Pema Choki | Intern

Ninety-four students, aged between 10 and 12, attended the annual Gyalsey Nachung camp in Thimphu from December 12 to 14.

Organised by the Thimphu dzongkhag Scouts Association, the participants are students studying in schools under the dzongkhag.

The theme for the camp this year was culture, with a special focus on Thimphu’s local food, arts and crafts, songs and dances, folktales, and local history.

The focus of the theme is also known as the ‘five gifts’.

Youth examine cultural items

Organisers said arts and crafts is one of the most important aspects of Bhutanese culture. “By incorporating arts and crafts, the camp aimed to let Nachungs learn about the importance of recycling and reuse of waste, as well as develop social skills, language skills, and decision-making skills,” a document shared by the organisers stated. “By incorporating local history, the camp aimed to let Nachungs understand the community better and promote and document the local history for future reference.”

The camp also aimed to explore unique learning, provide opportunities to experience outdoor camp life, promote the spirit of brotherhood, help develop character, habits and attitudes, promote, value and appreciate culture, and to help Nachung Scouts become better Scouts.

The organisers said the camp was started to commemorate the birth of His Royal Highness the Gyalsey, and students from schools that have Nachung Scouts attend the programme.

They also said Nachung Scouts is a programme meant for primary students geared towards promoting citizenship education and self-development.

According to the deputy chief dzongkhag education officer, Lham Tshering, Gyalsey Nachung camp provides a different platform for learning. “Through the process of preparation of the camp, students were able to learn a lot of knowledge and skills.”

Since the Scouts Association facilitated the camp, it was conducted using scout procedures with assemblies, drills, and a red flower show, which is popularly known as a bonfire.

A participant, Damchoe, said he is thankful for the opportunity, as he learnt a lot about the folklore and stories of the locality. “I made many new friends.”

The programme also gave the Nachung Scouts an opportunity to acquire leadership skills, citizenship education, understand culture and tradition, and foster friendships.