. “
However, he said there were still some prevailing youth issues that scouting could address in this fast changing world. “To make scouting program more attractive for youth, piloting of new scouting framework, spiritual retreat program, and leadership training has been introduced in addition to the existing scouting programs,” he said.