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BACKGROUND

The Bhutan Scouts Association (BSA) was formally established in 1996, under the Youth Guidance and Counseling Section, of the Department of Education. The BSA became a full-fledged member of the World Organization of Scout Movement (WOSM) in 1999 and since then, there has been considerable progress in the growth of the association providing leadership programs to the Bhutanese youth.

Scouting in Bhutan is school based and the BSA functions under the umbrella of the Department of Youth and Sports of the Ministry of Education. The scouting program is operational in all the schools covering all the 20 Dzongkhags and 4 Thromdes. Currently the activities of the association are completely supported by the Government and besides national and regional level camps, all other activities are conducted in schools by teachers, who are trained as scout leaders.

The scouting program supports the wholesome development of youth through activities that focus on helping them to develop personal values to pursue excellence and positive attitude towards life as enshrined in the scout promise and the law. Scouting therefore supports the wholesome development of Bhutanese youth by:

  • Involving them throughout their formative years in non-formal, outdoor, experiential learning and educational activities to help them achieve their full potential as responsible citizens.
  • Assisting them to acquire leadership qualities and build strong values of “Tha Dhamtsi and Lay Zumday”

 

SECTION IN SCOUTING

The scouting program supports the wholesome development of our youth through meaningful integration of values, scout promise and law. The program caters to the needs of young people through numerous youth activities that focus on helping them to develop personal values to pursue excellence and positive attitude towards life.

The Scouting program is geared towards personal development of young people of different age groups and is categorized into four sub programs: Nachung Scout, Nazhoen Scout, Rover and Community based Scout.

Recruitment & Membership

Recruitment of new scout members is done annually by the scout leaders in their respective schools. The program is voluntary and students themselves decide whether to become a scout or not. The new recruits are formally inducted through a commitment ceremony which is normally conducted at the school or cluster level. During the commitment ceremony, members recite the scout promise and are also awarded the scout scarf and the membership badge. BSA has currently about 33274 scout members, 1135 trained scout leaders in Schools and more than 1000 Community Based Scouts from various Governmental and Non-Governmental organizations in Thimphu, Paro, Chhukha, Trongsa, Bumthang, Punakha and Trashigang.

The Nachung Scout program is for children in primary schools and is geared towards knowing their immediate environment and themselves through play-way method.

Nachung Scout Law
  • The Nachung Scout is obedient to elders
  • The Nachung Scout is cheerful and loves nature
Nachung Scout Law
  • I promise to do my best
  • To do my duty to god, king, country and people (Tsa-Wa-Sum)
  • To do a good turn every day
  • To obey the Nachung Scout law
The Nachung Scout Moto: “DO YOUR BEST”

The Nazhoen Scout program is for the youth of secondary schools and is geared towards promoting citizenship education and self development through attractive, meaningful and challenging activities focusing on the value of sharing, community living, strengthening of brotherhood and making the youth understand their role in the nation building.

Nazhoen Scout Law
  • A Nazhoen Scout is trustworthy
  • A Nazhoen Scout is loyal to Tsa-wa-sum
  • A Nazhoen Scout is friend to all and brother/sister to every other Scout
  • A Nazhoen Scout is polite and considerate
  • A Nazhoen Scout is kind to animals and loves Nature
  • A Nazhoen Scout is self disciplined
  • A Nazhoen Scout is cheerful under all difficulties
  • A Nazhoen Scout is thrifty
  • A Nazhoen Scout is pure in thought, word and deed
Nazhoen Scout Promise
  • On my honour
  • I promise that I will do my best
  • To do my duty to Konchhogsum
  • Duty to Tsa-Wa-Sum (King, Country and People)
  • Duty to self, parents, others and
  • To obey the Scout Law
The Nazhoen Scout Moto: “BE PREPARED”

The Rover program is for youth in tertiary institutes and colleges and is designed to offer greater opportunities in decision making, leadership, management, and developing their innate talents skills and analytical abilities. The program is geared towards preparing for the world of work and service.

Rover Law
  • A Scout is trustworthy
  • A Scout is loyal to Tsa-wa-sum
  • A Scout is friend to all and brother/sister to every other Scout
  • A Scout is polite and considerate
  • A Scout is kind to animals and loves Nature
  • A Scout is self disciplined
  • A Scout is cheerful under all difficulties
  • A Scout is thrifty
  • A Scout is pure in thought, word and deed
Rover Promise
  • On my honour
  • I promise that I will do my best
  • To do my duty to Konchhogsum
  • Duty to Tsa-Wa-Sum (King, Country and People)
  • Duty to self, parents, others and
  • To obey the Scout Law
The Rover Motto: “PROMISE”

Community Based Scout was initiated in April, 2009 with the aim to provide opportunity to scouts to continue scouting as a lifelong member. It is a unit formed outside the school system and is open to all. It is formed by a group of youth with common goal and interest in community service and personal growth and voluntarism. It is run by volunteer leaders trained as unit leaders and functions under the supervision and close collaboration of the Bhutan Scouts Association.

The Objectives are:
  • To provide opportunity to pursue scouting as a lifelong education
  • To engage youth and:
  • To provide leadership skills to be responsible and productive citizens
  • To equip them with necessary life skills to tackle every day challenges
  • To inculcate a strong sense of social responsibility and voluntarism
  • To provide opportunity to pursue scouting as a lifelong education
The CBS Motto: “CREATING BETTER COMMUNITIES”

 

SCOUT PROGRAMS & ACTIVITIES
School level Programs

Nachung and Nazhoen Scouts have weekly meetings and other events, such as weekend camps and fun days. Meetings are supposed to be filled with games, skills, crafts, and other activities. Scout Leaders operate the program with the help other volunteers.

Nachung and Nazhoen Scouts can also take on environmental related projects and social service for the benefit of schools or community. They also conduct advocacy and awareness campaigns on environment and other issues related to adolescents.

Dzongkhag/Thromde and Regional level programs

At the Dzongkhag/Thromde and regional level, various camps are organized to bring together scouts for fun, educational and adventure activities. Scouts are also made to participate in the observations of global and national days of significance. Dzongkhags/Thromdes also organize advocacy campaigns and social service programs involving scouts.

National level programs

At the national level, the Bhutan Scouts Association organizes Jamborees, Camporees and Rover Adventure Camp for Nachung, Nazhoen, Rovers and Community based Scouts respectively. Scouts are also made to participate in the observation of global and national events and in carrying out social and community service. The Association also makes arrangement to enable scouts to participate in international events outside of the country. The association has also been able to organize international youth and scout events within the country involving international participants.

 

RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT
Human Resource Development through Adult Leaders Training Scheme:

Different levels of training in scouting are offered to school teachers during the school vacation to train them as scout leaders. All scout leaders are volunteers and undertake scouting responsibilities in addition to their normal teaching periods. Teachers are trained to make them more resourceful with scouting methods and skills to deal with the needs and requirement of the young people. The scheme consists of a series of progressive courses underlined below:

    1. Basic Unit Leaders Training

The 1st level Basic Unit Leaders training is given to volunteer adult leaders. This one week basic training provides them insight into the value of scouting, an in-depth knowledge and skills, Principles and method of scouting. After this training, the new leader assumes leadership role as Nachung/Nazhoen/Rover/CBS Leader.

    1. Wood Badge Training

The Wood Badge Training is another name for the Advanced Training. It is conducted by the Association for all who have undergone Basic Unit Leaders Training and especially for leaders running scout units. This is the first stage leading to the award of the Wood Badge scarf. Leaders are given a maximum of three years to complete the scheme.

    1. Leader Trainers Training

The training of Trainers is designed to help them bring better Scouting to the particular Section they lead. It is not only the acquisition and development of the knowledge and skills necessary for accomplishing each function, but also the personal development of the leaders. Therefore, it is an Integral part of every Leaders activity to progress oneself.

    1. Manuals & Publications

To standardize the scouting program, manuals on all the sections of scouting Nachung, Nazhoen, Rovers and Community Scouting has been developed. Systematic advancement schemes have also been developed to be implemented in schools. Following is a list on resource materials that have been developed:

    • Handbook for Nachung Scout Leaders
    • Handbook for Nazhoen Scout Leaderss
    • A Guide to Rovering
    • Institutional Identity
    • Constitution and By- laws of the Bhutan Scouts Association
    • Guideline for Scouts Program Administrators
    • Advancement schemes for Nazhoen scouts and Nachung scouts in schools

 

INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT
National Scout Center at Paro

The construction of the National Scout Center in Paro was initiated with funding support from the Boy Scouts of America in 2010. The National Scout Center covering around 27 acres can host both national and international events.

Regional Scout Center at Trashigang

With the popularity of scouting in the country and increasing number of scouts (both in size and scope) it was decided to have a Regional Scout Center in the East. Having such Scout Center will immensely contribute towards organizing camps and hosting regional and dzongkhag/thromde level programs and activities in the east, thus further strengthening the scouting program in the country.

Venue: RBA camp, Wangduephodrang.
Organizer: Department of Youth and Sports, Ministry of Education in collaboration with His Majesty’s Secretariat and the Royal Bhutan Army.

This leadership program for scouts is one such activity under the Royal command that is being organized for the first time towards revitalizing the scouting program for the positive development of youth. The two week long program will provide opportunity to scouts to:

  • Develop personally in the areas of leadership and discipline
  • Acquire professional and social skills to be better prepared in emergencies and contribute to the community and the nation as a scout.
  • Learn to respect our tradition, culture and to live meaningful lives.
  • Provide physical development through physical exercises and other outdoor recreational activities.
  • Provide a bonding opportunity to scouts to develop a unique identity which is respected by all members of the society.

The leadership course is conducted bi-annually for scouts during the summer and winter vacations at the Military training center in Wanduephodrang and the best scouts from these training will be awarded scholarships based on a developed criterion. To date, five such training have been completed and 593 scouts have undergone the training.

Organizer: His Majesty’s Secretariat and the Office of the Gyaltshab, Gyelpozhing, Mongar in collaboration with Department of Youth and Sports, Ministry of Education.
Objective: To enhance the knowledge and skills of the economically disadvantaged girl students during the winter vacation by keeping them positively engaged and protecting them from any kind of exploitation.
Program

A wholesome approach will be adopted to provide the students with the opportunity to acquire knowledge and skills that will enable them to grow personally and lead dignified lives. The program will primarily focus on strengthening command over English language and in building their individual social skills through various youth developmental programs like life skills, scouting, guidance and counseling as well as other skills development activities such as information technology, knitting, candle and soap making, including recreational activities like art, dance, games and sports. The program will be further enriched through guest lectures on Spirituality, Drugs, Nature & Environment and other topics related to adolescent reproductive sexual health including hygiene and sanitation.

Academics (English)

A key component of the program is to provide basic lessons in English and depending on their academic level, the participants will be taught basic grammar to construction of simple sentences as well as comprehension and essay writing.

Personal Development

Personal development programs will include life skills education, career guidance & counseling and Spirituality. These programs will be targeted to develop their inherent potential to improve their awareness, self-confidence and help them to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life.

Skills Development

The third component of the program will be to expose them to a variety of skills and help them to appreciate as well as acquire basic livelihood and vocational skills in tailoring, knitting, basket making, art & craft, home science and information technology.

Recreational & Social Development

Recreational activities will consist of participation in different games and sports, cultural and other interactive and team activities. Besides the organization of various games & sports competitions, most of the evenings will be utilized to promote participation in cultural activities like rigsar, boedra, zhundra, poetry, skits, debates and quiz. Educational films will also be screened. Picnic will be organized twice during the weekends.

Guest Lectures

Eminent speakers will be invited to give talks on important topics such as spirituality, drugs & its ill effects, nature & environmental conservation, health & hygiene and other adolescent reproductive sexual health, etc.

BRIEF UPDATES ON THE SCOUT PROGRAM

In April 2013, the Department of Youth and Sports received Royal Command to rejuvenate the scouting program in schools so that it is able to attract youth and become a popular youth program to infuse the required values “tha dhamtsi and lay zumday”. Accordingly, the Department was entrusted with the implementation of several new initiatives to strengthen and promote the scouting program. Some of these initiatives are:

1. Implementation of the new scout framework

A new scout framework has been developed to suit local needs of the youth through incorporation of relevant components based on the principal of “fun with a purpose”. The new framework focuses on promotion of social responsibility, volunteerism, spirituality, traditional values & culture with fun and adventure activities.

2. Introduction of leadership training course for scouts

Leadership training for selected scouts was introduced along the lines of Dessung training. The leadership course is conducted bi-annually for scouts during the summer and winter vacations at the Military training center in Wanduephodrang and the best scouts from these training will be awarded scholarships based on a developed criterion. To date, five such training have already been completed and 593 scouts have already undergone the training.

3. Strengthening and promotion of Community based scouting

In order promote social responsibility and volunteerism towards addressing the needs of the socially and economically disadvantaged youth, the community based scouting was introduced in the family colonies of the Royal Bhutan Army (RBA) by training 18 Officers representing 8 wings and HQ Lungtenphu. The program for youth in the RBA communities through Community based Scouting has already been initiated in all the wings and the follow up by the RBA has been excellent through implementation of various enriching activities.

4. Developing a strong base in schools

The Department visited secondary schools to talk to students on the scouting program and to date 43 secondary schools in 5 Dzongkhags have been covered.

In collaboration with RBA, a scout band has been established in Yangchenphug Higher Secondary School and it has been made fully functional.

5. Annual Scout Conference

An annual conference has been instituted for scouts, scout leaders, education officers and administrators to meet, share and interact towards further strengthening the scouting program. This will henceforth be an annual feature organized with relevant themes.

6. Construction of Scout Centers

A National Scout Center is established at Paro with an area of 27 acres. Supply of water and electricity has been completed with the installation of a separate transformer. Two sanitary units (male & female) with toilets, bathing and washing facilities have been constructed. A caretaker shed has been constructed and a temporary caretaker appointed to look after the center. The Multi-purpose hall has also been completed.

In order to establish a regional center in the east, an area has been identified at Kanglung (16 acres) and the Dzongkhag is in the process of transferring the land registration.

7. Spiritual Retreat Program

Spiritual empowerment and retreat program for scouts have been introduced and 60 scouts under Thimthrom have undergone the 5 days spiritual retreat at Talekha Gompa. These camps are now decentralized to schools who would be encouraged to implement such programs based on the new scout framework.

The Youth Exchange Program (YEP) is an initiative formally organized between Ministry of Education (Scouts and Culture Education Division) an another partner National or Non Governmental Organization. It involves young people having an exciting experience travelling to another country and staying with a host family, at a Youth Camp or in a youth hostel.

The main objective of the YEP is to:
  • Provide opportunity to the youth to take part in variety of challenging and value based youth program;
  • Give opportunity to the young people to make friendship, exchange ideas and broaden their understanding of the world at large;
  • Provide an economical way to learn the custom, tradition and culture of people in other countries and also exhibit our rich culture and tradition to others.
The kinds of YEPs:
1. Host Family program

The young people who are in this exchange program spend 7 to 14 days living with a family in another place/country. The learning outcome is based on real experiences around the home, school and the friend groups of the host family’s child/children. The family does not receive any financial support, but they have the pleasure of welcoming someone into their home and gaining an international experience.

2. Event related program

These are YEPs that are related to an event, usually a Jamboree (Scout), a Youth forum and even camps for general youth. Young People will have an opportunity to interact, exchange ideas and broaden their understanding. Under this program, there are programs on Youth forums, Seminars, Camps, Jamborees etc.

3. Goodwill Educational Program

It is organized to give an opportunity to young people to visit education and historical sights for recreational and educational purposes. Such programs are organized to give exposure, make friendship, exchange ideas and enhance perception and understanding. Programs such as Study tour and Festivals are organized for general youth.

The educating for GNH program has been initiated in the school curriculum to ensure that GNH is practically embedded in Bhutanese education system. The education system today should enable our students to understand that Education for life is spirituality – practicing values such as love, compassion, patience, forgiveness and “Thadam-Tse – Layjumdey”. This would create a deep sense of responsibility towards our fellow human beings, nature and the world as a whole.

In keeping with GNH values, the Choeshey program (Spiritual discourse) has been initiated by Department in all Middle and higher Secondary Schools to instill the spiritual and moral values in the young minds of our children.

The program will seek to open the mind, warm the heart and awaken the spirit of each student. It would provide opportunities for students to be creative, contemplative and imaginative.

Scouting in Bhutan is school based and functions under the umbrella of the Department of Youth and Sports of the Ministry of Education. Scouting program is offered in all the schools covering all the Dzongkhags and Thromdes.

AT NATIONAL LEVEL
Patron:

His Majesty, the Druk Gyalpo Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck is the Patron of Bhutan Scouts Association.

President:

This is an ex-officio post and the Minister for Ministry of Education is the President of the Association.

Vice President:

An ex-officio post, the Secretary, Ministry of Education is the Vice President of the Association.

Chief Commissioner:

An ex-officio post, the Director General, Department of Youth and Sports becomes the Chief Commissioner of the Association.

International Commissioner:

The Chief of the Scouts and Culture Education Division under the Department of Youth and Sports becomes the International Commissioner. It is also an ex-officio post.

The other posts like the training & program commissioners, resource development commissioner and Cultural & community scouts’ coordinator are posts held by the program officers within the Scouts and Culture Education Division.

 

AT DZONGKHAG/THROMDE LEVEL
Dzongkhag/Thromde Scouts Commissioner:

This is again an ex-officio post where the Dzongkhag/Thromde Education Officer assumes the post of the Dzongkhag/ Thromde Scouts Commissioner.

At the school level, the program is coordinated by teachers, who are trained as Scout leaders. Administratively the program is supported by the head of schools.