Scouting in Thailand

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Scouting in Thailand is unique in that it is part of the school curriculum and receives strong support from the Thai government and people. Even the Royal Family are keen members. King Bhumibol (Rama IX) is the Chief Scout. This web site gives you some background information about Thai Scouting and also lets you visit a Thai school to see how they teach Scouting.

QUICK FACTS:

Official Name: National Scout Organization of Thailand
Motto: Better to die than to lie
Chief Scout: King Bhumibol (Rama IX)
National Scout Day: 1st July (pictures)

BACKGROUND AND HISTORY:

Scouting was first introduced in Thailand on July 1st 1911 by King Rama VI. Thailand was the third country in the world to take up Scouting. King Rama VI received his education in England. He was the first Thai monarch to have studied abroad. He graduated at Oxford University and also attended Sandhurst Military academy. He brought back with him many new ideas that he had seen. In Thailand he established the “Wild Tiger Corps” for adults and created a junior branch which continues today as the Scouts. King Rama VI is fondly remembered as the “Father of Thai Scouting” and every year on Scout Day, on July 1st, Scouts pay homage to his image and take part in parades. Thailand is the only country in the world where Scouting was directly founded by a monarch. It is also honoured with being one of the Founder Members of the World Organisation back in 1922. [more information]

Scouting appeals to the people of Thailand and receives strong support from the Royal family and government which has facilitated the steady growth and development of the organisation. The present monarch, King Rama IX, is the Chief Scout and under his patronage, Scouting has flourished in Thailand, and continues to develop many programmes to fulfill the needs of its young people and of the country. Thai Scouting has received much publicity due to its impressive work during emergencies. Such work includes taking part in ambulance and first aid teams, helping the Fire Brigade and assisting in flood control.

FUNDAMENTALS:

The fundamental principles are: adherence to spiritual values, loyalty to country, promotion of world brotherhood, helping others, the practice of the Scout oaths and laws, voluntary participation in community services and various programme activities. These fundamentals are met through the use of the patrol method and the proficiency badge scheme.

SCOUTING SECTIONS:

Scouting is open to boys and girls of all religions. There are 4 sections of Scouting: Cub Scouts, Scouts, Senior Scouts and Rovers. There are also Sea Scouts and Air Scouts which are supported by the Royal Thai Navy and Royal Thai Air force. Scout training takes place at both primary and secondary school levels as well as at university and technical colleges.

The chart below shows the official programme and age groups for each section. The students usually progress according to what grade they are in, rather than by ages as shown below. Primary 1 (2nd term) and Primary 2 to 4 are all Cub Scouts. Primary 5 and 6 are Scouts. Secondary 1 to 3 are Senior Scouts.

Cub Scouts First Star, Second Star and Third Star advance to a higher rank by school grade and activities. 8-11
Scouts Luk Sua Tri (Tenderfoot), Luk Sua Toe (2nd Class), and Luk Sua Ek (1st class), perform character building and skill-development activities in patrols. 11-16
Senior Scouts World Membership Badge, Senior Scout Badge, and King Scout Badge progress through project work in smaller interest groups. 14-18
Rover Personal development through self-training and service. 16-25

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SCOUTING ACTIVITIES:

Scouting is part of the normal school curriculum. At Sriwittayapaknam School in Samut Prakan, Thursday is Scout day and students come to school wearing their Scout uniform. Other schools in Thailand have different days. After morning assembly they have inspection. Then later in the day they meet as a Pack or Troop or as a year group and learn about Scouting from books or through practical activities. They work towards proficiency badges, learn knotting, cook food, practice drilling, play games and sing songs. Because Scouting is part of the school curriculum, the students have to sit an exam at the end of each term. The photograph to the right shows Cub Scouts learning how to cook a spicy Thai salad.

Thai Scouts come from all regions of the country and participate in a variety of training activities during the year concerned mainly with national development and public services which include cleaning up public areas, first aid, traffic control, disaster-relief, summer public services and particularly the environmental and natural conservation.

All of these activities are adapted to the challenge of change and aimed at a strong sense of services according to Scouting Fundamentals, to develop individual physical fitness and a good moral mind so that Scouts become good citizens who can take responsibility for themselves and their society.

SCOUT PROMISE:

On my honour I promise that I will be loyal to the Nation, the Religion and the King; help other people at all times; and obey the Scout Law.

SCOUT LAW:

A Scout’s honour is to be trusted.
A Scout is loyal to his Nation, his Religion, his King and is faithful to his benefactors.
A Scout’s duty is to be useful and to help others.
A Scout is a friend to all, and a brother to every other Scout in the world.
A Scout is courteous.
A Scout is kind to animals.
A Scout respectufully obeys the orders of his parents and his superiors.
A scout is very cheerful and is not afraid of troubles.
A scout is thrifty.
A Scout is clean in thought, word and deed.

VISITING A CUB SCOUT PACK AND SCOUT TROOP:

If you and your family are ever in Thailand, then you are more than welcome to come and visit Scout meetings at our school. Our students (about 1300) study Scouts every Thursday so all of them come to school in uniform that day. We encourage visitors to come in their Scout uniform so that our students can see and compare the different badges. You will also be able to join in with Scouting activities. Sriwittayapaknam School is 35 kms south of Bangkok.

FURTHER INFORMATION:

This Thai Scouting web site is produced by the students and teachers at Sriwittayapaknam School, Samut Prakan, Thailand. Scouting is part of the school curriculum. Please understand that this is not an official Thai Scout Association web site. We are just providing a service for people who want to know about Scouting in Thailand. This web site has been operating since January 1998 and as yet there is no official web site for the Thai Scout Association.

Further information about Scouting can be obtained from Scout Headquarters in Bangkok: National Scout Organisation of Thailand, Vajiravudh House, National Stadium, Rama 1 Street, Bangkok, 10330. Telephone +662 612 5305-06. Fax: +662 219 2108. If you are ever in Bangkok and want to buy Scouting souvenirs then you can visit the Scout Shop on the ground floor of the Scout Headquarters. The National Stadium Sky Train station is conveniently nearby. Alternatively, every school shop which can be found in most department stores, have a Scout section.