As the age of digitalisation commences in full swing, what were once associated with childhood icons such as board games, outdoor activities, and old-fashioned clubs including Guides and Scouts, have had their relevance questioned. Now that technology is present in our everyday lives, children have an abundance of ways to entertain themselves, from game consoles, to mobile phones, to virtual reality headsets – the possibilities are endless.
However, does this mean there is no need for old childhood classics anymore? The likes of Guides and Scouts have been present in society for many decades, although their current popularity among the younger generations is up for debate.
With this said, we discuss the many ways that our beloved childhood clubs such as Guides and Scouts still play a key role in the lives of children around the world.
A Break from Technology
As previously mentioned, technology can equate to endless amounts of fun and entertainment for children nowadays, however the negative effects of digital consoles can’t be ignored. Research suggests that staring at screens for a prolonged amount of time can emit harmful blue light, causing eye strain, headaches, and eye irritation for children. Not only that, it is found that a substantial amount of social media use has negative effects on the mental wellbeing of children and can impact their self-esteem and mood swings.
This is where Guides and Scouts come in. Up until the age of 18, Girls Scout and Boy Scout clubs give children a well-needed break from their favoured digital devices and replaces them with the likes of a tent, cooking equipment, or even more adventurous activities including zorbing or abseiling! These activities allow children to embrace the outdoors and all it has to offer, as well as providing a sense of thrill and excitement that teaches them the key survival and socialisation skills needed throughout life- something that technology could never do.
For younger children, Rainbows and Brownies are ideal ways to help develop social and communication skills without the assistance of technology. From the age of five, Girlguiding in the UK allows for children to become a ‘Rainbow’ and take part in fun-fuelled activities such as arts and crafts, team-based games, and sports. Naturally, these team activities help children develop essential social skills and build a sense of confidence around others of a similar age.
The Benefit of the Outdoors
Many adults who were part of Scout or Guide clubs when they were younger will know that spending time outdoors is a key element of the club. While exploring the outdoors alongside your scouting friends, you were probably unaware of the benefits also attached to spending time outside. Physical and mental wellbeing are both supported by the outdoors in various ways. Research suggests that spending time outdoors helps to improve children’s vision and reduces the risk of developing conditions such as myopia. Not only that, but the outdoors is the most effective way to consume vitamin D which helps promote healthy and strong bone development.
Although we assume children are stress and carefree, this isn’t always the case in a modern society that is overwhelmed with options and new responsibilities. To help your child combat these unwanted stresses from occurring, spending time outdoors playing games, hiking, exploring and even treasure hunting, has been suggested to provide a means of escape from everyday life and allow them to do what children do best — have fun with their friends! With this said, joining clubs such as Scouts and Guides are a great way to encourage a child’s participation.
All the Latest Club Updates
It’s assumed that Scouts and Guide clubs would be considered outdated since society has progressed dramatically over the last few decades. However, this isn’t necessarily true at all. Just like any product, service, or activity that still places a relevance in today’s society, they have adapted with the times. Now, Guides and Scouts have embraced the change in millennial interests and have skilfully embedded this alongside their old-school endeavours.
Stressing the importance of WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) Girl Guiding UK have placed an emphasis on encouraging young girls to take an interest in STEM related subjects as they strive for greater equality in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics industry. Now, Brownies conduct activities that embed a sense of science and engineering concepts to spark interest in the subject. These activities include everything from investigating static electricity using balloons, to making paper aeroplanes that teach girls the basic principles of physics.
As the world focuses more on promoting diversity and individualism in society all over the world, the likes of Girl Guides, Brownies, and Rainbows have made huge steps towards encouraging this too. In 2017, new rules state that boys between the ages of five and fourteen who identify as female will be able to join what was once strictly all-girls clubs. This movement towards greater gender equality is a reflection of clubs creating awareness of self-identification and its importance to every individual.
Badges, Self-achievement, and Discipline
As previously mentioned, Scouts and Guideshave truly embraced modern day trends and issues that are present in today’s society. However, one thing that persists is the sense of self-achievement and discipline that all clubs promote — all to be rewarded with colourful badges!
The main rules that Scout and Guideclubs aim to achieve is to live by their mottos, honour the Scout and Guide law that teach about trust, loyalty, acceptance and respect, and obey uniform policies and dress codes — all lessons that reflect the basic need-to-knows of life, whether you’re an adult or child living in any generation.
For children or teenagers who are part of Scouts or Guide clubs, you will know that badges are the ultimate way to award achievement for your hard work. Those iconic sewn on or pin badges symbolise everything that classic Scout and Guide clubs are renowned for. As the world gradually becomes more and more fixated on monetary achievement, clubs such as these focus on providing awards that do not encourage this type of success, since after all, there are more ways to honour achievement. From sport award badges, to chef badges, to DIY activity badges, there are an abundance of badges to claim.
With all things considered, the presence of Guides and Scouts remains relevant in the modern world we are living in. Regardless of contemporary trends and evolutions in technology that are still to come, there are some things that remain– the need for strong physical and mental health, and positive sociological development for the generations that come after us.