Becoming a Scouter
THE ADULT IN SCOUTING AS A SCOUTER
Link to our policy on Adults Working with Young People
Link to Membership Application Materials
Whilst the acceptance of Membership as a Scouter is a voluntary act, there are certain obligations, and these words will help to make this clear.
There is a saying "Scouting is a game for young people and a job for adults", and while the adult has a responsible approach, it doesn't mean any less fun, The Scouter, whose job is to train Scouts. The immense pleasure 'of seeing individuals develop in spiritual, mental and physical capabilities over the years. A friendly guide to life, the Scouters circle of friends grows over the years, enriched by the memories of many hikes and camps.
Ask any Scouter about their role in Scouting, and they will tell you that they enjoy it!
Nor are you left to face problems that may arise on your own. You will make friends you can turn to for advice and guidance. They will have wide experience of Scouting in all its aspects means that he/she can help you greatly with any worries you might have. They have a fund of information on how to do things, well but simply, on what training opportunities are currently available, and can arrange for you to meet other Scouters and Groups to see what they are doing, in addition you have the friendship and assistance of your Provincial Support Officer.
THE SCOUT PROMISE, LAW AND PRINCIPLES
The principles and practice of Scouting Ireland are based on the Scout Promise, Law and Principles. Stated simply they are together a code of living placed before every member of the Association.
Every person, on becoming a Scouter, is asked to make or re-affirm the Scout Promise as an outward expression of his/her intention to try to live up to the principles and ideals of Scouting Ireland and of the Scout 'Movement. It is important to realise that the implications of the Scout Promise, Law and Principles although they are expressed in terms a young person can understand and apply equally in adult terms to adult leaders as well as to those they lead.
The most telling quality in a leader is personal example. This shows itself in Scouting through the behaviour of the Scouter, and his/her attitude to life, not only during Scout activities but in private life. It is important to appreciate that the leader's personal qualities reflect themselves through nearly every activity of Scouting.
The Scout Movement has never been a military (or political) organisation. This does not imply indifference to good order and a high standard of smartness. Scouting tries to inculcate an inward discipline in every young person, and does this by means of its attitude towards smart appearance and by its use of simple ceremonial.
Scouting tries to place before a young person the need for neatness and tidiness by insisting on high standards of cleanliness at meeting places, in camp and in uniform. Young people are thus shown how to set themselves a standard in this direction, which will be of benefit to them in adult life.
Every effort should be made to start and end Scout activities on time, to have organised programmes and to see that they are conducted without waste of time. All Scout activities benefit much from the care which is taken to time them and to ensure a purposeful attitude towards them from all concerned. Aimless programmes made up merely of a few recreational pursuits are of little or no value.
A Scouter must have practical knowledge of what he/she expects to teach. The skills of Scouting are not difficult and you will already have some of them. The important thing that the Scouter has to know is how as well as what to teach. It is also essential to introduce a progressive scheme of training into successive programmes, so that individual youth members feel a sense of achievement,
An essential feature of the Scout Method of training is the use of the outdoors. Two important aspects of this are hiking and camping. A Scouter w ill have to play his/her part in week-end camps and the Annual Summer Camp. Training in camping is usually gained from taking part in camps.
Scouting Ireland is a uniformed association and naturally its Scouters are expected to wear correct uniform while attending activities with their Sections
The quality of Scouting in any area reflects the quality of its leadership. Without training, this leadership must obviously lack something even though the personalities and characters of the Scouters are of the highest order.
Scouting Ireland has developed schemes of adult training. The main aim of the Scouter should 'be to gain the Woodbadge, the international sign of a trained Scouter. There are also from time to time courses dealing with special technical subjects.
There is a minimum training requirement for all Scouters before they receive membership. Informal training also plays a part in a Scouters life through Scouter meetings in his/her Scout County, or within his/her Scout Group. Every Scouter will find that they can benefit from colleagues' experience.
The Training Team consists of specially qualified and trained Scouters. The Team is under the control and direction of the Training Commissioner. Certain members receive the appointment of Leader Trainer and wear a Wood Badge with four beads, and Assistant Leader Trainers wear three beads. Such appointments are made by the Training Commissioner on the recommendation of the Provincial Training Cooordinator.
A Scouter is an Adult Scout Leader. The training of Scouters throughout the world is on the basis of a scheme devised in 1919 by the founder of Scouting, Robert Baden-Powell. Courses in every country are run to the standards set out in Training Handbooks produced and approved.
A Scouter who successfully completes his training is awarded the Woodbadge. This consists of two wooden beads worn on a leather bootlace. They are replicas of beads on an African necklace owned by B-P. A Woodbadge holder is entitled to membership of the 1st Gilwell Park Scout Group and to wear its special neckerchief. (Group Colours are worn when representing one’s own Group). The strength of the Group is many thousands and its members come from all countries in World Scouting.
It must be remembered that the Woodbadge is a sign that the wearer is intent on continuing to fit themselves up for their work as a Scouter by every means possible.
The Woodbadge Course which we conduct remains the Training Courses with the object of demonstrating in as practical a manner as possible the aims and methods of Scouting as a whole. Different types of training are given for the Programme Sections although the main scheme is similar.
The Woodbadge consists of Welcome to Scouting, Scouting Fundamentals, Section Essentials, Section Overnights, Scouting Leadership and Woodbadge Project.
Leadership in Scouting is an absorbing pastime and a very worth-while one. The Scouter will do well to recognise that while there may be only one official evening meeting a week, time will be needed for planning programmes. In addition occasional Saturday afternoon and Sunday activities as well as camps will claim one’s time. It must be stressed, however, that a Scouter is expected to have other interests and hobbies and family life like anyone else. It is quite wrong to think that all one's spare time should be given to Scouting.
While it is recognised that adults accept Membership in order to give leadershiip to young members it will 'be realised that without an efficient administration a Scout Group cannot carry out its role to the full. It therefore falls to Scouters to carry out certain paper work in connection with the activities of the Group. This need not be an intolerable burden, and the Group Council can relieve Scouters of much of the "business side of Scouting. This leaves Scouters free to do their job, the leading of the young members.
APPLYING FOR MEMBERSHIP
Application for membership is made by the applicant, who must do the Welcome to Scouting Induction be approved by the Group Leader and then sent to National Office. When it is received at National Office, a 6 month period of probation begins. During the 6 months probationary period your minimum training requirements should be completed.
You are then a fully accepted Scouter. The task you have undertaken is one of great opportunity. Through your efforts, Youth Members can enjoy the fun and adventure which Scouting offers. May you have many happy years in the service of these men and women of tomorrow.