Scouts in Australia
We breed our Aussie kids tough. They have to be tough to survive our harsh Australian continent. Dangers are everywhere; expansive deserts, deadly spiders, snakes, crocodiles and sharks, bushfires, poisonous plants and animals, dangerous terrain, a maze of forests. Thousands of Australian children have developed skills to cope with this outdoor lifestyle through joining the Scouts club. Through active experiences, Scouts learn to develop their powers of observation, their resourcefulness, and how to work as part of a team.
Australia’s fantastic weather lends itself to an outdoor lifestyle. We love going fishing, camping, 4 wheel driving and bushwalking. Under the supervision of qualified Scouts Leaders, our children share in fun educational activities like making a bush cubby house. Would you survive outdoors for a night with no provisions? What materials could you use for shelter or sleeping to make a ‘cubby house’? Scouts know how to start a fire, keep matches dry, and most importantly, make sure the fire is fully extinguished before leaving the campsite to avoid starting a bushfire. They know that you need to keep your shoes inside your tent to avoid spiders crawling inside. We don’t leave clothes or mats crumpled up for spiders and snakes to sleep in. If something is on the ground, when you pick it up you give it a shake to get rid of creepy crawlies. When you live in a country that has deadly funnel web spiders you need to learn these skills early in life.
Australia has the worlds biggest and best beaches. Our backyards often have damns, creeks, and rivers to play in and explore. Through Scouts activities children learn safe water skills through supervised activities such as: swimming, snorkelling, canoeing, kayaking, sailing and fishing. Games like pool volleyball develop water confidence.
Our Australian environment is fragile and easily damaged. Scouts Australia has a strong focus on caring for the environment. Children are taught to be aware of their impact and how to enjoy being outdoors in a sustainable way, for example when learning how to abseil or go rock climbing.
Since 1908 Australian children of all ages have enjoyed belonging to their local Scout group. Originally Scouts was developed to train boys, however in response to changes in Australian Culture, girls are now welcome to join. Children 6-7.5 years of age can join Joey Scouts where they enjoy activities like story telling, art and craft activities, and flying kites. The next level for children aged 7.5- 10.5 yrs old is called Cub Scouts. At this age children are very enthusiastic and fun. Games and activities encourage social skills, care for the environment and community, first aid, physical development and mental skills. Each ‘pack’ of cub scouts has six members with a leader called a ‘sixer’. The leader gets to wear two stripes on their uniform. The helper to the ‘Sixer’ wears one stripe. Children aged between 10 and 14 are called Scouts. Each small group of four to eight members is called a Patrol. There is a Patrol Leader and Assistant. This is a good opportunity for the children to develop leadership skills.
The traditions of Service to others continues, Girl Guides in Australia and around the world are proud to be renowned for their mature co-operative kind relationship to other Girl Guides and to their community.