Scouts is a fun club for boys and girls aged 10 – 16 years, and is a part of the scouting movement. Scouts come after Cubs and before Venturers.
What is Scouts?
The Scouting movement is a worldwide organisation set up by Lord Baden-Powell in 1907.
The aim of the Association is to encourage the physical, mental, social and spiritual development of young people so that they may take a constructive place in society.
The mission of Scouting is to contribute to the education of young people through a value system to help build a better world where people are self-fulfilled as individuals and play a constructive role in society.
This is achieved by:
- Involving them throughout their formative years in non-formal learning
- Using methods that make each individual the principle agent in his or her own development as a self-reliant, supportive, responsible and committed person.
- Assisting them to establish a value system based upon spiritual, social and personal principles.
The seeds of scouting date back to 1899 and the Second Boer War, when Baden-Powell, a commanding officer in the army, successfully defended the town of Mafeking, South Africa, against the Boers.
Boys in the town were formed into the Cadet Corps, assisting the troops by carrying messages and running errands. A badge was awarded to each corps member, a combination of a compass point and spearhead. This combination was later to become the international symbol for Scouting.
Baden-Powell’s military training manual ‘Aids to Scouting’, written in 1899, was revised in 1907, rewritten for a youth readership and was a cornerstone of the new Scouting movement.
Eventually the book, through several revisions, became the Boy Scout Manual.
New Scouts become members of a Scout Patrol, made up of four to eight members. They work as a team, helping each other, depending upon each other and all having a say in decision making.
The Patrol is led by a Patrol Leader and Assistant Patrol Leader.
Several Scout Patrols make up a Scout Troop.
Scouting in NZ started back in 1908, with the first Boy Scouts patrol. The younger Cubs were introduced in 1916. Rovers commenced in 1918 and Venturers joined the New Zealand Scouting movement in 1963. (Refer to this article for more information on the various Scouting groups).
Where do Scouts meet?
Scouts usually meet in a local Scout Hall or Community Centre. Meetings are generally held weekly.
What age can your child start Scouts?
Scouting is split into five different groups:
- Keas: ages 6 to 8 years
- Cubs: ages 7 to 11 years
- Scouts: age 10 to 16 years
- Venturers: age 14 to 18 years
- Rovers: age 18 to 26 years
There are also the Sea Scouts and Air Scouts which are incorporated into the Scouts, open to 10 through to 16 year olds.
How do you progress in Scouts?
Scouts can continue to progress through the Scouting movement into adulthood, eventually becoming a Scout leader should they choose.
The next step up from Scouts is Venturers, for teens aged from fourteen to eighteen. Venturers are responsible for their own programmes which include a range of adventurous, vocational, social and spiritual activities that extend the Venturers and develop their self confidence, leadership, team and life skills.
From there Scouts/Venturers progress to becoming Rovers. Rovers is for young adults aged eighteen to twenty six, with associate members age twenty to thirty four. In addition to their own programmes of interests and achievement, Rovers also provide service and assistance to the Scout movement and their local community.
The Scout Youth Award Schemes are progressive Scouting award schemes allow young people to be rewarded for taking part in the programmed activities and pursuing special interests that acknowledge their learning of new skills, proving their abilities and undertaking of community service.
Awards are acknowledged with Certificates and Badges.
There are four sets of badges available to Scouts:
- Pioneer: for special interests including conservation, first aid, art, sport and fitness.
- Explorer: for activities including flying, cooking, hiking at night.
- Adventurer: for the highest level of achievement including survival camp, navigating by the stars
- Proficiency: for mastering new skills including abseiling and multi media.
The ultimate Scouting award for youth is the Queen’s Scout Award which includes achieving the Gold Young New Zealander Challenge (Duke of Edinburgh Award).
But for many young Scouts, progress is not only measured in physical attributes but also in intangible rewards. Therefore the objectives of Scouting for its young members, attained over time are:
- Satisfy personal relationships
- Develop a sense of group achievement
- Participate in Patrol selected activities
- Participate in individual hobbies and interests and so promote:
- Health & fitness
- Knowledge & experience in the local & wider community
- Appreciation of and experience in the outdoors
- Opportunities for & training in community service
- Cultural awareness and family involvement
What equipment do you need for Scouts?
Clothing worn should be suitable for the activity being undertaken in the interest of health and safety of participants.
All members who have made the Scout Promise are entitled to wear an approved uniform.
Over time, there will be requirements such as camping equipment – packs, sleeping bags, ground sheets and similar, as the young Scouts enjoy the various outdoor activities provided.
How much does Scouts cost?
The cost per annum for membership including activities is around $200.
The cost for the basic uniform consisting of a shirt and scarf is around $40 – $50.
Badges are around $2-$3 each.
How much time does Scouts take?
Weekly meetings vary depending on age group but are around one to two hours per week after school.
There is also extra time required, particularly during the weekends and holidays, for extracurricular activities, in particular scout camps and outdoor pursuits.
Great Scouts Websites
The official website of Scouting New Zealand. Includes information and links on all things Scouting in this country.
Website of the young adults involved in Scouting in New Zealand.
The New Zealand website of Venturer Scouting.