The Aim of Scouting Ireland is to encourage the physical, intellectual, character, emotional, social and spiritual development of young people so that they may achieve their full potential and, as responsible citizens, to improve society.
Getting youngsters involved in outdoor adventures and challenges helps them to achieve these aims and have fun. While enjoying themselves outdoors they will make strong friendships, volunteer in their community, learn adventure skills, travel, become leaders and team-members, and appreciate the importance of our outdoor environment.
Friendships and memories made in Scouts can last a lifetime.
Skills like leading a group, teamwork, planning, project management, dealing with difficulties & weather, packing, budgeting, first aid, cooking, navigation, building structures, volunteerism, and making a shelter will always be useful and underpin future careers and life choices.
Scouting is a non-formal educational experience
Scouting is a non-formal educational experience that is firmly rooted in the experiential educational model. What does this mean?
Formal education is highly structured and is provided in the primary, secondary and college education system that we are all familiar with.
Non-formal education is learning through fun, adventure, discovery for ourselves, interaction & experience. The word non-formal is not to be confused with informal!
The Scout Method
In any organization, team sport or endeavor there needs to be a method, a structure, a culture which underpins its purpose. An obvious example is a team sport like hurling or soccer. There is an ethos; a coaching method; a place where the game is played; a progressive structure as you develop in the game; a team structure; an identity; and a set of rules to play by.
In Scouting we apply the Scout Method, which has 8 interconnected components, to achieve our aim:
- Scouting fosters a value system based on the Scout Promise & Law. This value system becomes the method by which a Scout lives and works with others.
- Through learning by doing and reviewing our experience, we gain knowledge about the task completed and about ourselves.
- Scouting happens outdoors whenever possible. Challenge, adventure and a sense of freedom are all present in close contact with nature and away from everyday home life.
- The success of the Scout’s task or adventure is not important. The dynamics of the team, and the growth of the individual within that team, is of real importance. Each Scout will progress at their own speed through Scouting challenges individually and within their small team.
- In Scouting we work in small teams so Scouts learn individually and in teams. Every Section is a collection of small teams, not a collection of individual Scouts.
- We use names, themes, stories and traditions to spark the imagination and to aid learning. In so far as possible this is created by the Scouts themselves.
- Scouting is a movement FOR young people and supported by adults. In the younger Sections the adult’s support is greater, whereas in older Sections the adult’s role lessens and it becomes more of a partnership.
- Scouts interact with their local community. Service to others is the element of the Scout Method dealing with this commitment. We support young people to become active citizens and to work to create a better world.