Fundamental to Scouting in Australia are our Purpose and Mission, Principles and the Scout Method. But what’s the difference, and how do these apply to Scouting at a local level? In our focus on this element of The Adventure Begins, we take a closer look and see what it all means.
World Scout Day on August 1st provides a unique moment to reflect on Scouting and its ability to withstand more than 100 years of societal and cultural change. What are the values and foundations that have guided us, inspired us, and encouraged us to continue the adventures, and to continue the experiences we motivate?
It all comes down to the Purpose and Mission, Principles, and the Method. These values, derived from Australian and international influences, provide a structure and reason behind all that we do. When Scouting, we must keep these at the forefront of everything we do, and constantly reflect on whether our actions align with these foundations.
“The Purpose of the Scout Movement is to contribute to the development of young people in achieving their full physical, intellectual, emotional, social and spiritual potentials as individuals, as responsible citizens and as members of their local, national and international communities.”
The educational Purpose of Scouting is further strengthened by the Mission of Scouting – “to contribute to the education of young people, through a value system based on the Scout Promise and Law, to help build a better world where people are self-fulfilled as individuals and play a constructive role in society.”
These two key statements remind us that Scouting is a program of personal growth and development, not just a fun set of activities for kids. It is education for life!
The Scout program enjoyed by youth and adult volunteers is based on three broad Principles which represent the Movement’s fundamental beliefs. They are known as Duty to God, Duty to Others, and Duty to Self. All Scouts commit to a code of living as expressed in the Australian Scout Promise and Law, which embodies the three Principles.
Duty to God
This Principle refers to the spiritual values of life. It is described by the World Organization of the Scout Movement as “adherence to spiritual principles, loyalty to the religion that expresses them, and acceptance of duties resulting therefrom.”
Scouts Australia defines spirituality as:
Spirituality refers to the feelings or beliefs of a person regarding their purpose in life, connection to others and place in the world around them. These spiritual feelings or beliefs may change as a person develops and guide their actions throughout their life.
Duty to Others
This Principle refers to participation in the development of society, recognition and respect for others and the natural world, and the promotion of peace, understanding, and cooperation. This Principle is also embodied in the World Movement’s tagline “Creating a Better World”, and is globally enacted by all Scouts as Messengers of Peace.
Duty to Self
This Principle refers to the responsibility for the care and development of oneself. Scouts have a commitment to improving themselves in all areas of their lives.
Learn more about these fundamentals using The Adventure Begins Resources.
Incorporating the other fundamental aspects of Scouting is the Scout Method. The Scout Method is how we do Scouting, and has eight elements that help support the development of young people. Test yourself! Do you remember the eight elements of the Scout Method? They are Learning by Doing, Personal Progression, Nature and the Outdoors, Promise and Law, Community Involvement, Symbolic Framework, Patrol System, and Youth Leading, Adults Supporting.
To read more about the Scout Method, check out “The Method That’s Unique to Scouting.”