Welcome to the first ever edition of the National Rover Scout Update: taking you Beyond the Horizon. This quarterly newsletter, brought to you by the National Rover Council (NRC), is to keep all Rover Scouts updated with anything and everything going on across out nation.
The newsletter will be split into five sections, which represent the five strategic priorities of the Rover Scout section. These are: representation, governance, program, Rover Scout training, and marketing. We’ll also highlight a different Unit each newsletter, give you an overview of some upcoming opportunities, and provide some updates about major events.
We hope you enjoy reading our newsletter and being taken Beyond the Horizon!
A huge congratulations to Georgia Welch from Victoria, who has recently been appointed as the Environment and Sustainability Project Officer. Georgia will be responsible for helping to promote Rover Scout action on environmental issues, and to help guide the NRC in being more sustainable in its activities. If you’ve got any ideas in this space, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
COVID-19 has had a serious impact on blood and plasma supplies nationally, and right now there is a particular need for plasma. So, we’ve teamed up with the Australian Red Cross Lifeblood to run a Rover Plasma Challenge from the 1 August to 31 October 2020. We are asking Rovers (and any other members of the Scouting and non-Scouting community) to roll up their sleeves and donate plasma (or blood).
For those who cannot donate, you can get involved in other ways too. You can help support your fellow Rover Scouts through arranging transport, spreading awareness of the initiative, or even signing up as an organ donor.
All you have to do to sign up is visit the Lifeblood website, create an account, and sign up to your Unit!
There will be badges for donors and supporters, and various prizes awarded for the most donations at the Unit, Region and Branch levels!
For more information about how to get involved in your Branch, visit the Facebook event.
A big big thank you to everyone who got involved with, or encouraged others, with the Push Up Challenge. We had over 130 people from every Branch sign up for this, committing to completing 3,046 push ups over 21 days in May, which represents the number of lives lost to suicide in 2018.
Nationally, we raised $2,600 for Headspace, who provide mental health support for people aged between 12 and 25. This was an excellent result – the money raised will assist Headspace with continuing to address the unique barriers that young people face in accessing mental health support.
The Diversity and Inclusion Workgroup have some exciting projects that they are working on. One of their big projects will be around creating a collective reflection resource for Rover Scout. If you or someone you know might be interested in helping with this project email email@example.com.
Spiritual development is an area which many find challenging to create rich developmental programs. The aim of the project is to encourage Rover Scouts to understand and develop their spirituality and to create interesting programs that encourage personal growth in this area.
In conjunction with the Internal Compass framework, this new ‘Rover Reflection Book’ will empower Rover Scouts to collectively share and connect with other Rover Scouts across Australia.
The first round of Rover Challenge Grants closed recently, and we are pleased to say that three initiatives have received funding – check them out below. All applications received were outstanding and we highly encourage everyone to apply if they have an idea for further training for their Unit, a cool adventurous journey, or a new service project. The closing date for the next round is 31 December 2020.
The National Rover Council recently re-established the National Rover Program Team and we’ve been working on a bunch of new projects related to the program for Rover Scouts. Stay tuned to see what comes out of it and if you have any cool ideas, get in contact with your Branch Rover Scout Program Officer or flick Matt an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The NRC are undertaking a feasibility study to see whether it’s possible to host a World Moot in Australia in 2029. We’re partway through, but we’re still looking for people who are interested in pulling together the final parts of the study. Flick us an email at email@example.com if this is something you’d like to be involved in!
It has been an exciting and busy few months in the training and development world. Although adult training may have stopped in certain capacities within some Branches due to COVID-19, work towards the completion of the new curriculum and training package has not. Members of the National Training Committee (all the Branch/State Commissioners for Training) meet on a weekly basis to see the project out in a timely matter. So, what is our new curriculum going to look like?
Exciting times to come for training and development so make sure to keep your eyes peeled for when it all goes live starting with On Demand & Scouting Essentials along with a few development opportunities in the next few months.
In the past few months, there’s been a lot happening in the marketing space.
First off, we’ve created a brand new Rover Scouts Australia Marketing Strategy which will help us reach some goals and ensure we are on the right track.
We’ve now got a NRC Marketing Workgroup with representatives from Every. Single. Branch. The aim of this sub-committee is to improve the communication lines between the NRC and Branches, as well as share resources and ideas for a cohesive marketing approach.
Finally, we have created this! The National Rover Update, our very own brand spanking new newsletter for all us Rover Scouts.
If you have any ideas or things you want to see in our monthly newsletter, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will try and put them in. Also, if you want to be featured in our NRC Unit Highlight Section please send through an email!
The NRC Remote meeting minutes from our July 2020 meeting will be uploaded on to Rover Scouts Australia shortly, so you’ll be able to see a summary of the discussions with links to the papers. We’re also in the process of updating the NRC By-Laws to include any policy changes from previous meetings. Keep an eye out for this – we’ll be sharing the links to this on our Facebook page once it’s up and running.
On the website, we’ll also be providing templates for meeting agendas and minutes, yearly budgets, and templates to guide policy papers. Feel free to take these and use them in your Branch, Region, District, Unit or otherwise and modify/adapt them as required! Once again, we’ll share the link for this on our Facebook, and also the next newsletter.
The NRC has appointed an External Review Team to review how the Council operates, and suggest ways to increase the accountability, transparency, and functionality of the National Rover Council. A big thank you to everyone who filled out their survey earlier this year, helping to identify the perceptions of the Council, and the areas which need improvement.
The next step in the review involves a discussion paper, which provides the results of the previous survey, and asks for input on a range of potential future structures of the NRC. Read the Discussion Paper here. Submissions will be accepted until 30 September 2020 via email to email@example.com.
At the NRC Conference in February 2020, the NRC unanimously supported a paper which sought to update Scouts Australia Policy & Rules so that Rover Scouts can be awarded a Special Service Award or Meritorious Service Award for their Service within the Rover Scout section.
The NRC took this suggestion to the governing bodies of Scouts Australia – the National Operations Committee (made up of all the Branch Chief Commissioners plus National Commissioners), and then the National Executive Committee (made up primarily of Branch representatives, who are essentially the ‘Board’ of Scouts Australia). This proposal passed at both bodies – so thanks to all involved in writing and workshopping this paper. It’s great that Rover Scouts will be able to be recognised for the huge contributions they make.
As a result, in all Branches, Rover Scouts will be able to be nominated and accepted for Special and Meritorious Service Awards for service to the Rover Scout section (outside of their Achievement Pathways progress). This will take place for awards presented in 2021. The NRC Executive are in the process of updating the Adult Recognition Award nomination guidelines and forms.
So, if there’s someone you know that’s contributed to the success of your Unit, Region, or Branch – perhaps they’ve guided your Unit through COVID-19, or they’ve taken a big part in assisting with the new program implementation, or they’ve run a fantastic event – and you think they should be recognised for this, please reach out to your BRC Chair who will be able to provide more information on nominating this person.
Sadly, the news has broken that Oz Venture 2021 will no longer be running. Whilst it is an unfortunate decision, the safety of all attendees is the utmost importance. Make sure to check with your home Branch as some are running a smaller scale activities. The National Rover Council would like to thank all the Oz Venture teams from around the country for their hard work and dedication.
As you are all aware the World Scout Moot to be held in Ireland has been postponed until 2022. Whilst this is an unfortunate decision, we thank all who have been involved so far and continue to work behind the scenes to ensure this event will go ahead in 2022.
Are you planning an event in your home branch and want some free advertising? Send the details to firstname.lastname@example.org to be featured!
Want to help shape the direction of Rovers nationally? Keen to take on a project at a National level and make a difference? Well we have got some new project officer positions available with the NRC, covering diverse areas including mental health, respectful relationships, and website content creation. We’ve included a small selection below, but check out what’s on offer on the website for the full list!
Length of term: 12 months
Everyone deserves the right to feel safe and to be treated with respect.
The NRC is looking for a Respectful Relationships Officer. This person will be responsible for leading a team to explore and recommend strategies to promote respectful relationships in the Rover Scout section.
For more information please read the full position description: PO – Respectful Relationships Officer
Length of term: 12 months
Are you passionate about mental health? Do you want to help Rover Scouts develop the skills needed to tackle these issues? This person will be responsible for leading a team in developing resources and guidelines for supporting the mental health of Rover Scouts, as well as providing suggestions as to what training the Rover Scout section may benefit from in these areas.
For more information please read the full position description: PO – Mental Health Resource Officer
Length of term: 6 months
The NRC is seeking someone to investigate the feasibility of hosting the 2029 World Rover Scout Moot in Australia. This IS NOT a tender application, just an investigation to see if we would have the support of the eight Scouts Australia Branches and Scouts Australia nationally, and if it would be financially possible to host this event.
For more information please read the full position description: PO – World Moot Feasibility Investigation (Stage 1)
Email applications to email@example.com including a brief statement about why you are interested in taking on this challenge, and the experience and knowledge you would bring to the role.
On the 12th of July myself and four South Australian Rover Scouts set out on an adventure up north into South Australia’s rugged Gammon Ranges. While the trip was well planned it was done very quickly as the original intention was to go walking on the Great Ocean Walk or Major Mitchell Plateau.
Because of this we forgot one thing. These roads eat tyres! So, after our first eventful evening of setting up camp at Italowie Gorge and tyre changing we headed off into the wilderness up Italowie Creek. The harsh reality of how dry the Gammon Ranges are at the moment set in pretty fast with the boys (Alex Reedy and Adam Simpson) deciding to make the best of things and try and skip some rock across the empty creek lines. Because of the lack of water around we had to walk past the small Red Hill shelter to pick up the water drop we arranged with the Park Rangers. Originally, we planned to set up camp and then return for the 60L of water however, Johanna in her wisdom suggested we just lug it the last couple of kilometres. This resulted in a much slower journey as a couple of us were clocking over 40kg of weight by this point. The following day was an early start as we followed one of the large spur lines up out of the creek towards Cleft Peak. This was a wicked day of walking that was filled with some sketchy down climbing, removal of splinters from interesting places and walking the last few kilometres back to camp in the dark, really testing out our navigation skills. All this effort was worth it though as the views were spectacular and allowed us to see over a great deal of the ranges and even start thinking about future bushwalks. After what we deemed as a late dinner there was a long period of star gazing and some good debates about rowdy neighbours with the home owners association (Reedy) making some new laws due to the proximity in which Elise had placed her tent to his. This was resolved by the temperature getting too cold for any of us to hang around though, so we all scurried back to our tents for a good night’s rest.
We all scored a sleep in on the middle day of our trip and our walk involved a lot less altitude loss and gain. After trying to run a quick refresher on resections and triangulation (which was over very fast due to the blank stares from half the group) we found a small mine from the 1800s. From there we progressed onto Lock Ness Well where a few of us climbed a questionable ladder up a windmill before having our first human interaction with other people at Grindell’s Hut. The shocking thing here is we learnt that John Grindell was not a very nice man; responsible for both murder and theft of livestock so we set off on our way back to camp once more. Our final day of walking we deviated from our original route after finding out that Johanna had some killer blisters on both of her feet so rather than clock up the altitude up to Mount McKinley Bluff we settled on high tailing it back to Italowie campground and scored ourselves a shower at the rangers’s station and a good feed and music at Arkaroola. Reedy especially appreciated this after living on Calabrese (basically mettwurst), tinned corn and cashews for the last 4 days. Unfortunately, this turned into an expensive feed after I also did in a tyre for good.
Finally, on the Friday most of the group headed back to Adelaide after our 5 days of adventure only to be meet with more adventure destroying another two tyres on the way home. If you ever need a tyre repaired in the middle of nowhere in SA, ask us as we are now well acquainted with the Copley Service Centre.
It was a fitting journey for my Baden-Powell Scout Award as we pushed the limits and forced us to extend ourselves in both our planning and execution of the trip. It was brilliant to have Rover Scouts that originated from 3 different states and 4 different Rover Units to share my final Scouting journey with as a youth member. Everyone was new to walking in the Gammon Rangers but has fallen in love with the rugged terrain and resilience of the environment and will be back for more soon.