Jump to content
literally nobody

Scouts

Recommended Posts

literally nobody

So can anyone tell me much about scouts? Does it take up a lot of your time and do you have to attend weekend activities? is it expensive? Was thinking of getting Dd (12) and Ds1 (10) to give it a go. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
laridae

Mine are younger so are in joey and cub scouts. 

We pay about $360 a year (I think, it's about that).  Less for Joeys, but regular scouts is the same. There is occasionally an extra cost for a particular activity,  like if they go to the pool, or are planning to go get an ice-cream.

The cub scout goes for 1.5 hours a week during school terms. Joeys is 1 hour. There is also the occasional other activity on a weekend or special occasion but everything is optional.  They do ask us to do the occasional fund-raising activity (eg bunnings BBQ), but again, no recriminations if you can't. 

There are badges to earn if you want, but again, it's up to you. These do require personal time.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Meepy

We do guides which is different but I know quite a few scouts who love it.  The weekend activities are usually optional.  If they turn out kids like Ben on Masterchef, cub scouts must be a magical place.  

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
literally nobody
2 hours ago, Meepy said:

We do guides which is different but I know quite a few scouts who love it.  The weekend activities are usually optional.  If they turn out kids like Ben on Masterchef, cub scouts must be a magical place.  

is there much difference in guides and scouts? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
BECZ

@seayork2002, might be able to give you some advice on this.  

I’m pretty sure her DS has been in Scouts for a few years.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Fifteenyears

I have two scouts and I feel like the decision to get my kids involved has been one of the best parenting decisions I have made.

Both of mine started as cub scouts at the age of seven.   Now one is a Scout and the other is a Venturer.  
It encourages friendships, independence, screen-free time, learning new skills, fun, etc.     Of course it is a volunteer organisation and any group is only as good as its leaders, but most leaders are pretty good as far as I can tell.  Ours are excellent and out a lot of time into it.

Mostly it’ll be a commitment of one night a week, but there also also camps, bush walks, and other weekend activities.  Not every weekend but a few weekends a term.

And as activities go, it is very cheap.  They have to cover their costs but most of the adults involved are volunteers so their wages aren’t coming out of fees.     And you can claim two active kids vouchers for it each year if you are in NSW, which for us covers more than half the annual fees.

And then there are extras, like Jamboree.

They do ask that parents commit some time, but it isn’t huge.  You might have to help out at the annual fundraising Christmas tree sale, or be a parent helper at a walk once a term.   Our pack is a bit short on parents willing to help chaperone camps, which is a nuisance.

Most groups let kids go along for a few nights before joining to see if they like it.  So you could give it a trial.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MsLaurie
8 hours ago, literally nobody said:

is there much difference in guides and scouts? 

I run a Guides group (so wildly biased), but to me there are two core differences-

1) Scouts is mixed boys and girls, Guides is girls only. Which suits will depend on your kid and the other kids in the group. 

2) Scouts tends to be more structured in its age groups and badges requirements, Guides tends to be more flexible and “self directed”.

But the core goals and philosophies are basically the same.

Not always, but in general, Scouts requires more direct input from families than Guides do.

For both organisations though, a lot is down to the local leaders and their vibe and priorities, so don’t be afraid to have trial sessions at different units if there’s a few in the area. The right mix for your kid in terms of adults and other kids is the most important part in it being an enjoyable activity.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
seayork2002

My son is no 13 and back in scouts this term he was a joey at 5 and been doing it ever since

Scouts is changing to be more self directed as they have had a big change in the last few years of their badge system, our group was on of the first in the trial groups for it

They have camps and do a mix of physical things like bushwalking, sailing, canoeing, abseiling, camping and then things likes knots, cooking, craft, volunteering (ds was part of a graffiti removal team) and they have fundraising events.

There is the massive Jamboree that DS wants to go to in VIC in 2022 (if it goes ahead!) but will see closer to the time.

I am happy to answer any direct questions

I was training to be a leader but had to pull out for health (well a cub leader at the time) but was registered as a parent helper by my WWCC is about to expire so will need to go and get that sorted

I was a brownie myself but no experience of guides apart from that

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lorem ipsum

I am really keen to get DS involved once Victoria is u and running.

One concern I have is if there is a much religious element in the day to day goings on?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
seayork2002
2 minutes ago, Lorem ipsum said:

I am really keen to get DS involved once Victoria is u and running.

One concern I have is if there is a much religious element in the day to day goings on?

hardly any that I can think of, they do a oath/prayer  thing at the beginning & end  from memory and on 8 years of going I remember one or two mentions of some religious thing, DS had to come up with a prayer for one event but explained he chose not too (or something like that it was a while ago)

but I guess each group may be different - we are not religious but just leave DS to do what he feels comfortable with for that side of it

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
magic_marker

We got given a choice between religious and non religious oath at the beginning.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Karlee99

Our boys are both in scouts - they do have the option for prayer on the closing parade but our group is happy to make it a "something we are grateful for" oath instead, totally up to each participant. Our boys enjoy the social side of scouts, they do earn some badges and take part in most activities, they are not obsessed or terribly motivated to be honest, but I'm happy for them to be involved in the group

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sne

I have 2 children in scouts.  One is 9 and in Cubs, one is 11 and is being invested as a Scout tonight.  They have both been involved since they were Joey scouts.  Your 12 year old would be a scout and your younger child probably a cub, depending when their birthday is.  Scouts go for 2 hours and Cubs for 1.5 hours.

Our group charges $45 per term per child.  There is also an annual Scouts Australia registration of $230ish.  That is for the weekly meetings.  There are additional charges for additional activities/camps/outings etc.  Some people choose to attend all additional activities, some choose to attend a few and some people only attend the weekly meetings.  And that is all okay.

Our Cub group chooses a senior cub to do a reflection on the night's activities.  There is 2 versions of the Scout Promise - one that references god and one that doesn't.  https://scouts.com.au/blog/2018/02/01/promise-law/   

We are in Victoria and have been running online since March.  It's been an interesting experience.  My kids have enjoyed a few 'camp at home' weekends with activities via zoom.

The positives our kids have got from scouts include doing activities they probably wouldn't have had the chance to do otherwise eg kayaking the Maribiyong, camping in giant sheds with 1000+ other kids, camping in tents, muddy obstacle courses, participating in ANZAC services, helping local homeless and refugee services and march in a pride march.  They have the chance to extend their friendship circle outside their school peers at scouts and are developing leadership skills.  My 11 year recently completed his Cub scout Grey Wolf award which is the peak award that can be earned in cubs. 

I would go and try all the groups local to you and get a feel for them.  All groups I have had contact with allow you to visit for 3 sessions before needing to make a commitment.   Good luck with your decision!

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Fifteenyears

My kid’s group has largely atheist leaders and is very multicultural.   A Christian focus would be inappropriate.    The cubs say the Cub Scout prayer at the end of each session but it is non denominational, and that is it for religion.   In NSW there is a scout camp every year that does have a religious component, but it is run by the state, not individual packs, and kids only go if that is their thing.   My son has never been to that one.    All the other events - scouthike, jamboree etc are religion free.

Jamboree is so great.   Just so, so good for kids’ independence and confidence.  My son went to the one in SA last year and my daughter is desperately hoping that Covid will allow Jamboree 2022 to go ahead.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
literally nobody

oh wow thanks for the response everyone! Will get in contact with the local one and do a trial. :) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Elfie34

i didnt know there was a religious element to scouts and my kid has been doing it for 2 years. the oath they do at our pack is nondenominational.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Steph116

My husband went all the way through from cubs (there was no Joey's in those days) to Rovers, I was in Guides from brownies through to rangers (although I believe those names have been ditched now) and then joined Rovers as well when I was 18.  My husband has also been a scout leader and I have been a joey scout leader.  Scouting has played a huge part in our lives (its where we met) and has been where we have made some of our best friends.  We now have one child in Scouts and one in Cubs (we have all boys so guides wasn't a consideration though for some girls it is definitely a better option, it was for me as a teenager).  The main benefit that I found other than the obvious activities and leadership opportunities was having a separate group of friends to my school friends which allowed me to be a more confident version of myself (they had known me for longer I guess) and were independant of any dramas happening with school friends.  

As far a religion goes, there are some groups that have a religious affiliation, such as those directly connected with a church, there are also Jewish groups, Muslim groups and Vietnamese groups that I know of off the top of my head, but I'm sure there are others.  For all other groups there is a spiritual element that is nondenominational,  there is now a choice of promises, the newer one stating "be true to my spiritual beliefs" or the more traditional "do my duty to MY god" the "my" has been included for a very long time and was put in deliberately to include people of all faiths.

Sorry, I went on a bit there, scouts is full of amazing opportunities to try things in a safe environment.  It's not for everyone but certainly worth giving it a go.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MsLaurie
26 minutes ago, Steph116 said:

 (we have all boys so guides wasn't a consideration though for some girls it is definitely a better option, it was for me as a teenager).  

Yeah I mainly work with our teenage group (who we do call Rangers although it’s less official these days)- the really wonderful thing is how lovely and relaxed and silly they are with each other. Like going on a nighttime walk and singing Christmas carols off key at the top of their lungs in the middle of winter just because. And playing hide-and-seek in the park! These young women are very “together” in other settings but somehow at guides they turn into giant silly kids again and it’s just so lovely to see 13-17yos not worrying about being cool, and having that network outside of school, and outside any sort of competitive set up. I just love it, it’s the best fun :)

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
amdirel

We're another scouting family.

I have a venturer (been in since cubs), a scout (been tagging along since he was about 4, joined joeys as soon as he was allowed), and I have an ex scout (she very reluctantly left after all her friends quit).

PP's have covered it, so I won't bother repeating. 

But I most definitely recommend scouts!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
iwanttosleepin

I have 3 boys in scouts.  A Joey, a scout and a Venturer.  My for my non- sporting children it is a great activity.  My oldest has been to 2 Jamborees-Australia and New Zealand.  The second was character changing for him- for the better.  
we expect parents to fundraise once a year or pay $20 a term extra. We offer fundraising opportunities for families but the money goes towards individual kids travel expenses- so if parents don’t want to participate they don’t.

ours camp about 6-8 times a year but always optional.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
literally nobody

silly question but what do they do at the jamborees? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
nom_de_plume
7 hours ago, literally nobody said:

silly question but what do they do at the jamborees? 

The Jamboree is a big gathering every 3 years with Scouts from all over Australia, and some international contingents. It's a 10 night camp.

The activities will depend on where it's held but usually include some onsite and offsite activities. When I went (20 odd years ago!) They were things like a day trip to the nearby regional/capital city, canoeing/rafting/sailing, a huge orienteering course, mountain biking. There's also a huge opening and closing ceremony that usually has a fairly decent band or celebrity.

I was involved in scouting from Cubs until Rovers. I achieved my Queen Scout Award. It was an amazing experience for me and I have friends for life from scouting. My kids have all started at Cubs. We skipped Joey's because the sessions are shorter, at an inconvenient (earlier) time and require more parental involvement.

It's affordable. You pay an annual registration fee that includes insurance, and then a fee per term. Most groups will let you pay it off in installments. It doesn't require much parental involvement except for the occasional working bee or fundraiser, and driving to/from camps and hikes. Some groups have a sea or air focus so their programming is skewed more towards those activities.

I found the religious element to be minimal. Even back in the 90's/00's they changed the promise to make pledging duty to God optional. We had a 'prayer' at the end of every meeting but it was more of a reflection of the night where someone would get up and say 'thanks for the great time I had making catapults with my friends'. That was the extent of it. There are some groups with a religious or cultural affiliation but they'll be quite easy to distinguish.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
WaitForMe
22 hours ago, Fifteenyears said:

I have two scouts and I feel like the decision to get my kids involved has been one of the best parenting decisions I have made.

 

I feel the same way about Guides. We love it!

Can't wait for my youngest to be old enough to attend. Really look forward to the day I send them both off to camp together and we have the house to ourselves!

The things it has encouraged DD1 to do, theres no way she would've ever had the courage without them.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
literally nobody

oh wow thanks everyone for your input, sounds really positive and obviously does the kids very good. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
seayork2002

I did laugh at one talk a leader gave though (in a funny laugh way) he mentioned he went to school class to give a talk and all the organised kids were the ones who he found out were scouts

I felt like saying not my son, he could not organise himself out of a paper bag, as much as I love him

  • Haha 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...