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BSA compared to New Zealand Scouting

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  • BSA compared to New Zealand Scouting

    A recent episode of The Leaders Campfire podcast featured the two co-hosts interviewing a Scout Leader from New Zealand who spent a summer at Many Point Scout Camp in Minnesota. It was interesting listening to the comparison between the countries Scouting program.

  • #2
    Very interesting!

    I knew that Cub leaders took names from the Jungle Book. My penpal there is "Rikki Tikki Tavi". The big surprise for our cubs is that the Kiwi pack is half female.

    The den is called a "six" because it's supposed to be six Scouts in size. Wouldn't you like to see that here!


    • #3
      Scouts New Zealand is definitely a different experience from BSA's Scouting program: it is co-ed at all levels and Rovers (the oldest group) goes until age 25.

      I was in the Calliope Sea Scout Troop in Auckland at the age of 11-- even from a young age, sailing programs are available for youth-- and, in general, it was more laid back than BSA programs but I think that reflects the culture.

      The principle of Scouting is universal though, and that's what's important.


      • #4
        In 2009/2010 I was ASM with BSA then 2011/2012 with Scouts New Zealand.
        Its nearly the same language aye.
        Tiger Cubs are called Keas (Keas are an alpine parrot, interesting creature and like lil kids :-) )
        The co-ed factor takes out a lot of testosterone overload you would see in a BSA Pack/Troop.
        The Kiwi scouts are a lot more outdoors than most BSA, but NZ has so much to offer:
        within an hour of our scout hut we could go sailing, into the jungle, basic mountaineering, or visit a farm.
        The entire Kiwi lifestyle even from non scouts is more outdoors.
        One has to remember that the entire population of New Zealand is 4,4 million, so its all a lot smaller.
        I think 18,000 scouts or so. There is 5 profesional scouters in the National office.
        They just went thrue a uniform change: from nice green Polo shirts to grey made-in-china shirts with a pocket with Fern on it.
        The NZ fleece vests in black, blue or green are cooler than the red BSA ones ;-)
        There is a lot less activity badges and merit badges, but some like the collectors badge can be earned several times for different things.
        Queens scout is like Eagle Scout. Slight differences in cub/scout law etc, will post them at a later date.


        • #5
          The organisation is a tad bit different and may vary from unit to unit:
          The NZ Scouts have "XY Town Scout Group" that include a pack and a troop and sometimes a crew;
          the SM is Group Leader and he has 2-3 Section Leaders who in turn have Cub/Scout Leaders (like ASM).
          Packs dont have Den (Sixer) meetings but meet on a different day than the scouts and once a term (3 months) the
          group will get together (cub/scouts/venturers) for "end of term group night" with awards, foods and games.
          1 or 2 scouts or venturers tend to show up at the pack meetings.
          Sixers/Patrols dont have individual patches like in BSA.
          And yes pack leaders get Jungle book names.

          I went thrue NCS so I know the BSA paperwork and NZS has a lot less rules & regulations.
          There is no "charterd organisation" concept.
          New Zealand has a "Baden Powell Lodge" which is a Freemason New Zealand lodge only made up of Scouters. Takes about 2 years to get in ;-)

          There is scout camps and scout huts scattered across the country, as well as many camps and huts run by the state
          or operated by tramping clubs (tramping is the kiwi word for hiking).
          Very extensive trails going all over the place.

          Something similar to Kool Aid is called Raro. A lot of imported US foods available as well :-D
          Food is pretty expensive in NZ compared to EU/US.
          There is a lot of outdoor stores but it pays to have stuff shipped in sometimes ...

          New Zealand stretches for over 1,400 km between arctic and equator,
          and being between the pacific and the tasman sea further influences the weather.
          Wellington has had snow once in the past 30 years.
          Earthquakes every now and then, tropical storms.

          Nice place really and worth a long trip or a year or 2 8-)


          • #6
            I've never been to New Zealand.
            There was a Scout Executive in Erie PA. Married to a girl from NZ.
            He had lived and worked over there. From what he said to me NZ Scouting was very close to UK Scouting.


            • #7
              How about Wood Badge? Did you replace Baden-Powell with Bruce Tuckman?


              • #8
                Eamonn, from what Berliner wrote I can concur, New Zealand scouting sounds very like the UK! Given the historical links I guess its not surprising. My group in Cambridge UK has links with a group in Cambridge Canada and they are also very similar. The empire may have (rightly) ended many decades ago but the cultural links still remain.


                • #9
                  Hey Cambridgeskip - I was actually in London for 3 days this year, first time ever in the UK. Got a necker at Baden Powell House too :-D

                  Commonwealth varies more in climate than in culture LOL

                  The Kiwis call (french or freedom) fries = chips
                  and chips/nachos = crisps.

                  They eat a lot of "fush n chops", or fish n chips.
                  Batterd to death fish with greasy fries, yum.
                  Battered and deep fried pineapple rings. nom nom.
                  Even at Scout Group Camp ^o^ (only on the first night after summer camp setup)

                  Only the BSA seems to be an army of "geardo's".
                  Scouts from all other nations I met carry so much less fancy gear out in the field ...
                  I think BSA has the copyright for "car camping" LOL


                  • #10
                    Berliner - did you manage to get out to Gilwell Park while you were in London? Far more worth a visit than BP House.

                    I have to confess to not being entirely clear what people mean by Car Camping? Can anyone explain?


                    • #11
                      car camping = camping from an automobile, bringing so much stuff along that you can't hike with it, when a camper sets his tent up near his car so as not to have to carry his stuff.


                      • #12
                        Nope sadly didnt make it Gilwell Park - I was told its like 2 hours or so from BP house. I was only around for 3 nights so a tad bit busy ;-)

                        Car camping is a bit like glamping - glamourous camping LOL
                        What blw2 ... just put your lounge/living room in a truck and cart it into a field.
                        The things I have seen OMG ... huge warm water contraptions, army heaters run on 20 L fuel cans, ... camping chairs, folding cots (aka field beds), ...
                        I know people who have special SHELVES that are transportable so they have a SHELF IN THE TENT !!
                        Mind you a 10-person tent for 4 adults is pretty cool ...
                        Oh yeah and you ever carried a kitchen sink on a hike?
                        Plus any type of electronic toy really ^o^
                        Last edited by berliner; 09-25-2013, 01:26 PM.