Tue | Apr 16, 2024

Scouts skills can help Ja’s development, says Vernon

Published:Monday | November 13, 2023 | 12:10 AMAlbert Ferguson/Gleaner Writer
Councillor Richard Vernon, deputy mayor of Montego Bay, delivers the main address Saturday night at the Scout Association of Jamaica National Leaders Conference held at Teamwork Associates Hospitality and Retreat Centre in Montego Bay under the theme: Buil
Councillor Richard Vernon, deputy mayor of Montego Bay, delivers the main address Saturday night at the Scout Association of Jamaica National Leaders Conference held at Teamwork Associates Hospitality and Retreat Centre in Montego Bay under the theme: Building Together for the Future.

WESTERN BUREAU:

Councillor Richard Vernon, the deputy mayor of Montego Bay in St James, has indicated that fundamental scouting principles and skills are required to combat the strain that is currently endangering the nation’s development.

In addition to proposing these remedies, Vernon is advocating the re-establishment of fundamental principles, the reconceptualisation of objectives, and the rewiring of belief systems, arguing that strain has presented significant obstacles to the nation’s developmental aspirations.

“Building the future for Vision 2030 will need the Scouts Association of Jamaica, which provides youth with programmes and activities that build self-confidence and reinforces ethical standards,” Vernon said as he delivered the main address at the just-concluded 113th National Leaders Conference of the Scouts Association of Jamaica.

Deeper appreciation for service

The conference, which is held annually, was hosted this year at the Teamwork Associates Hospitality and Retreat Centre in Montego Bay, St James, under the theme Building Together for the Future.

“It will need basic scouting skills that promote teamwork and encourage youth to achieve a deeper appreciation for service to others in their community,” Vernon said, noting that “ultimately, this experience enhances self-worth and high self-esteem, which prepares our youngsters for complex decisions and resilience under peer pressure”.

The deputy mayor explained: “It challenges strain, so scouting can challenge strain. And if you challenge strain, you’ve challenged many developmental challenges we have in our society.”

According to the deputy mayor, the Scouts Association of Jamaica, through its members who are strategically placed across the island, has the tools required to drive the process through its value system, which is capable of conquering strain.

He noted that many of the problems the country is now battling stem from strains that tend to spring from cases where people accept the goals of society and reject the conventional means of achieving them.

“As we look around us and what is happening to our society, we can also relate to the strain. Some see the goal, understand the dream, and want it, but they find innovative, illegal ways to accomplish it,” Vernon said.

“This effect of strain is the underpinning of my call for the restoration of essential values, goal reconceptualisation, and rewiring of our grounded belief systems,” he stated.

He argued that the push for negative goal orientation is immense, emanating from the lyrics of the most popular genres – dances, dancehall, trap afrobeat, and rap – and redefines community leaders, the dons who have replaced the anthological agencies of teachers, police, lawyers, and doctors and who have become the symbol of success for many youth.

Vernon, who holds a Master of Science degree from the University of the West Indies, Mona, in development studies, governance, and public policy, noted that while these professions are still respected, they are “unfortunately, not ideal” for a significant cross section of the youth population, especially those facing adverse social conditions.

“The push for restoration must be equally pervasive. Parenting is a factor, but value restoration will need the school. Teachers must dress the part, act the part, and impart positive values,” the deputy mayor insisted.

“Belief systems rewired will need the Church. Religious leaders must demonstrate and manifest religious credibility and transparency. Goal reconceptualisation will require government policies to positively impact the lives of people, and public funds invested must translate into the development of the people,” Vernon added.

albert.ferguson@gleanerjm.com