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 Scouts: Around 200 primary school students studying in Thimphu attended the four-day Gyalsey Nachung Camp at Bjemena Primary School which came to an end yesterday.

Her Royal Highness Princess Sonam Dechan Wangchuck graced the closing ceremony. The camp was dedicated to the Birth of His Royal Highness the Gyalsey Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck.

Coordinator of the camp and also a teacher from Genekha Lower Secondary School, Sangay Tenzin, said the camp was aimed at providing an avenue for the cub scouters to immerse themselves into scouting activities, to equip them with scouting knowledge, develop leadership qualities and learn basic social skills, among others.

“The camp also provides students to experience scouting in a joyful and lively atmosphere where they are made to sing and dance with the other students. The camp also helps students build a positive attitude, think critically and creatively, help them participate effectively and confidently in activities thereby learning basic social skills through the various programmes,” Sangay Tenzin said.

The camp started daily from 6am to 9pm and the students were made to sleep in tents. The camp was filled with activities and programmes such as on driglam namzha, reading activities, prayer and poem recitations, health and physical education, arts and craft, and hiking, among others, keeping them meaningfully engaged throughout the camp.

The camp also equipped students with knowledge on segregating garbage, the importance of saving water and reducing the use of plastic bags, treating everyone with dignity and respect, setting an example and being a role model, and the importance of drinking plenty of water, and taking care of themselves.

The students took part in several activities to help them build leadership qualities and learn basic social skills

The students took part in several activities to help them build leadership qualities and learn basic social skills

At the camp, the cub scouters followed a certain code of conduct where they followed the Nachung Scout Law; to be loyal and obedient, to be cheerful, love nature and to follow the scout motto of ‘to do your best’. They also followed the Nachung scout promise, which was to do their duty to god and the Tsawa-sum (King, country and people).

The students were also taught about the Nachung scout sign (three fingers pointing upwards), which is a universal identity of being a scout, Sangay Tenzin said. The sign signifies respect, courtesy and identity.

This was followed by the Nachung scout handshake using the left hand which signifies a token of friendship and brotherhood. Students were also made to wear the Nachung scout uniform during meetings and activities. They were taught about having a neat appearance, a sense of belonging, pride, self-respect and good behaviour,” Sangay Tenzin said.

The first of its kind for primary students, the Gyalsey Nachung camp was considered a success and it is hoped more such similar camps can be organised in the future, Sangay Tenzin added.

A student from Bjemina Primary School, Kinley, 11, said the most interesting session for her was when she learnt about how to make reef knot, clove hitch and fisherman knot, and also on how to use a first aid kit for scratches and cuts. “I enjoyed the camp and I made new friendships. I hope I can attend once more in the coming years.”

The camp that started from September 1 ended on September 4.

Thinley Zangmo

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