The Scout Method is a system of progressive non-formal self-education. It is a key part of Scouting, and is made up of seven different elements, which work together to provide a rich, active and fun learning environment. The Scout Method includes:
The Scout Promise and Law
The Scout Promise is a personal pledge to do one’s best to live according to the values of Scouting. It is made before a group of peers when you choose to join Scouting. The Scout Law is a concrete and practical way to understand and live out the values of Scouting. The Promise and Law are considered as one element because they are closely linked.
Learning by doing
Learning by doing means developing as a result of first-hand experience as opposed to theoretical instruction. It reflects the active way in which one gains knowledge, skills and attitudes and illustrates Scouting’s practical approach to education. Learning by doing also allows everyone in the Scout patrol (or team) to actively engage with the process and take ownership, with the assistance of his or her peers and adult volunteers.
The Patrol (or Team) System
The patrol is the basic organisational structure in Scouting. Each small group, normally comprising six to eight youth members, operates as a team with one member acting as the team leader. Within each team and in ways appropriate to their capacities, the Scouts organise their life as a group - sharing responsibilities, making decisions, setting up, carrying out and evaluating their activities. This is done with the support of adult volunteers.
In Scouting, a symbolic framework is a set of elements, which represent concepts which Scouting seeks to promote. The purpose of the symbolic framework is to build on young people’s capacity for imagination, adventure, creativity and inventiveness. It is a way to make activities cohesive and fun, and to understand the values of Scouting.
Personal progression is about helping each individual to be consciously and actively involved in his or her own development. It enables them to progress in their own way and at their own pace, to gain confidence and to recognise the progress made. The progressive scheme (goals are set for each age group) is the main tool used to support this element of the Scout Method.
The natural environment (woods, plains, sea, mountains, deserts, etc.) provides an ideal setting in which the Scout Method can be applied, and for developing one’s physical, intellectual, emotional, social and spiritual potential. It involves the development of constructive contact with nature and making full use of all the unique learning opportunities provided by the natural world.
Scouting is a youth movement, where young people take part in activities with the support of adults. The role of adults in Scouting is to be activity leaders, educators and group facilitators. In other words, they ensure that the young people participate in meaningful activities that promote the development of the individual Scout as well as the group as a whole.