Scouts: In a move towards exploring possibilities of making scouting relevant and attractive to today’s youth, about 30 Asia Pacific Regional scout leaders have gathered in Paro for a four-day seminar that began yesterday.

In another four days, the top leaders will discuss and share about integrating 21st century life-skills into scouting. Discussion will be made on defining 21st century life skills and how young people could acquire them.

Education secretary Sangay Zam in her opening remarks said discussing life skills for the 21st century is relevant right now considering the rapid changes Bhutan is going through.

She added scouting movement in Bhutan has played an important role in empowering people. Scouting was also viewed as a programme bringing harmony.

“We’ve received commands to look at revitalising the programme,” she said. “We believe in the need for investment in scouting programme.”

The secretary added that although life skills are important, one must not forget that it has to be infused with right values.

Bhutan Scouts Association’s International Commissioner, Karma Tenzin said, young people in the country, particularly students view scouting as a programme that involve doing manual works whenever required.

He said there are instructions sent to schools not to involve only scout members for manual works.

“Scout are now junior Dessups and the third batch of training will soon begin at Tencholing along with Dessups,” he said adding that scout members are involved in lighter works such as crowed controlling during festivals and serving among others.

There are close to 30,000 scout members in the country today, of which over 90 percent are students.

Meanwhile, the outcome of the four-day seminar will be taken back to schools for dissemination to the student scouts.  For that 11 of the local participants are teachers from schools in Paro and Thimphu.

By Nirmala Pokhrel, Paro