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Scouts Australia National News - September 2016

Breaking The Cycle - Bullying is not Part of Scouting

Scouts Australia is proud to launch a range of resources and assistance to support Sections to promote a positive, inclusive and supportive environment free of bullying. Scouts Australia believes that bullying needs to be addressed across the whole Movement at the policy, program and youth enactment levels.

Training adults and youth at every sectional level of Scouting creates an understanding of issues related to bullying and harassment and ensures adults and youth, have the skills and strategies to address them. In some cases, it will be necessary to call on skilled professionals and teams to provide knowledge about the varied aspects of this issue.

Remember, bullying is not okay no matter what section of our Movement you belong to. As Scouts we support one another, we learn, we are active and explore through educational activities. As we do these activities, we enjoy the many friendships we make in the world wide movement that is Scouting. Build up, don’t bully!

Resources now available at the Scouts Australia anti-bullying website btc.scouts.com.au include

 

Section Codes

A Section Code is a way of expressing how members of the Section are going to act, what acceptable behaviour is, and how they will operate. Every Section should have a Code developed collaboratively each year by its members. A Section Code is developed using the Plan> Do> Review> process.

A Section Code is about:

  • How we treat each other
  • Respecting our environment
  • Looking after possessions and property – both ours and everyone else’s

In many ways, it’s how we live by the Promise and Law. Scouts Australia has developed templates for each Section to develop Mob, Pack, Troop, Unit or Crew codes.

Section Code Templates and examples can be downloaded from the Breaking the Cycle Website. Download the resources and get your Section Codes underway! Every Section should have a Code by June 2017! Once you’ve developed a Section Code, share it with us at breakingthecycle@scouts.com.au to have it uploaded to the website as an example. Be a part of this program to ensure Scouting is safe and fun for everyone.

 

Awareness Videos

Scouts Australia has a number of youth-appropriate videos on bullying, its effects and strategies to counter it. The videos promote resilience, and show young people how to identify and overcome bullying behaviour. Working together as a Section to combat bullying is also a powerful tool encouraged through the videos. Watch the videos on the Breaking the Cycle Website.

Section Resource Booklets

Each Section Resource Book is full of information to assist Section Leaders and youth members effectively convey the Breaking the cycle initiative. Each book is full of information on restorative practices, identifying bullying, bullying impacts, creating a Section code and implementing award scheme requirements. These downloadable books can be distributed to other Section Leaders and parents as a handy guide to Breaking the Cycle.

Download your Section Resource Booklet here.

Program and Activity Ideas

On Scout Central you’ll find a bunch of activities on raising awareness of the impacts of bullying and how to to stop them. Find some of the activities on Scout Central.

Award Scheme Additions

To improve bullying resilience and awareness in youth members, there’s also new award scheme requirements which incorporate anti-bullying strategies. These additions must be completed by Scouts in addition to requirements printed in Section Record Books. Approved by the National Youth Program Team and the National Operations Committee, these additions enforce the idea that stopping bullying is everyone’s responsibility. These new­ requirements will be in the next ver­sion of the Record Bo­ok. Breaking the Cycle award scheme additions do not need to be completed by Scouts who have already received a badge that now has additional requirements. You will find the requirements on the Breaking the Cycle Website and in the Section Resource Booklets.

 

Congratulatory message from the Governor General of Australia

The Chief Scout of Australia, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Rtd) congratulates Cub Scouts for reaching 100 years old. Acknowledging the fun, adventure, learning opportunities and friendship, His Excellency encourages Cub Scouts to go camping in the bush, attend Cuborees and share new experiences.

To read the full letter, head to the Cub100 Website.

 

Entries Closing Soon for Australia Zoo Competition

In celebration of the Cub Scout Centenary, Australia Zoo and Scouts Australia are offering all Scouts the opportunity to win an all inclusive trip to Australia Zoo for four people! You’ll be treated to a Platinum Zoo Adventure of behind-the-scenes animal encounters, your own personal guide, your own personal photographer and an awesome VIP gift pack. The prize also includes flights courtesy of Flight Centre Group Travel and accommodation at the Oaks Oasis on the Sunshine Coast. While you’re there, visit ‘Scout’ the new tiger cub, sponsored and named by Cub Scouts!

Enter the competition here before 31st October 4pm.

 

Results from YPR Section Transition Experience Survey

Earlier in 2016, the Youth Program Review asked members, parents and community members some questions on the Section Transition Experience for members moving between sections. Some interesting, exciting and concerning responses were received! Read a brief summary and some of the comments received in the survey on the Youth Program Review blog.

 

Scouts Australia Partnership with Church Resources

Scouts Australia have recently entered into a no-cost membership with Church Resources, a not-for-profit organisation that allows Scouts Australia and its members to save when purchasing some of Australia’s largest and iconic brands; such as Westinghouse, Fisher and Paykel, Apple, Microsoft, AGL, Mitsubishi and many more.

Through already established agreements worth tens of millions of dollars each year, Church Resources has pre-negotiated discounts Scouts Australia members can take advantage of.

Benefits of the partnership are already being realised with the opportunity for travel grants for tertiary students valued at $5000! Read more about the travel grants and submit your application here.

All Scouting families (and even friends) can purchase through Church Resources for personal or Scouting needs. You don’t need your membership number. To access the My-Benefits program which provides Scouts Australia members, staff, families and friends discounts on everyday items like white-goods, electrical, travel, car hire, power and gas and private health insurance, visit the Church Resources website or call 1300 248 724.

 

Mental Health Week

Mental Health Week raises community awareness about mental health issues and is held every October each year to coincide with World Mental Health Day on 10 October. Scouts Australia are proud supporters of encouraging positive mental health through their engagement with youth at AJ2016 and trialling Mental Health First Aid courses.

The aim of Mental Health Week is to promote social and emotional wellbeing to the community, encouraging people to maximise their health potential, enhancing the coping capacity of communities, families, individuals and increasing mental health recovery.

The 2016 Mental Health Week is being held from 8 to 15 October. The 2016 theme is Act-Belong-Commit with a focus on suicide prevention, ‘Together we can save lives’.

 

Walkabout Awards Update

Feedback from our article last month showed that the current maximum kilometre badges for the Walkabout Awards are not high enough for our active members! We are currently producing 300, 400 and 500 kilometre badges. Also to recap some points: only the highest badge available can be worn at one time, and all Youth Members from all Sections in all Branches are eligible to earn them. All badge requirements are on Scout Central.

Messengers of Peace Badges Back in Stock

Over one hundred and fifty Scouts Australia service projects have been entered on the Messengers of Peace log, totalling over 1.2million hours. For those yet to get their Messengers of Peace badges, they are now back in stock at Scout Shop. Check the badge requirements on Scout Central, add your service project to the Messengers of Peace log on scout.org and let’s see how quickly we can achieve 2 million service hours!

 

Have you read the Wolf Cubs Handbook?

The Centenary year of Cub Scouts is an ideal time to reflect on the vision that our Founder B-P had for the section when he first published The Wolf Cub’s Handbook in December 1916. Jeff Hook, Cub Scout Leader from Westmead NSW has written the following review and encourages all members of the Cub Scout Section to read it.

The Wolf Cub’s Handbook is filled with great yarns, instruction on how to do your best Scouting, games, many anecdotes and some detailed sketches drawn by B-P himself.

The book is built around the journey of Wolf Cubs arriving into the Pack as new Chums and progressing through the Award Scheme in preparation to become Scouts. Each ‘Bite’ (as B-P names it) is a chapter that uses simple explanations of the Jungle Theme and how it applies to Cub’s learning and growth. The Bite chapters contain the information then needed by a Cub Scout for their Award Scheme tests and their development through the Cub section. Interestingly, some of the tests B-P lists in the Star Award Scheme are still used today in our current Boomerang Award Scheme.

One of the best pieces of information for Leaders in this book is the final section containing B-P’s ideas on How to Run a Pack Programme. In 1916 B-P wrote that Pack Meetings need to be “planned well beforehand” and that “frequent change with variety and contrast should distinguish the programme”. It is heartening to know that a century ago, our visionary Founder B-P knew the right formula to run successful meetings. There are many other excellent tips for Cub Leaders in this book on the training of our Cubs and it is a journey very worthy of exploring.

To buy your copy of the Wolf Cub’s Handbook, head to Scout Shop.

 

JOTA/JOTI is this October!

Jamboree on the Air (JOTA) and Jamboree on the Internet (JOTI), is the largest Scouting event in the world with over 1 million Scouts participating across 150+ countries. Through JOTA-JOTI, every member of Scouts Australia can make friends, exchange stories, experience different cultures and have fun as part of the largest activity in World Scouting. JOTA-JOTI also gives youth members an awareness that they belong to a worldwide Movement. The event is held the third weekend of October – for 2016 it’s the 14th, 15th & 16th October.

Many Scouting teams across Australia host JOTA events for youth members to attend. To find where your nearest event is, contact your local Commissioner. To find out more about this and other international programs, head to the Scouts Australia International website.

 

2016 Edition of Scouts Australia Policy and Rules Published

The 2016 edition of Scouts Australia Policy and Rules is now available on the Scouts Australia website or downloadable here. Policy and Rules has been adopted by the National Council of the Scout Association of Australia as a statement of policy and practice for the conduct of Scouting in Australia. It is binding on all Formations, Members and supporters of the Movement. Some key changes to this edition are:

  • Update Adult Resources Policy to Adults in Scouting Policy.
  • Inclusion of Activities Appointments in the Abbreviations.
  • Update regarding Instructors.
  • Inclusion of an Appendix that summarises these changes.

Scout Central Program of the Month

To launch the Breaking the Cycle - Bullying "It's not part of Scouting" initiative and resources, check out Scout Central for programs that will raise the awareness of bullying's negative effects. Find them all here on Scout Central.

 

Community Sponsored Scout Groups

Australian Scouts have always sought to reflect the very best of our nation and its young people. Our organisation has always worked tirelessly to reflect the generous and friendly nature of our country - echoing the diverse and inclusive communities in which we live, work and play.

The Scouting values of respect, mutual support, and the development of understanding of all people in the community, have shaped this inclusive approach that values the variety of views and traditions within the organisation – simply put, diversity is in our DNA.

In that spirit, I would like to welcome our newest school-based Scout Group from the Australian International Academy. The Academy is a Melbourne Muslim school, whose parents and teachers approached Scouting for help with introducing the Cub Scout program.

The new Cub Scout Pack is a great addition to our fantastic organisation, and is a reflection of the great work done by our members and the esteem in which Scouts are held.

Our goal is to make Scouting accessible to all young people in Australia, with membership open to everyone who upholds the organisation’s values.

For countless years Australian Scouts has had specialised Groups from cultural groups, schools and faiths spanning all parts of Australia - from Kakadu to Hobart. As a contemporary Australian youth movement we respect the plurality of spiritual beliefs with Groups that drew members from different communities, heritages and faiths.

There are Scout Groups across Australia that support members from a multitude of non-English speaking backgrounds, whether Sudanese, Vietnamese, Chinese or French. The Australian International Academy Scouts joins other school-based Groups, including Catholic Regional College at Sydenham and Scotch College.

With opportunities for everyone to participate in Scouting, we are proud to be part of the process of building better communities and developing young people into valuable citizens of the future. After all, with 40 million Scouts worldwide, the diversity of our Movement is one of our greatest strengths and causes for celebration.

Yours in Scouting,
Chris ‘Chiefy’ Bates
Chief Commissioner of Australia