When you first encounter scouting, it can be very confusing. This section gives some clarity on the structure of the troop so that you are not at sea when discussing scouts with your child.
Cubs is the branch of scouting for children between ages 7 and 11. Once a cub reaches age 11, they have the option to “go up” to scouts. Cubs do the same things as scouts but at a level appropriate to their age. Children of both genders are eligible for cubs. Cub Packs are organised in to Sixes with a Sixer as the leader of the Six.
Children of both genders between the ages of 11 and 18 are eligible to be scouts. We maintain an approximate 1/3rd female/ 2/3rd male split in the troop with, ideally, at least 2 girls in each patrol. Active scouting usually ends around the beginning of the scouts matric year as school work overtakes the time available to the scout. When a scout turns 18, they are no longer scouts but they can continue in scouts as adult leaders.
BP said: “The patrol system is not one way to run scouts, it is the only way.” Scouts are divided into Patrols (we currently have 4), each one headed by a Patrol Leader with an Assistant Patrol Leader ready to step into leadership shoes. Patrol Leaders meet regularly in a Court of Honour to discuss with the Troop Scouter matters of concern in the troop. Your child will be assigned to one of these Patrols which is the basic building block of the troop and of scouts worldwide. Not every scout will become a patrol leader. However, we are conﬁdent that every scout will have multiple opportunities to learn and practise leadership. Scouts who advance past 1st Class are required to exercise leadership and planning skills and these are carefully evaluated.
Patrols engage in patrol activities such as patrol hikes, camps and meetings. There is generally no adult present on these activities and it is a formative experience both for the patrol leader and for the scouts to organise and take part in outdoor activities without adult supervision.
The Patrol Leaders are senior scouts who are responsible for their patrols and the scouts in them. It is an honour to be appointed a Patrol Leader and one that not every scout will receive. Patrol Leaders are expected and required to take the time to organise and run patrol activities during the year. As such a Patrol Leader will spend time outside of scouts organising activities. We generally like our Patrol Leaders to be appointed for a period of up to 2 years and not less than 1 year.
Court of Honour
The Court of Honour is formed by the Patrol Leaders and the Troop Scouter. The Court of Honour is the way in which the Patrol Leaders help run the troop and the object is for the Patrol Leaders to take a greater and greater responsibility in the functioning of the troop. The Court of Honour deals with matters of discipline, the future programs, adjustments to patrol composition, teams for competitions, etc. We make very effort to ensure our Court of Honour meets regularly and is empowered to take decisions which will be binding on the troop.
The scouters are all volunteers who give of their own time and expertise to provide enjoyment for the scouts. Many Scouters at 1“ Claremont are themselves ex-Scouts, most of them from 1“ Claremont. It is impossible to have too many Scouters or assistants and any help that can be given is welcome as Scouters all suffer from Real Life Syndrome and are unfortunately not always available.
The key person in the Scouters is the Troop Scouter. This is the person who turns up just about every Thursday to run meetings (and plans them ahead of time); who everyone turns to for decisions and who is responsible for the troop as a whole. It is all too easy for Troop Scouters to be burdened with every piece of work that no-one else wants to do; a culture that usually leads to early retirement of the Troop Scouter. As a result we try to remove many of the burdens from the shoulders of the Troop Scouter so that they can focus on the actual scouting and not be burdened with administrative demands.
The Troop Scouter is assisted by Assistant Troop Scouters. They have varying levels of involvement; some arrive every week; others can only come once a month. Whatever their involvement they assist the Troop Scouter by running meetings when asked; helping run portions of the program and running outdoor activities over weekends.
Scouters provide supervision where necessary but encourage the scouts to lead as far as possible.
The troop forms part of the 1st Claremont Scout Group. A full group will consist of cubs (the pack), scouts (the troop) and rovers (the crew). At present we do not have a rover crew. Parental involvement is through the Scout Group Committee which is responsible for certain functions.
Scout Group Committee
The Scout Group Committee provides support for the troop by being responsible for specific functions. The members of the Scout Group Committee are:
- Cub Representative;
- Scout Representative;
The Scout Group Committee does not run the troop nor does it advise the Troop Scouter on how to do so. Each member of the Scout Group Committee has a specific role and is responsible for a specific part of the overall functioning of the Group. Each member reports to the Committee on a monthly basis The Scout Group Committee is supported by specialist functions such as recruitment, marketing, grounds and fund raising. These specialist functions do not regularly attend committee functions but report into a specified member of the Scout Group Committee. Where the specialist function needs to discuss matters directly, they will attend a Scout Group Committee meeting. They do have access to the Chairman at any time should an issue become urgent.