Scouting for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing: An Avenue for Holistic Development
MARCH 3, 2023 marked a beautiful milestone for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing students of the Joseph Gualandi School for Hearing Impaired, Inc., Balatas Road, Naga City, Philippines as Scouting or the Scout Movement was providentially initiated by spouses Engineer Warren and Dolores Chavez, volunteers and benefactors of the Sisters of the Little Mission for the Deaf, headed by Sr Nora B. Patlonag, SLMD, Superior-Naga Community. A month-long preparation for the long awaited Investiture on said date evoked joy, excitement and sense of accomplishment not only for the students but for their equally thrilled families, teachers, volunteers and Religious sisters. Scouting movement aims to support young people in their physical, mental and spiritual development. Scouting is not exclusive for the hearing but to persons with impairment as well. They get to learn the basic cornerstones of the scout method, scout promise, and scout law. These are designed to instill character, citizenship, personal fitness, and leadership in boys and girls through a structured program of outdoor activities. The Gualandi scouts had their overnight camping with friendly competitive sports supervised by the teachers as preliminary activity. Special gifts for the winners and participants were given by the Sisters that made the students more excited to join. Scouting is learning by doing, developing character through hands-on activity. Common ways to implement the scout method include spending time together in small groups with shared experiences, rituals, and activities, as well as emphasizing good citizenship and decision-making that is age-level appropriate. Cultivating a love and appreciation of the outdoors and outdoor activities are key elements. Primary activities, mostly on outdoor include camping, woodcraft , first aid, aquatics, hiking, backpacking, & sports which will be carefully planned by the Scoutmaster in collaboration with the Sisters.
The Scouting Movement started over 100 years ago in 1907 when Lord Robert Baden-Powell held the first camp on Brownsea Island, England with 20 boys. He was so pleased with the camp that in 1908 he published Scouting for Boys. Hundreds of youth in all parts of the country read the book and set out to put Baden-Powell’s suggestions into practice. By 1909, the movement had grown and a rally at Crystal Palace was attended by 11,000 Scouts. Scouting introduces youth to a world of fun and opportunity they can’t get anywhere else. It teaches young men and women how to grow into the leaders of tomorrow and inspires them to do their best. But Scouts aren’t just gaining the positive, character-building benefits for themselves, they are passing them on to others by being a good example.
This momentous event was graced by the Honorable Joselito S.A Del Rosario , PhD serving as the guest speaker with full support coming from Scouter Frederick M. Baldoza Naga City Council Field Scout Executive, Mrs Amy Cadiz school Directress, Teacher Agnes, Scouter Teachers of Minds That Matter School, PltCol Dario Sola, PMajor Joseph Engero and Pmajor Crisanto B. Romero pf the PNP-NCPDO under the able leadership of PNP-City Director Nelson Pacalso, all served as witnesses to said beautiful occasion.
Scouting remains a non-formal learning environment devoted to building a better world where diversity is welcomed, valued and respected and where young people are actively engaged in shaping and building their communities. Along the way, youth develop into capable, confident and well-rounded individuals, better prepared for success in the world. The program endeavor to provide progressive challenges so that learning never stops. Through scouting, youth develop the fundamental skills required to succeed in life and will learn to give back to friends, family and society.
Despite the use of informal education with an emphasis on practical outdoor activities, the Department of Education embraces the ideas of scouting in schools especially in the primary and secondary levels, through DepEd Order 68, s. 2003 re: Revitalizing the Boy/Girl Scouting Movement in Schools. “The Scouting Movement, through the Boy Scouts of the Philippines (BSP) and the Girl Scouts of the Philippines (GSP), is an effective program in leadership training and values formation of every child. The main objective of this Program is consistent with the Department’s mission to enhance, support, and develop boys and girls into well-rounded individuals with exemplary character. The BSP and the GSP have, so far, produced leaders who are true to the Scout Oath and Law or Girl Scout Promise and Law.”In scouting, a student also learns how to be a community service provider. A student who is active in scouting is also active in academic areas. They become to be more dynamic and show interest in studies especially in extracurricular activities. They tend to be responsible not only as a scout (BSP/GSP) but as a student and a productive citizen of our country.
A very touching moment unfolded when after the completion of the investiture rites and acceptance of the new scouts, more than a hundred scouts from Minds that Matter School marched towards them to shake hands and embrace as gestures of acceptance to the world of scouting. Families of the scouts, guests, teachers and bystanders were teary eyed as they witness a heartwarming occasion as students unite in one spirit and mission. Noteworthy to mention is the generosity of students and parents from Minds that Matter School who without hesitation lend their scarf when during the imposition of the neckerchief, five of the Gualandi scouts having none was fidgeting and red faced in shame since they’re the only ones left without one. The neckerchief, or scarf, represents the Scout Promise to uphold the Scout beliefs and behave like a true Scout. After the event, the parents of the scouts gave the neckerchief as gifts to the delight of the Gualandi students It is an occasion of pride not only for those who taught them good values in scouting but more so to the parents whose role modelling their children concretely emulated.
A Scout Prayer
Our Father, make us Trustworthy, for there are those who trust us. Make us Loyal, for through loyalty we reach our highest ideals.
Teach us to be Helpful, for through helpfulness do we forget our selfness. Make us Friendly, for there are so many who need a friend. Train us in Courtesy, for courtesy is the carpet on life’s floor. Make us kind for kindness is the oil in the cogs of life’s machinery. Insist upon our Obedience, for victory comes only to him who obeys. Make us Cheerful, for cheerfulness is the green grass among the rocks in the path of life. Train us in Thrift, for thrifty habits brighten our future. Make us Brave; brave in the dark and brave in the light; but save us from becoming fakers in bravery. Help us to be Clean – clean in thoughts, in speech, and in deed. And may we remember that our bodies are Thy holy temples, and that any abuse thereof is to tamper with Thy Great Plans. Above all, O God, help us to be Reverent toward all things which Thou hast made for our enjoyment when we are in Thy great out-of-doors, among the trees, along the streams, and on the Hillsides. May we know it was Thee who made the waters to flow, the trees to reach heavenward, the mountains to endure to all ages. In all these things we ask that Thou wilt help us. And may we never forget the Scout Oath to which we all have pledged ourselves, so that through Thy help we may live these points of our Scout Law. AMEN