Initial results of a study show that Scouting improves young people’s adaptability
Scout activities are organised undertakings that focus on the development of various capabilities of young people. Scouting is based on advancement and patrol system, so it has great value such as cooperation, understanding and consideration for others.
Despite its known positive attributes, understanding the values, effectiveness, and method of a Scout activity is not fully understood.
The Korea Scout Association has been conducting a study since 2013 on what Scouting would mean for the youth, how Scouting improves a person's potential abilities, and how Scouting activities are effective as a whole.
Dr. Eugene Eun-Gui Kim, International Commissioner of the Korea Scout Association, said that the research has shown that Scouts are more capable than the average teenager. “The results of the research have shown us that a young person who has been in Scouting for a long time shows higher levels of change in capabilities and optimism than those young people who are not.”
“The longer the time that a young person spends in Scouting or in its activities, the greater the opportunity for learning about their ability to adapt and improve their interpersonal relationships and organisational ability, and eventually, overcome individualism among teenagers,” he stressed further.
The research shows good results on the effectiveness of the programs, activities and methods of the Scout Movement in the holistic development of young people:
• The loyalty and trust of the Scouts were formed at a fairly high level. Basic understanding and awareness of Scout organisations is high. This can be attributed to the organisation's international identity and positive perception of its activities.
• The high level of happiness and satisfaction of Scouts, so the value of the Scout activities is to enrich the minds of the youth and to realise the joy in doing Scout activities.
• Scout activities have direct effects on the teenagers' personalities and have positive impact on human character through respect for others and equal opportunities to other people
Recently, the Personality Education Promotion Act was enforced in Korea as the importance of personality has become increasingly important. Social requests for character education are becoming stronger in and out of schools so the results are expected to have a positive effect on the Scout Movement.
• Scout activities have very positive effects on the teenagers' abilities. Eight capacities of individual teenagers are put together: sense of self, body, conflict control, interpersonal relationship, problem solving, motivation to achieve, leadership, and citizenship.
There was a total of 7,922 Scouts respondents ranging from 7 to 18 years old, and they were found to have significantly higher differences in their abilities than that of an average teenager. Of the total respondents, 55.5% were male and 45.5% were female.
90.8% of the respondents belong to a school-based Scout unit, 6% from community-based Scout units and 3.2% were from religion-based Scout units. On the other hand, 60.3% were from grade school, 22.8% junior high school and 16.78% high school.
After the study, the positive effect of Scouting is now backed by actual research and analysis. Though researchers believe that there is a need for another long-term study to further concentrate on Scout activities, this initiative of the Korea Scout Association has successfully highlighted the distinct characteristic of the Scout programmes and activities of the Scout Movement and has set the bar among other youth organisations.
With reports from Dr. Eugene Eun-Gui Kim (Korea Scout Association) and Mr. Matthew Valdeavilla (World Scout Bureau/Asia-Pacific Support Centre)