Scouts & Culture Education Division
Bhutan Scouts Association
Mission of Scouting
The mission of Scouting is 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.
Vision of Bhutan Scouts Association
Bhutan Scouts Association (BSA) will become a premier youth organization providing value-based educational programs to youth towards equipping them with leadership qualities and making them more conscientious, responsible and productive citizens.
Bhutan Scouts Association, by 2030, will be a premier and inclusive youth organization, providing quality program through competent leaders, producing responsible citizens, contributing towards Gross National Happiness.
Scouting is the world’s largest educational youth movement providing value based programs. Currently, it has more than 54 Million members and is established in about 216 countries and territories.
Concept of Scouting in Bhutan started as early as 1960’s but it was only in 1996, when His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo while expressing concern on a number of issues on education, emphasized the need to adopt a systematic and comprehensive program to address youth related issues. Emanating from this wisdom, and realizing the usefulness and potential of the Scout program for the all-round development of youth, the then Youth Guidance and Counselling Division under the Department of Education, Ministry of Health and Education formally launched the School Based Scout Program as one of the channels to promote value education among the students. The Bhutan Scouts Association (BSA), then Druk Scout Tshogpa, became a full-fledged member of the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) on 26th July, 1999 during the 35th World Scout Conference in Durban, South Africa.
Scouting program supports 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 law. Scouting therefore supports wholesome development of Bhutanese youths by:
- Involving them throughout their formative years in non-formal, outdoor, experiential learning and educational activities to help achieve their full potential as responsible citizens.
- Assisting them to acquire leadership qualities and build strong values of tha dam-tsig ley gju-drey.
At present, Bhutan Scouts Association functions under the Scouts and Culture Education Division, Department of Youth and Sports, Ministry of Education. The Scouting program in Bhutan is operational in schools and communities covering all the 20 Dzongkhags and 4 Thromdes. In April 2013, under the Royal Command, the Scouting Program got revitalized to inject with the right DNA of tha- dam-tsig ley gju-drey to create a unique identity, which can unite and bond the younger generation. Such a revitalized scout program should not only be able to attract youth and channel their energy for positive development but also keep them away from unhealthy activities.
In order to address the specific needs of young people of different age groups, the Scouting program is categorized into five sections:
Chey Chey Scout is the first section in Scouting. The program is for children aged between five to seven years (class PP – lll).
Nachung Scout (Cub) is the second section. The program is geared towards educating children on knowing themselves and their environment. It is designed for Primary School children aged between eight to eleven (class lV-Vl).
Motto: “DO YOUR BEST”
Nazhoen Scout is the third section. The program aims to promote character building, citizenship education and personal development. Children in Secondary Schools, aged between twelve to seventeen can take part in the program (class Vll – Xll)
Motto: “BE PREPARED”
Rover is the fourth section. It is initiated in the Colleges and Institutions for children aged between eighteen and twenty four. The program is designed to offer greater opportunities in decision making, skill development, leadership and management gearing towards preparing for the world of work and service.
Motto: “SERVICE TO OTHERS”
Community Based Scouting is the fifth section. It is put in place to provide opportunities to interested individuals including out of school youth and Scouts who wish to take up Scouting as a lifelong education.
Motto: “CREATING BETTER COMMUNITIES”
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 volunteerism
Youth empowerment, leadership, active local and global citizen, lifelong values and skills, peace education
Since then, there has been considerable progress in the growth of the association providing leadership programs to the Bhutanese youth.
(table – scholarship)
Feedbacks on the Leadership Training for Scouts from the field
- Feedbacks during the Scout Conference
Based on the 5th Scout Conference held in 2018 at Rangjung, Trashigang, the Dzongkhag/ Thromde Education Officers and Scout Secretaries gathered from 20 Dzongkhags and Thromdes raised the following issues regarding Leadership Training offered to scouts by Scout Division;
- Since Leadership Training is one of the most prestigious youth programs for scouts, the Division must increase intake for Leadership Training so that many scouts can participate and benefit the larger youth population.
- Start internship for Leadership Scouts after class XII and assist BSA/DSA/TSA in various scout functions for better hands on experiences.
- Formation of Scout Youth Council to be supported by BSA to encourage participation of young people in the decision making process for various youth programs.
- Outcomes of the Monitoring and Evaluation of Scouting program in schools and Colleges
During the two rounds of monitoring and evaluation visits to schools and colleges, the following feedbacks and suggestions has been collected pertinent to leadership Training:
- Most of the Principals and teachers preferred Leadership Scouts to assist and initiate various activities in school
- Both teachers and student colleagues have high regards to Leadership Scouts in the school due high sense of integrity and conduct
- There is a sharp decline in the number of children with disciplinary issues and comparatively scouts tend to be less problematic than non-scouts in school.
- Many Principals proposed Leadership Training to be offered to class IX and XI students to maximize the benefits of the leadership Scouts to parent schools.
- Exhibit strong sense of belongingness towards community, Good Comradeship and family bonding.
- Leadership Scouts actively contribute to various school and Dzongkhag level scout and non scout programs voluntarily even after their school.
- Very few scouts were found problematic in schools and so far no single scouts has committed suicide or has record for criminal cases with Royal Bhutan Police.
- Adults in Scouting
Bhutan Scouts Association will strive to improve the quality, competency and commitment of all Scout leaders by effectively implementing National Adults in Scouting Policy aligned with the WOSM.
- Basic Unit Leaders Training
The Basic Unit Leaders training is given to volunteer adult leaders. A week long basic training provides them insight into the value of Scouting, an in-depth knowledge and skills, principles and method of Scouting. After the training, the new leader assumes leadership role as Nachung/Nazhoen/Rover/CBS Leader.
- Wood Badge Training
The Wood Badge Training is another name for an Advanced Level course for Unit Leaders . It is conducted by the Bhutan Scouts Association for those who have undergone Basic Unit Leaders Training, also, specifically 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.
- Assistant Leader Trainers (ALT)Training
The Assistant Training of Trainer is designed to help unit leaders bring better Scouting to the Section they lead. The acquisition and development of knowledge and skills are necessary for accomplishing each function. Alongside, personal development of the leaders are equally important, therefore, it is an integral part of every leader’s activity to progress oneself.
- Leader Trainers Training
The Training of Trainer is designed to help unit leaders bring better Scouting to the Section they lead. The acquisition and development of knowledge and skills are necessary for accomplishing each function. Alongside, personal development of the leaders are equally important, therefore, it is an integral part of every leader’s activity to progress oneself.
- Resource Management
BSA shall endeavor to adopt a comprehensive Resource Management Policy that will enable the organization to judiciously utilize and manage its resources to ensure sustainability.
- Manuals & Publications
To standardize the scouting program, manuals on all the sections of scouting has been developed. Systematic advancement schemes have also been developed to be implemented in schools. Following is a list of resource materials that have been developed:
- Handbook for Nachung Scout Leaders
- Handbook for Nazhoen Scout Leaders
- 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
- Infrastructure 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 growing popularity of scouting programmes and increase in the number of scouts, it was decided to have a Regional Scout Center in the East. Having such a center immensely helps organize camps and host regional and Dzongkhag/Thromde level programs and activities, thus leading to strengthening of scouting programmes in the country.
BSA shall move towards a participatory, consensus oriented, accountable,transparent, responsive, effective and efficient, equitable and inclusive, and an organization that enables Bhutanese youth to aspire and become responsible citizens. It focuses on efficient management of financial and human resources and development.
Strategic Priority for Bhutan Scouts Association
BSA offers an attractive, challenging, and value-based youth program geared towards the holistic development of young people to become responsible citizens. Young people are involved in the decision making process at all levels.
BSA initiates and coordinates various Youth Program at School , Dzongkhag/Thromde, National and International level for different sections of Scouting.
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 of volunteers.
Nachung and Nazhoen Scouts can also take on environmental related projects and social service for the benefit of schools or communities. They also conduct advocacy and awareness campaigns on environment and adolescent related issues.
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 arrangements 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.
Spiritual Retreat Program
Spiritual Empowerment and Retreat Program for Scouts has been introduced by Bhutan Scouts Association under the Royal Command in 2013. The vast impact of the retreat program for young people and also an urge from the Dzongkhag and Thromde for wants of similar program, BSA has decentralized the Spiritual Retreat program to Dzongkhags and Thrombus with partial funding. Spiritual programs are considered to be one of the core components of any scouting program at all levels.
The Leadership Training Program for the Scouts was started for the first time in the winter of 2013 under the Royal Command with focus on the following areas:
- Physical development: Consists of physical exercise like Aerobics, Runs, Games, drills etc.
- Spiritual component: Consists of activities like understanding Basic Spiritual practices/rituals, obtaining “Lung” for simple daily prayers, taking one day vows, mindful living and reflections on how to begin and end the day.
- Personal development: Consists of components on life skills, culture and age old traditions and values.
- Adventure component: Consists of program on disaster risk reduction and preparedness, fire fighting techniques, first aid, rock climbing, rafting and rappelling and river rescue techniques.
- Intellectual development: Consists of organization of extempore speeches, quiz, debates and guests lectures on selected topics.
- Social service, volunteerism and civic responsibility: Promoted through organization of community service and other voluntary social service programs to adjoining areas or institutions.
- Leisure Component: Consist of programs such as campfires and cultural activities.
The Scouts from Classes X and XII in two batches are recruited for the Leadership Training through open selection interview held at School and Dzongkhag/Thromde level using the criteria set by the Department. Annually, the best five Scouts from class XII batches are offered Scholarship to study abroad as soelra by His Majesty the King.
The Training is organized at the Military Training Centre, Tencholing, Wangduephodrang in collaboration with the Office of the Gyalpoi Zimpon and Department of Youth and Sports, Ministry of Education for a duration of three weeks. A total of 1591 Scouts received Leadership training opportunities till date.
The Youth Exchange Program (YEP)
The Youth Exchange Program (YEP) is an initiative formally organized between the Ministry of Education, Department of Youth and Sports, Scouts and Culture Education Division, and a partner, Government 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 objectives of the YEP is to:
- Provide opportunity to take part in a variety of challenging and value based youth programme;
- Give opportunity to make friends, exchange ideas and broaden the understanding of the world at large;
- Provide an economical way to learn the customs, traditions and culture of people in other countries and also exhibit our rich culture and tradition to others.
The kinds of YEPs:
1. Homestay Program
Youth spend about 7 to 14 days with a family in another place/country. The participants get to experience the culture, values and lifestyle of the host family and the community they have visited.
- Event Related Program
These are YEPs that are related to Scout events such as Jamboree (Scout),Camporee (Cub),Rover Moot (Rovers), CBS Adventure Camp,Youth Forum, Gatherings, or Camps. Young people will have an opportunity to interact, exchange ideas and widen networks of friendship.
- Goodwill Educational Program
The programme gives opportunities to young people to visit education and historical sights for recreational and educational purposes. Such programmes help develop friendship, gain exposure,exchange ideas and enhance better understanding. Such programs are initiated with SAARC countries.
e.Communication and Partnerships
Bhutan Scouts Association ensures to establish an effective and efficient communication system among and within local and global partners through the application of ICT enhancing image and visibility of Bhutan Scouts.
- Make the media and communication section under BSA fully functional.
- Ensure visibility of Scouting Program in general public.
- Promote Scouting images in the communities.
His Majesty, the Druk Gyalpo Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck is the Patron of Bhutan Scouts Association.
This is an ex-officio post and the Minister for Ministry of Education is the President of the Association.
An ex-officio post, the Secretary, Ministry of Education is the Vice President of the Association.
An ex-officio post, the Director General, Department of Youth and Sports becomes the Chief Commissioner of the Association.
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.
Training and Program, Resource Management, Good Governance and Communication Commissioners are post held by the program officers within the Scouts and Culture Education Division.
Dzongkhag/Thromde Scout Commissioner:
An ex-officio post, the Dzongkhag/Thromde Chief Education Officer/Dy.Chief Education Officer becomes the Dzongkhag/Thromde Scout Commissioner.
School Scout Commissioner:
An ex-officio post, the Principal/Vice Principal of the school becomes the School Scout Commissioner.
Recruitment & Membership
Recruitment of new Scout members is done annually by the Scout Unit leaders in their respective schools and communities. The program is voluntary and students and adult members are enrolled based on their interest. The new recruits are formally inducted through a commitment ceremony which is normally conducted at the school/community or cluster level. During the commitment ceremony, members recite the Scout Promise and are also awarded the Scout Scarf and the membership badge. BSA currently has about 59,673 Scout members, 1809 trained Scout Unit Leaders in Schools and communities. All Dzongkhag/Thromde Education Officers and School Principals are oriented on Scouting and issued Warrant as a Scout Commissioner at Dzongkhag/Thromde and School level.
|Summary of Scout Membership Statistics, 2019|
- Scout Conference
BSA organizes Scout Conference once every two years to discuss Scout related issues and concerns with relevant stakeholders. The conference also deliberate and passes resolutions and plans. The participants consist of Dzongkhags/Thromdes Commissioners, Scout Secretaries and youth representatives.
- National Strategy Growth
BSA conducts potential growth analysis and develops a strategy for membership growth aligned to the Asia Pacific Region (APR) Support Center Growth Strategy. The strategy is then communicated with the Dzongkhag/Thromde Commissioners for implementation.