Jinja Scouts Conduct Three-Day Camping to Equip Youth with Lifelong Skills

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“A week of camp life is worth six months of theoretical teaching in the meeting room,” said Robert Baden Powell, the world’s founder of the Scout Movement, and if you have experienced the days of scout camps, you will attest to this.

Last week, from March 16th to March 19th, 2023, it was great to experience that the Scout Movement has continued its agenda of empowering young people who have a duty to God, a duty to others, and a duty to themselves.

Baraza Ignatius Michael, the Jinja Scout District Coordinator, said during the week-long camping held at the BP Training Center and Campsite in Buwenda, along the banks of the Nile, under the theme of “acquiring lifelong skills to be compatible and resourceful in the community,” the young people were advised to embrace hard work, sacrifice, and patriotism and remain loyal to their country.

Baraza added that the camp kicked off with sessions aimed at helping the campers understand what the Scout Movement is about and what benefits it involves.

In addition to fun, the students were able to learn different skills, including baking, cooking, leadership, and networking, among others.

“While the Valley Challenge seemed the hardest of the activities organized, the young people seemed to have fun with every single obstacle, as could be seen as they celebrated with dancing and singing at the end of the challenge. I couldn’t imagine going through the mud, tunnels, and river Nile,” Baraza said.

Being young is a great adventure, as young people are not worried about the perils that life brings our way sometimes. At some point, the students started singing, ‘If I die at the camp, tell my mother and my father that I tried my best.’ I kept imagining if my children would be able to go through the hardship and challenge of being a scout, but at the same time I was amazed at the courage these young people had.

“If you have never gone camping, you might not realize how wonderful the experience actually is. Camp is an outdoor living experience that emphasizes creativity, education, and teamwork. The natural surroundings and Scouting techniques are used at camp to significantly aid campers’ social, emotional, intellectual, and physical development,” he noted.

According to Baraza, their purpose is not to make the scout training soft but to educate the scouts to win in life and leave this world a little better than you found it noting that there is no one who goes through the ‘Valley Challenge’ who fails to make it in life.

Capt. David Kibira, of the Uganda Air Force, who presided over the closing ceremony, told the young scouts to work hard, keep focused, and purpose to be great leaders that will contribute to their country.

“I can only sum up the time at the camp as a time of sowing good seeds. The training these young scouts endured is like sowing seeds that will eventually bear fruit in their adulthood. If they go out to live this knowledge, they will become very patriotic citizens and responsible members of their communities and the world at large,” he said.

Baden-Powell, the founder of the Scouting movement, once said: “O God, help me to win; but in thy wisdom, if thou willest me not to win, then, O God, make me a good loser.” This gives us a glimpse of the desire that the scouts’ founder had for every member of the scouts ‘movement.

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