Families and commuters who pass the PWC bike park on the corner of Sloane and Main Road in Bryanston have most likely been privy to a huge billboard built by children which promotes ‘Learn by Doing’, a methodology that has withstood the test of time. Creatives from the acclaimed advertising agency DDB SA and members of the Gauteng branch of SCOUTS South Africa, teamed up to raise awareness about the value that Scouting brings to children and youth in current times.
Over 190 000 Scouting members nationwide learn by doing, whilst spending time with their friends and family outdoors. Gerhard Sagat, head of strategy at the internationally acclaimed advertising agency DDB SA and the main driver of the awareness campaign “Learn by Doing” is convinced of the significance that the Movement has, especially in our current times “I think the role and impact of Scouts is even more essential and critical today than what it was before. Society and the way of life has changed significantly over the past few years and decades. Kids these days are fixated with the digital world and all things digital. And while that has an important place and role, as it is the way we interact with our world and define our future, there is a lack of the hands-on, practical skills that built up our world to the place it is today. More importantly, the digital era has caused people to become far more transactional with their relationships and desensitized to the hardships and realities of others. I think that Scouting helps keep kids grounded and instills the kind of values and social skills that we always read about, but that are missing and yearned for. Through Scouting children also embrace their role as messengers of peace.”
Creatives behind the billboard, Katherine Glover and former Scout Ryan Allman, agree ““When coming up with ideas, it’s always good to base them off insights, Learn by Doing is a really strong insight. Children today tend to live in a digital world, which although it can teach you a lot, there is a lot they miss out on. We believe that Learn by Doing is something that children need to go back to, to make them better rounded individuals later on in life, and what better way to do so, than by joining the Scouts!”
Scouting Randburg District Commissioner Ryan De Jager brought Scouts together from throughout Johannesburg to assist with the build “It was great to see Scouts from different Groups coming together and enjoying a day of pioneering, My fondest moment of the day was the reveal of the actual artwork for the billboard, you could feel the excitement and pride in the air after that moment.” 17 year old Talita Mekgwe, from the Robin Hills Scout Group enjoyed building the structure with her friends and other Scouts she had never met. “It was something that had never been done before. I also got the opportunity to see some of my scout friends and make new ones. I hope our billboard advertises Scouts and leads young kids away from teenage temptation by joining the movement. I feel that my peers should join Scouting so they too can learn life skills they cannot learn in school.”
“Many years ago, Benjamin Franklin said “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” The Scout’s philosophy of “Learn by Doing” is the manifestation of this quote and demonstrates the essence and value that the movement offers”, concludes Mr Sagat.