How “Scouting” Stands to be the Greatest Global Education Youth Movement Of the 21st Century

Themed “Together for Positive Change” is the recently concluded World Scout Conference that was hosted in Baku, Azerbaijan.
A one week conference that gathered 1800 Scout delegates, representing 169 National Scout Organization (NSO)—serving over 50 million Scouts. The conference was recorded as the largest Scouting conference in history; the direction of the Scout Movement is revamped as they now set sail their program for the next three years.
Over a hundred years ago, an experimental camp held at Brownsea Island, near Poole in Dorset England, of twenty boys, proved to be a success to its organizer—a Robert Baden-Powell. His training and methods seemed to appeal to young people. “Scouting for Boys” was published by Baden-Powell, a book he had only intended to be a training manual where youth organizations like the YMCA or Boys’ Brigade could adopt, ended up being one of the best selling books of all time. The success of the book created a movement where youngsters started to organize themselves into what was to become one of the largest voluntary youth movements in the world—that quickly adopted the name of the “Boy Scouts”.
His simple advice of “try and leave this world a little better than you found it” is as relevant, if not more today than ever. Baden-Powell, whose headstone reads “Chief Scout of the World” is known as the father of a global phenomenon that encompasses a growing number of over 50 million young people around the world today. It is the largest educational movement of its kind in the world of the 21st Century.
The world is in a place where there is need to find solutions to the interconnected challenges of the 21st Century. The challenges we face are diverse but certainly concerns us all because more than ever, individual actions have global impact. We need Global Solutions for a better world but what way and how do we find them?

The Scout’s Non-formal Education Solution:

The Formal Education that teaches reading and writing is needed but is it empowering enough to create a better world? What if education can go beyond the classroom and enhance how to think and act? What if Education can empower to be mind-transformative enough, to lead to a place where we care more about the world we live in and the people we share it with? What if education can teach us about peace, intercultural communication, sustainability, human rights, global justice , respect, cultural diversity or protection of the environment?
The Scout Movement appears to be the answer or solution to the gap problem Formal Education is incapable of filling in today’s world. With this astounding number of over 50 million Scouts around the world and with a vision that by 2023, Scouting will be the world’s leading non-formal educational youth movement, enabling 100 million young people to be active citizens, creating positive change in their communities and in the world, the Scout Movement stands to be the greatest force in building a generation of global active citizens of change-makers through their method of non-formal Global Education approach.
With the branded slogan of “Creating a Better World”, the Scouting mission is to contribute to the education of young people— through World Scout Programmes. Key initiatives such as Messengers of Peace (MOP) allows Scouts to take on projects to inspire others for action; the World Scout Environment Programme and the Scout Centres of Excellence for Nature and Environment (SCENES) allows Scouts to exercise ways in conserving and protecting nature ; Scout Aid Nepal/Haiti where in April 2015, Scouts worldwide rallied behind the Nepal Scouts and supported their earthquake relief and recovery efforts —similarly with the Haiti earthquake and Hurricane; Safe from Harm initiatives provides children and young people with a safe environment; Food for Life allows for food security of Scouts in the African region; KAICIID partnership/Dialogue for Peace equips Scouts with the skills to enhance inter-religious and intercultural dialogue and promote peace; the Cub Scout Centenary... all these are some of the global initiatives that creates the room for active citizenship for Scouts.