Scouting helps children develop character

Written by North West Marketing Rep Eugene Kgori

Connie Sekete is currently the Troop Scouter at Iteko Special School in Rustenburg near where she was born. in Tlhabane in the North West Region. Iteko Special School offers Primary and Secondary learning with a special focus on practical skills development. Understanding the impact and value the Scout Programme could have on the personal development of the children with intellectual disabilities’ in her school, she introduced Scouting. Today the school has 25 Scouts and 2 Adult Volunteers.

“I joined Scouting in 2016 to help my special needs learners gain confidence and expand their skills as in Scouting they learn by doing,” she explains. “Immediately after I completed my Introduction to Adult Leadership (IAL) course I started the Troop in the school to engage the boys that were not doing any other sport and give them the opportunity to join Scouting.  Over the years I have seen that this Movement helps children develop their characters. Many special needs school children have an inferiority complex, but during camps and excursions they start to change and portray a new and good character. I discovered many lessons in Scouting activities which I have incorporated into my programmes for learners such as backwoods cooking, first aid, pioneering and gadgets in order to shape the young leader’s approach to life challenges and for them to learn team work.

Through this Movement Scouts are able to see the world.  They attend camps, hikes, jamborees, and experience adventure at its best. People see you with different eyes when you are serving in Scouting by just recognising the khaki shirt, short and scarf. I can say that in Scouting, with the support of my fellow District Scouts, I have found a community who share a commitment to Service”, she continues.

“I have had an exciting Scouting journey”, says Connie with a smile. “Under the leadership of former Regional Commissioner Thabiso Majola and District Commissioner Derick “Bra Boy” Sedumedi I have become an explorer and lover of nature and an adventurer at heart! One of my personal favourite memories was the first time I camped in a tent and a sleeping bag on a hike! I have also received my 5 Year Long Service Award and am busy with my Stage 2 Adult Leader Training. ”

As Connie is a teacher and a parent, we asked her what she tells other parents who are unsure about what Scouting is. “I advise parents to take the time to observe the behaviour and attitudes of children who are in Scouting and those who are not part of the Scouting family. I ask them to check how their children relate with others, with strangers, new class mates and even animals. Observe and you will see the difference.”