More youth urged to become scouts

More youth urged to become scouts

They are not found in jails, says Prof Ward

Sunday, November 22, 2020

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Professor Elizabeth Ward, chair of the Violence Prevention Alliance (VPA), is suggesting that the Scouts movement which moulds the characters of boys and girls into responsible men and women should be utilised more.

Professor Ward made the observation while addressing the National Leaders Conference of the Scout Association of Jamaica, recently.

“Sometimes I think that the Scouts movement is one of our best kept secrets. We need to change that. The Scouts Movement is very deep and important to the fabric of our nation. We need to share this,” she pointed out.

The VPA chair said that there are opportunities to share these positive messages such as through social media. She cited that one of the opportunities that could be shared is the movements do it yourself (DIY) to build things and repair equipment.

“Equipment always need maintenance, it is a huge opportunity. Everybody has a phone and phones need repairs,” she pointed out.

Professor Ward noted that the pandemic has forced everyone to come up with innovative ways in doing things and cited the work of the Child Resiliency Programme, which is administered through the VPA.

She said facilitators formed WhatsApp groups and engaged the students who were enrolled in the programme and reached out to the children to assist with their school work as well as delivering food packages to people who were in need.

Meanwhile, Professor Ward shared that she was informed by a former Scouts Commissioner that no scouts are found in the jails.

“That is the testament to the guidance and the importance of your role that we need to strengthen and grow,” she added.

She encouraged the association to set specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound (SMART) targets as she suggested this could be on the number of leaders that are needed to be trained; actively promoting the activities of the association and challenging the Government to provide scouting subventions so more youth can be reached through its programmes.

“You need to reach out to the private sector. They need to know what you are doing and how they can assist. Invite them to your activities and ask them to partner with you. We need to ensure that there is some steady income generation and that we are able to achieve it,” she advised.

The conference was held under the theme 'Reaching Further, Unlocking a new world'. In his charge to the conference, Reverend Barrington Soares, vice-president of the Scout Association of Jamaica, urged the attendees to use the opportunities of the conference to contemplate the new normal and the objectives and mission of the Scouts Association.

“Use the conference to strategise the resources and technical assistance needed to make scouting the best it can be in these times,” he said.

The Scout Association of Jamaica has been around since 1910. Over the years it has worked to develop good citizens among boys and girls by forming their characters; training them in habits of observation, obedience and self-reliance and inculcating loyalty and thoughtfulness for others, teaching them service useful to the country.

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