Be Prepared for Life

Activity Kit Six:
"The World of Work"

Today many are confused and uncertain as to exactly what environmental education really is! It seems to be so much more than working outdoors in nature. Since its inception in 1907, Scouting has been intimately involved with the world of nature. The challenge of the outdoors, camping, and trailing are clearly things that Scouts do. Nature study and the conservation of nature is part of this. Scouts plant trees, cut fire breaks, clean up beaches and river banks and study birds. Isn't this enough?

Today Scouting worldwide is in the process of retooling and upgrading local programmes as needs of communities are changing everywhere. "Business as usual" belongs to the world of yesterday. One of Scoutings new thrusts is environmental education, but what does this really mean? Environmental education for Scouts means more than nature study and conservation alone. it's not just learning... about the environment... that's environment study, in the environment... that's outdoor education, for the environment... that's conservation education. It's all these and more...


In nature study and conservation education it is possible to study the environment apart from people. But people are part of the environment, never separate from it! We live in it, work in it, shop in it, travel in it, relax in it. It is our homes, our neighbourhoods, our shopping centres, our factories, our farms, our wilderness areas and our oceans. We depend on it for our life - the environment cannot live without our care.


People who know their environment and how to care for it. People who have learnt to love their world as they love themselves. People who understand that caring for soil and water means eating and drinking. Caring for resources means personal employment, income and an improved quality of life for all. Earth caring people are working towards a safer, healthier, more beautiful world. A world where children can grow up in safety and find jobs without destroying their world and society in the process.

This must be more than a beautiful dream...for all our sakes. Scouts at grass roots must take action to make this dream reality. Sometimes this means... a fire break, a bird hide, a coat of paint, recycling newspapers, a vegetable garden... but at other times it may mean preparing for a different future... perhaps sharing our opportunities with others, working together on shared projects, talking to others, caring for others. Your Scout environment includes a great non-scout community to which you also belong. We experience everything together. We share the same neighbourhoods, lives and futures. Just as our non-living environment cannot be taken for granted, abused or ignored, the same is obviously true for our communities in which we live - they are the "people-part" of our world. We have to learn to work together, with our whole environment...nature and society.


The BE PREPARED FOR LIFE series is moving steadily towards the point of working together with each other. Scouting should not be an exclusive Scout club but an active sharing part of a community network, seeking to improve the quality of life for all people through free enterprise and service.

This is relevant active Scouting. Thus far this series has ...

THE WORLD OF WORK seeks to teach us skills which can be related to future employment and how we can work together using our environment in a caring way.


Relevant Scouting is a training ground for life, an investment in a better person, able to contribute to a better future at home, in community and in business. Scouters are encouraged to look at these activities in terms of where Scouts in their patrols are going. This kit contains a full index of all activities thus far. Some were intended for Cubbing and others for Scouting. All are environment-friendly and can improve the quality of life of your Scout families. Kit 5 contains a list of Scout and Cub badges which could be linked to these activities. Let us ensure that we are offering high relevance programmes for today's needs. Scouters seeking a broader perspective are referred to THE GLOBAL SCOUT: Scouting for Nature and the Environment, from your Scout Shop or Maskew Miller Longman, P.O.Box 396, Cape Town 8000.

Everyone needs more money today! Somehow ENOUGH is not what it used to be. Those who are skilled in any society should be able to find employment in a healthy economy. Yet we see that jobs are not always readily available for school leavers. It's time that we look again at how young people are prepared for the market place, when traditional education programmes do not lead to employment for all.

Scouts need to become skilled in a different type of fund raising... self help programmes, which create the opportunities to earn money for local patrol needs, as a result of having produced something that is needed in the local market place.

This will involve learning skills such as...
  • Market research... finding out what people need
  • Product development... how to provide what people need
  • Marketing... how to get your product to the point of need
This implies....
  • Going out and talking to people.
  • Learning the techniques of making the product in the most cost effective way.
  • Setting up an organisation to manufacture the product.
  • Personal sales techniques which may involve getting into existing craft markets, direct marketing at existing sales outlets, mail order or even door to door sales.
In all cases Scouts and Scouters will need to work closely with their communities and learn to face and solve problems encountered in this process.

Not every small business venture is successful by any means. Many fail to make a significant profit for the entrepreneur to meet his obligations, but in all cases there are very valuable lessons and skills to be learned.

This is the Scout way of learning these skills - through involvement!

Skills which can prepare your Scouts for the real world and enable them to simulate, without risk, the lessons of life. As your community sees your patrol getting involved with the World of Work, you can expect there to be a greatly enhanced perception of what Scouting can do for all youth! As a spin-off benefit, you may even show a profit!

This is not about starting a hot dog stand on a street corner. Scouts are already involved in this way. It's about learning a craft which a community values and marketing your product as a real contribution to Scout business education and environmental life style improvement within community. This kit proposes some feasible ideas...


Part 1: Making a start

In this kit...

You learn how to use market research to find out what people need:
1. Making a start
How to develop your product:
2. Small craft manufacture
How to take on a bigger challenge:
3. Construction project

© Copyright 1991 - 1994
Dr Frank Opie for the South African Scout Association