There are lots of organisations in Australia that offer activities for young people, so why choose Scouts? Scouts Australia’s age-related progressive program is unique – no other organisation offers such a diverse variety of activities and experiences across such a broad age-range. Children and young adults aged from 6 to 25 can join at any stage of Scouting and participate in a program that encourages them to grow through adventure by experiencing new challenges, making new friends, building confidence, taking responsibility for themselves, and being provided with opportunities to explore their own abilities and interests. Perhaps the most important thing, however, is that Scouts have fun!
Scouting encourages young people to become well-rounded young adults who believe in their current abilities and future potential, who are well-equipped to face life’s challenges, who are strong leaders as well as effective team players, and who can make a constructive contribution to the community in which they live.
The Scout program is based on the wisdom of over a century of Scouting experience from around the world, combined with a dynamic and contemporary approach which ensures that the program remains engaging and relevant to today’s youth, their families, and the wider community. Emphasising peace, education and understanding, Scouting transcends all cultural, religious, racial, political, age and gender barriers. Scouts Australia also welcomes membership enquiries from those with intellectual or physical disabilities.
Personal growth through adventure
Children grow fast and revel in new activities. At a relatively young age they quickly become ready to look for new challenges beyond the family and school. Therefore, Scouts Australia encourages all its members to ‘Be Prepared… for new adventure’!
‘Adventure’ means different things to children and young people of varying ages. For example, for a Joey Scout, adventure could be as simple as their first night away from home or attempting an obstacle course. For Cub Scouts it might mean camping in tents, attending an event such as a Cuboree, or tackling a half-day bushwalk. As young people progress through Scouts, Venturers and Rovers, they can experience adventure through more challenging outdoor activities, performing arts, public speaking, leadership roles, service activities (at home or overseas), attending large-scale national and international events, and so much more!!!
In Scouts, children learn independent thinking, social interaction, leadership skills, problem-solving and responsibility. Girls and boys are equally involved, and as Scouts progress through the age-based Sections, developing independence, reasoning and physical strength, they take on more responsibility for organising and running their own activities and challenges. Non-competitive activities where children can develop at their own pace are terrific for building their self-esteem and confidence.
Caring for ourselves, each other, and the environment
A great milestone for children is when they learn to take responsibility for themselves and become concerned for others. Scouting provides an environment which fosters leadership and encourages tolerance, respect and consideration of others. ‘Helping other people’ is an important aspect of the Scout program, and Scouts are encouraged to give back to the community by participating in local, national and international events and service projects.
Environmental awareness and care has been an integral part of Scouting since it began in 1907. Numerous Scouting activities take place in the outdoors, which gives children and young people myriad opportunities to connect with and make the most of the wonderfully diverse Australian environment. Every year, Scouts across Australia organise and participate in a huge number of environmental activities including erosion prevention works, energy and water saving projects, wildlife monitoring projects, tree plantings and environmental training courses. Many Scout Groups are also involved with national events such as Clean Up Australia Day.
Get involved – rediscover adventure!
Whether you are completely new to Scouting or you were a Scout yourself, you will probably enjoy sharing your child’s Scouting experience. Scouting is a great way for families to participate in new adventures and activities together – why not encourage older siblings, grandparents or other relatives to get involved as well?
Many parents become trained Leaders, but there are also plenty of other ways that parents can get involved or contribute to the Group without committing to a uniformed Leadership role.
- Showing interest and encouragement
- Providing transport
- Helping to fundraise for the Group
- Volunteering for duties such as Scout Hall set up or clean up
- Joining the Group Committee and/or assisting with administration
- Helping with DIY jobs at the Scout Hall
- Organising a Group excursion to your workplace
- Offering your unique talents and skills for a Group theme night
- Become a Leader
Don’t be afraid to offer your practical support, or to ask the Leaders at your Group how you can contribute.
All parents are concerned about the well-being of their children, which is why Scouts gives child safety the highest priority.
Scouts Australia must be satisfied that prospective Leaders are suitable role models for young people and are not likely to expose them to any physical or emotional harm. Suitability is assessed through interviews, reference checks and background police checks. Approved adult Leaders receive comprehensive and ongoing training in dealing with children and the various aspects of Scouting.
Scouts Australia has a National Safe Practice Policy as well as a National Risk Management System which has been developed in conjunction in accordance with AS/NZS 4360-2004.
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