Each Monday morning on Daraja’s campus, students and staff gather near the flag to hold assembly or “flag.” The assembly is a time where staff and prefects have the opportunity to update the student body about events coming up in the week ahead. In addition, one class each week performs a song and update the campus with news reports that they worked to compile over the weekend. Each assembly lasts between ten and fifteen minutes.
To kick off the start of the assembly, members from our very own group of Kenya Scouts perform drills, raise the Kenyan flag, and sing the Kenyan National Anthem.
Kenya Scouts is a nationwide organization for adolescents around Kenya comparable to Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts in the United States. The Kenya Scouts website describes the program “as a voluntary, educational, non-political movement for young people in Kenya. It is the largest youth movement in Kenya with over 400,000 scouts and 30,000 scout leaders.”
“The purpose of scouting,” the website states, “is to contribute to the development of young people in achieving their full physical, intellectual, social, spiritual, and emotional potential as individuals, responsible citizens, and as members of their communities.”
At Daraja Academy, 34 students make up the campus Kenya Scouts program. These 34 students are broken up into four troops, each with their own student Troop Leader. These troop leaders organize weekly meetings for their troops and help them learn and practice their drills. The troops on campus are all named after mountains: Himalayas, Mt. Everest, Mt. Kenya, and Mt. Elgon. Each member of Kenya Scouts undergoes training before officially being part of the movement.
Because there are four troops, each troop gets the opportunity to perform at assembly one time each month. This is the highlight of their experience, according to Mary N, a third-year student and current troop leader. “We love so much to perform at flag. I love watching the other troops perform even when it is not my troops turn,” Mary explains.
The drills that are performed are all original routines the girls put together themselves, made up of meticulous steps, sharp turns and pivots, and defined movements.
In addition to these drills, the Kenya Scouts are also responsible for maintaining the flag post area on campus. Each Sunday they make sure that the area is clean and the grass is short in preparation for Monday’s assembly.
Currently, the Scouts are working on a tree-planting project to learn about and take action in environmental conservation. They plan to take great care of the trees already on campus and work to plant even more!
When asked about her experience in Kenya Scouts, first-year Daraja student, Christine explains, “I am really glad that I joined. It is really fun to practice our drills and also learn about conservation of trees.”