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Eman

Scouting around the world

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I've not had the opportunity to attend an world jamboree but the way scouts are organized around the world interests me. I have been lucky enough to meet a man that was a second gen. scoutmaster in England. He is a Queens Scout which is the equivelant of our Eagle. He attended one of our weekly meetings and told the troop stories of scouting in England.

Is there anyone out there involved in or that knows about other scout programs beside BSA?

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Okay, let's start with what handbook you use? What ranks do you have in your program? Is it anything like BSA? What age groups do you allow in the program and is it coed? What does your uniform look like? Is your organization all volunteer or are their paid personnel?

Just relate all you can about your program if you would.

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Handbook: our own but in my opinion needs a rewrite.

 

Ages: 6-8 Joeys

8-11 Cub Scouts

10.5 -15 Scouts

14.5-18 Venturers

17-25 Rovers

18 - ? (60 I think) Scouter

 

The overlap allows us to progress individuals as it suits them. We do not progress our scouts as a group unless by coincidence. Last Going Up from the Cub Pack to my Scout Troop was for two girls. I expect about 5 boys and girls about mid year. Obviously we are coed.

 

Joeys is a one hour weekly program without rank or badges.

 

Cubs is weekly 1.5 to 2 hours and a camp each term (quarter) approx. Cubs progess to Seconder (one stripe) and Sixer (2 stripes) in their group of 4-8 cubs (called a Six!) Each six has a single colour identification badge. Advancement is through three boomerang badges Bronze, silver , Gold which correspond to ages 8-10. Also achievement badges are optional and are coloured red, blue, green for ages 8-10 but this is not rigid. My Son got his green swimming the other night and he is 8 my daughter got a red cyclist last year when she was 9. Top award is a gold cord work n on the left shoulder and is worn when the Cub 'goes up' to scouts. Must have gold boomerang, attend a scout camp, do citizenship, first aid badges and n environmental project I think. Daughter part way through now.

 

Scouts is 2 hour weekly with about 2-3 camps/activities per term. I have 3 Patrols of 4-5. Aiming for 6 (Max 8 per patrol). See our web site at http://www.lis.net.au/~emu/. Includes patrol badges. Ranks are Scout, Assistant Patrol Leader (A/P/L) and P/L. We also have room for a troop Leader which is a way of a senior P/L stepping aside making way for a new P/L and gets the T/L some experience in an adult role. Usually only 3-6 mth position and not required.

 

Patrols are of mixed ages. P/L is normally the oldest etc. Mixed gender also. Cubs who come up are divided amongst existing patrols according to personality etc. Siblings are normally separated. he only concession for girls is that each patrol has 2 tents although some parents have told me they don't really care. A different issue for Venturers (Puberty bites more deeply in that section)

 

Advancement is by 3 levels red = Pioneer, blue = Explorer, Green = Adventurer. See http://www.scouts.com.au/main.html (menu=Discover Scouting!-Badges/Awards-Scouts)for pictures etc.

 

Venturers has the Queens Scout Award which involves a few years work and is similar to Eagle. Queens Scouts get to wear a miniature of the Awrad in Rovers and as a Leader. They also get a certificate from the State Govenor signed by the Queen. (Not really - it's a copy).

 

Rovers has the B-P Award and requires similar effort. We don't have many Rovers or Venturers although there are some big Units and Crews.

 

Uniforms should be on the Scouts Australia site address above. However the standards have changed. It was very military when I was a boy. Now hats are optional and there are a lot of non-uniform uniforms around. I advocate for this. The official items are not strong, expensive and being unisex don't fit anyone. (My gripe - sorry)

 

We are organised in Groups ie 1st Dunoon and have a Group Leader who manages the Section leaders. A parent commitee etc. Most Groups have their own hall - we don't. A group consists of one or more in each section ideally but most are just a Cub Pack and sacout Troop.

 

Each Section (Pack, Troop etc) has a leader and assistants. Ideally one adult per patrol or six. Parents can and do help from time to time but are not needed for the program.

 

In some states Groups are combined in Districts then Areas or Regions and then State Branches. National HQ is really just a figurehead org. Everything is really run by the States and this does produce some strange anomolies. MSw does not have Districts anymore. No wait - apparently they are returning but are much bigger than they used to be. (About 20 Groups per district I think.)

 

We do not have a tradition of annual camps. Our weather makes weekends okay at all time sof the year. I think though that a week long camp in the School holidays would be a good idea and am working toward this. We have four school holidays annually. Three of 2 weeks and one of 5 weeks. We close Scouting for these holidays traditionally although I would like to have some activities.

 

All Scout s and leaders are voluntary. Each state has an executive officer and secretaries numbering about 5-10 and they are non-uniformed and paid. We wish we had paid professionals at Region and District.

 

We do not have charter organisiations. Very rarely is a group sponsored. Money, meeting places and leaders are difficult to source.

 

Leader training is 7 days minimum over three weekends. There is more which is about another 6 days. Finding people to do this up front is not always easy.

 

How was that?

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Hell! what happened to the paragraphs? I suggest you copy to a word processing pack and edit. That looks awful!

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Wow!

Thanks for the in depth reply, don't worry about the format. It seems you are familiar with the way we do it here in the U.S.

Seeing how it is a coed program do you have coed leaders at all levels?

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Yes. We have had women as Cub Leaders for decades and as Venturer/ Rover Leaders since 1973 but only since about 1988 for other Sections when girls were allowed at all levels.

 

Obviously there are pro's and con's but on the whole I think that it is a better preparation for society which is after all about 50% female. Actually the main problem is that girls are often much better organised and therefor basically run the Troop even when they are in even or less numbers.

 

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I remember being at the World Jamboree in 87-88 and talking to the Australians (and Kiwis) about the program going coed. I was quite jealous (I was 15 at the time) and wondered how they were going to pull that off. The Kiwis said the transition (which they had done a couple of years before) went incredibly well and smoother than anticipated. Before I get too off subject, I'll start another thread so we can discuss the rumors always going around about the BSA going coed at the Boy Scout level.

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Hi Eman

I am in the UK so if there was anything you didnt ask your Queen's Scout ask away!

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Robin,

I was told that all the patrols were named after birds, is that true? What are the progression of ranks from joining? Do you have Cubs? Ours is called BSA, what is your organization called? How is the paid section organized? Do you have Woodbadge as it was or has it changed to weekends and what is the program? Do you have any organization within Scouts like we have Order of the Arrow?

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Eman,

Patrol names are decided by the troop - ours are hawks, kestrels, panthers and stags.

From joining as a 6 year old Beaver Scout, the progression at 8 is to Cub Scouts. The progressive awards at the moment for cubs are the cub scout award, the adventure award and the adventure crest award. Cubs progress on to Scouts at 10.5 years old

There are five progress badges which Scouts can work towards:

The Scout Membership Badge;

The Scout Award;

The Pathfinder Award;

The Explorer Award;

The Chief Scout Award.

We dont have ranks as such.

After this I would have to say that we are not quite sure as there are two new sections, Explorer Scouts for 14 - 18 year olds and Network Scouts for 18 - 26 year olds. There will be a new programe going public in June for all the sections.

We are simply called The Scout Association.

I suppose that sounds a bit arrogant but we were first!

The paid section is mostly based at Gilwell park and London. We have our own HQ in Scotland that is answerable to UK headquarters.I would have to be convinced that it is organised.

Our woodbadge is usually 5 weekends, one of which is under canvas, with projects between the weekends, but it is organised differently in other areas. We are obliged to do our woodbadge within the first 5 years of our appointment. They still do week long courses at Gilwell, but I am not sure if that is only for commisioner training.

We do not have anything like the OA but there is a Scout fellowship that supports local scouting.

The main difference is that some of our groups take girls, we dont have dens in our Cub packs, 6 year old beavers join without their parents having to attend and Cubs go camping without their parents - we have to have leader cover of 1 leader to 6 Cubs plus one in overall charge.

Sorry this reply is not very detailed but I have just got home from a leaders meeting and have stuff to organise for Cub camp for Friday! If you want me to give more detail on anything please ask - I will have more time to reply when I am at work!

There is a good website at

www. scoutbase.org that will give you all of the badge requirments.

Robin

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