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Exploring Our New Youth Program

Using Challenge Areas for a Diverse Program

Scouting offers a diverse range of activities to participate and experience within the program. To support the planning of a program, while ensuring it is diverse and engaging, we use the Challenge Areas. 

 

The Challenge Areas represent the four key categories Scouting activities will come under. These categories are:

  • Community Challenge
  • Outdoors Challenge
  • Personal Growth Challenge
  • Creative Challenge

By young people using the Challenge Areas to Plan > the program ideas, we ensure a diverse program full of engaging experiences. Each of these experiences will provide different outcomes for different Scouts through the SPICES.

At the Plan > stage of programming, Scouts in all Sections work together, with support from adults, to develop a program that equally involves activities from each of the Challenge Areas.

A variety of resources and key words make this process easier, and it looks a bit different from section to section. Scouts use a variety of means to write their program using the Challenge Areas. Scouts might brainstorm, work in Patrols, use imagination aids, or focus on any of the key word categories to think of activities they would like to do, personally or as Patrol or Unit. Scouts are encouraged to make sure every activity is adventurous, fun, challenging, and inclusive, including the brainstorming activity for programming ideas.

The table below is one tool Scouts can use. The prompting words under each heading are designed to help spark imagination for activities that fit within each of the Challenge Areas. Challenge the young people to come up with a fun way to run a programming session. Is it a game? Do they use post it notes? Do they draw everything rather than write? How can the brainstorming be made engaging?

 

Activities that don’t really fit into the challenge areas, or that require you to stretch definitions to fit them in, should only take up a very small part of the program.

Some ideas are:

Leadership

Beliefs & Values

Health & Wellbeing

Growth

Interests

Skills

They could be:

Individual

Healthy

Growing

Resilience

Response

Believing

Some ideas are:

Environment

Camping

Time in nature

Water activities

Adventurous activities

Journeys

They could be:

Fast

High

Wide

Slow

Deep

Safe

Some ideas are: 

Expression

Arts

Making

Creating

Inventing

Designing

They could be:

Unusual

New

Colourful

Bold

Innovative

Investigative

Some ideas are:

Engagement

Getting out into the community

Projects

Partnerships

Diversity & Inclusion

Environment

They could be:

Local

National

International

Supporting

Knowledge

Service

Ensuring Success With The Challenge Areas

If you’d like to try programming using the Challenge Areas for your next program, these steps might assist you in the process. Or you could try something else! Be sure to share your successes and learnings on your technique with us.

Step 1: Gathering External Information

  • The person leading the Unit’s program planning gathers information on relevant local, state/territory, national and international events/activities members of the Unit should consider being involved in.
  • Gather previous ideas for activities that may have been already discussed.
  • Gather any other external factors like School camps or holiday dates.

Step 2: Reviewing (using Patrols)

  • Youth members review the current program, reflecting also on their own personal progression, the SPICES developed and which elements of the Scout Method were used where.

Step 3: Coming up with New Ideas (using Patrols)

  • Use the Challenge Areas to come up with a diverse range of new ideas, placing the ideas under the headings of each Challenge Area.
  • Identify how the activity might be run (like as a Project Patrol or a Unit activity).
  • Individuals identify if they want to be Participate, Assist or Lead in those activities.

Step 4: Program Planning (Unit Council)

  • Review all the information gathered.
  • Shortlist all the ideas to make sure the program is diverse (across all the Challenge Areas), allows for people to progress through the Program Essentials, is engaging and attractive, practical and well-balanced in terms of logistics and affordability.
  • Develop the program into a useable format (like a calendar or table).
  • Delegate responsibilities within the program to youth and/or adults (make sure they agree to what’s being asked of them!).

Step 5: Monitor the Program (Unit Council)

  • If something isn’t going to plan, change it!
  • Ensure that everyone is prepared and ready to go.
  • Give assistance as required.

This process will look different for each age section. Of course, this is also just a starting point; you should think about some ways to ensure the process is engaging.