Sawtell Scout Group is busy revamping their hall, fundraising and recruiting members. We catch up with Scout Leader, Beki Abood, to find out more about the movement.
Scouting is basically a personal development program for young people. What activities are involved that help kids grow?
We give them the opportunity to do all kinds of outdoor activities, like camping, canoeing and abseiling, and part of the program is developing organisational skills.
The kids can design their menus and buy their food for camping trips, and when they get into the older sections, they actually program the activities themselves. There is a badging system for the different activities.
There are set badges that the kids have to do, like First Aid, but they can also choose what other ones they want to do, depending on what they’re interested in. There’s also an awards scheme that looks at trying to create a holistic approach to developing the different areas of Scouting.
Explain the ranking system in Scouts.
Basically, it’s based on age groups. You’ve got Joey Scouts (6 – 8 yrs), Cub Scouts (7.5 – 11 yrs), Scouts (10.5 – 15), Venturer Scouts (14.5 -18 ), Rovers (17.5 – 25) and there are also adult volunteers.
Scouts is very male dominated, so what has it been like for you, as a female, coming through the ranks?
It’s been unbelievable. I’ve had so many opportunities given to me and have learnt so much in my time here.
I think that there is a perception that Scouts is for boys, and Guides is for girls, but that’s not the case at all. When I was a kid, I did a year in Guides while my brother was a Cub Scout.
He was going on all these camps, and I got sick of the inactivity of Guides, so I transferred over to Scouts.
I started as a Cub Scout when I was 7 and have come up through the ranks. I’m now a Rover and a Group Leader, so I’m here to advise the kids and give them guidance as to how they can go about the different tasks.
How do you find that Scouts has helped you become more employable?
Well, as a Venturer I had to do employment skills, such as mock interviews, which was really handy. Scouts has also helped me learn to interact with other people and develop strong leadership skills.
On top of that, they’ve recently changed the system, so that we’re getting nationally accredited qualifications as well. When you’re in Venturers, you can get a Cert II in Outdoor Recreation, and as a Leader you can get a Cert III in Outdoor Recreation, and I’m also doing my Cert III in Frontline Management. So having those qualifications is opening up so many more doors for us.
You’re a member of the Sawtell Scout Group. What’s happening with the local club?
Over the last 2 – 3 years we’ve been doing upgrades, to get the hall up to regulation. A huge amount of work has been done here, and we’re into our final stage now. But it’s a long process of fundraising.
So a major goal for this year is to get that all completed, and once we’ve got it all up to standard, we can start renting out the hall. THAT will be a great help for our fundraising too.
How can people find out more (or join)?
Contact Sawtell Scout Group’s leader, Ryszard Herzig, on 6658 3916.