The Scouting Method
The Scouting method carried out by the Guides and Scouts of Europe is based on the method developed by Lord Robert Baden-Powell and enriched by Father Jacques Sevin in France, together with Jean Corbisier in Belgium and Earl Mario di Carpegna in Italy in the early decades of the 20th century. Its aim is to make children and teenagers grow through play, adventure in nature and taking responsibility within the group.
European scouting focuses on differentiated education for boys and girls, meeting their specific needs according to their age. Scouting is lived within small teams in the following age groups:
- from 8 to 12, wolf cubs and wolvets
- from 12 to 17, boy scouts and girl guides
- from 17 on, rover scouts and wayfarer guides
The organised activities are designed to help youth flourish in five areas traditionally called “the five aims of scouting”:
- Health and Strength: how one relates to one’s body. A child learns to develop and protect it. To do this, the child learns safety, hygiene and first aid rules. Life in nature and physical activities are a major lever.
- Character Training: how one relates to oneself. Through effort, a child learns what will is, and through duties and responsibilities, what accountability is.
- Practical Sense: how one relates to the world. A child is able to transform natural elements into objects, and to use them without destroying them.
- Service to Others: how one relates to others. A child learns to give a free service, for a smile, for love. A child gives a little of itself, a little of its time for others when it does its daily Good Turn, a small service, spontaneous and unique; it is small but it requires a daily effort.
- The Sense of God: how one relates to God. A child develops its love for God by taking part in the sacraments and by praying either with its patrol or alone.
Following the scouting principles, the Scouts of Europe build their experience on the principles of mutual teaching and of volunteering: there are no paid educators, nor paid staff in the units and in the patrols, as they must learn autonomy. In each group, the most experienced help and educate the youngest.