Nord2017 is Open!

Nord 2017 is the National Scout Jamboree hosted by The Norwegian Guide and Scout Association, taking place from 1 to 8  July 2017 in Bodø, located North of the Arctic circle where the sun never sets during the camp. The participants can enjoy activities day and night!

An Australian Contingent is established and with a post-tour planned you will experience all the great things Norway can offer in addition to the jamboree – you will travel on boats, planes, buses, cable cars, trains and trams and see fjords, mountains and forests.

We will be away for up to 3 weeks (2 weeks of that will be school holidays), registrations are open and we already have participants from 6 states/territories. Sign up today at https://registrations.international.scouts.com.au/Login.asp

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Go to Iceland!!

wsm2017logo_1.pngThe 15th World Scout Moot in Iceland is on its way, and the Australian Contingent Team is excited to say applications open at 8PM AEST on the 1st of August 2016! Places are limited, so make sure you apply on time to secure your place in the greatest Moot on earth! Come with us to experience true Icelandic culture and terrain. There is also an optional pre tour to Scandinavia and post tour to the Kandersteg International Scout Centre in Switzerland. With so much on offer this is an opportunity you don’t want to miss! Apply now at www.wsm2017.com

Thank you Neville

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At the end of this month Neville Tomkins who has been serving as the International Commissioner for Scouts Australia over the last 6 years will finish up in this role. He has seen a amazing amount of changes over that time and some impressive highs as he strived to making the vision “every youth member of Scouts Australia to have an international experience” a reality. From everyone who has been involved or participated in International Scouting over the last 6 years, we say thank you for Neville’s’ efforts and grateful for the time and effort he has committed to the movement.  

International Conference 2016

Once a year, everyone involved in giving Australian Scouts an international experience come together to develop new and exciting ideas to have all youth enjoying international Scouting.

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This year they met in chilly Canberra and heard from each other what has been done to develop amazing overseas experiences, getting more international flavours in everyday meeting nights around the country and the excitement that happens on JOTA/JOTI weekends.

Youth members on the team debated “Youth run, adult supported Scouting – what more can, and must, we do in International Scouting”, Contingent Leader spoke about the excitement of upcoming trips and we all got a jolt of energy on the possibilities of International Scouting.

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We were invited to the Indian High Commission to exchange our experiences of Scouting, we also visited the Timor Leste Embassy in celebration of the continuing relationship that ACT and Australian Scouts have with growing their movement.

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Azerbaijan Wonderland Camp

In July last year, Port Cygnet Joey leaders Annastasia Bedford and James Doyle, along with Tarran Bedford, a Rover Scout and Cygnet resident, flew to Azerbaijan to join an international service team for the third annual Azerbaijani scout camp ‘Wonderland’.
imageThey were part of a service team comprised of eight Azerbaijani Scouts and one Mexican Scout, facing the job of designing and constructing ablution blocks, a kitchen, shower blocks and bunk beds for 300 scouts and leaders. Ali, an Azerbaijani Scout and one of the service team, was skilled at construction, able to nail a bed together at an astounding pace, though even with his talent they only just managed to finish the work on the morning the Scouts arrived.

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Additional volunteers arrived from Turkey, Poland, Ukraine, and Azerbaijan to assist with activities throughout the week long camp.

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Singapore Rover Conference

The Singapore Rover Conference was held at the National Community Leadership Institute (NACLI) Buona Vista Campus, Singapore from the 18th December – 20th December.  This conference was the first of its kind for the Singapore Scout Association, and was themed ‘Take Action’.  Meg Cummins (NSW) and I had a fantastic time.  A huge congratulations must go to the Singapore Rovers on what was a very successful conference.  The friendship and hospitality shown was incredible, and we are very grateful to the Singapore Rovers for hosting us.  From the new ‘Rover Journey – Rover Miles’ award scheme, to the community projects they are hoping to undertake, the future of Rovering in Singapore is looking extremely exciting.

On the 17th of December, Meg and I met in Perth and boarded the same flight to Singapore.  We were greeted by two Singapore rovers at Changi Airport.  The four of us sat together and played games in the airport whilst waiting for another rover from Myanmar to land.  Once the five of us were together, we got into a minibus and travelled to Marina Bay, where we met with another group of Singapore Rovers and other international participants from Taiwan and Hong Kong.

In the morning, we travelled to the National Community Leadership Institute (NACLI) Buona Vista Campus for the first day of conference.  We got straight into an ice breaker game, before splitting up into groups and discussing environmental sustainability.  We were tasked with choosing a community environmental issue that Singapore Rovers could directly positively impact, and problem solving for this.  Meg and I were in a group which suggested that rovers may be able to help reduce food wastage of odd fruits and vegetables.  It was interesting to see how the environmental issues we view as most threatening for Australia are completely different to the issues threatening Singapore.

Next on the agenda was a visit Emergenetics International.  In the weeks preceding conference, we filled out a questionnaire which resulted in an ‘emergentics profile’ which we received on the Friday.  The profiles were broken into four categories; analytical, structural, conceptual or social thinkers.  We discovered our strengths and weaknesses and better understood how our brains function.  The team from Emergenetics encouraged us to consider ways in which we could work with people who have a different profile, so that we can function better in a group setting.
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Following this, we had a break out session where we workshopped reasons that crews do not function effectively, and solutions for this.  From what the Singaporean Rovers were saying, Rovers in Singapore seems to function differently to Australia – there is far-less crew life and more focus on being a leader for the younger sections.  This was a great opportunity for us to share ideas and compare the sorts of activities that we do on our average weekly meeting.  Collectively, we decided that time, motivation and legislation were the top three barriers to a well-functioning crew.

Much of the conference had a focus on project management.  The conference organisers had planned this so that not only are participants motivated to take action, they also have the necessary project management skills to effect real change.  For the last session of the day, we went into our ‘units’ and were challenged to brainstorm a project and plan out all the necessary steps to see it through to completion.  The theme for the project was ‘Fellowship of the Open Air and Service’.  This was a task that continued for the duration of the conference.

Next, we focused on the future of Singapore Rovers.  The session was called ‘Our Vision for Rovers’ – we broke into groups and focused on identity.  We asked ourselves, what is our current external rover identity? How does this differ to our internal identity? What would be like the external and internal identity to be, and how can we get there?

Next, it was time for the election of the National Rover Council executive. It started off with candidate speeches, and after this, each of the candidates took a seat on the stage, and conference attendees were given the opportunity to ask questions to candidates.  Votes were cast after the Q&A session, and the new executive announced.  The exact office-bearing position was not decided by vote – instead, the new executive gets together and decides who will hold each position.  This was interesting – it is very different to the way that our National Rover Council elections are run.

On Saturday night, we experienced our first Singaporean campfire.  We played games, including limbo, sang songs, completed a group scavenger hunt, and heard campfire stories.  The night ended in reflection; we all linked arms, held hands and sang ‘by the blazing council firelight’ – the feeling of community and friendship was very strong.  Both Meg and I were incredibly moved by the night’s proceedings.

The conference was fantastic.  I learnt a lot and came back with a more wholesome view of scouting, which now includes an international perspective.  I have been inspired to make a bigger difference in my local community.  Thank you to Scouts Australia for the privilege of attending this conference.   It is an opportunity that has assisted with my personal development, and it is an experience that I will never forget.

Go Nomad ! Mongolian Jamboree

Interested in an adventure of a lifetime?  Keen to do Scout activities and experience cultures very different to our’s? If so, then the “Go Nomad” 31st APR Jamboree in Mongolia is for you.  It promises to be an experience of a lifetime!

The Jamboree will be held in Mongolia 27 July to 2 August 2017, and is for Scouts aged 12 1/2 years to 17 years at the time of the Jamboree.  International Service Team members need to be 18 years or older at the start of the event.  Adult leaders are also sought.

Expressions of interest will be called in the coming weeks, so please keep an eye on the International page of the Scouts Australia website.

At this early stage, we plan to leave Australia around 20/21 July 2017, and return around 6/7 August 2017.  The proposal is to fly to Beijing, China, and experience 3 days of sight seeing, including the Great Wall, the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square.  We then hope to take the first leg of the world-famous Trans Siberian Railway to Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, before settling into the Jamboree campsite.  

With 6,000 other youth from the Asia-Pacific and around the world, you will be doing activities at the Jamboree you have never done before, including camel riding, and putting up a ger (traditional tent in Mongolia).  

Youth members will then be treated to home hospitality by Mongolian families.  This will be an eye-opening experience.  We will then fly back to Australia.

As a guide only and at this early stage, the fee is expected to be in the range of $3,800 to $3,900.  This figure could go up or down, as detailed costings are developed over the coming months.  Payments will be staged over the next 12 months … so start your fundraising now!

Keep an eye on the International page of the Scouts Australia website – http://international.scouts.com.au/for more details.

Volunteer Position – National Commissioner – International Commissioner

Do you have a passion for international Scouting? Do you want to make a difference and create a better world through international Scouting? If so, then this position might be for you.

You will lead a highly dedicated team of National Co-ordinators, Branch International Commissioners and Contingent Leaders. You will be the main point of contact with the World Organisation of the Scout Movement, primarily with the Asia-Pacific Regional Support Office.

For more information see the: International Commissioner – Position Description

Applications close May 1 2016. Apply online or directly at jotform.

Pen Pal Coordinator Applications Open

Exciting Vacancy National Pen-Pal Co-ordinator Scouts Australia

The International Commissioner, Scouts Australia, is seeking a dynamic and highly motivated volunteer for the position of National Co-ordinator for the Pen-Pal Program. The Scouts Australia International Pen-Pal Program offers a means of communicating with other Scouts overseas and provides an “international experience” without leaving Australia.

Find out more here.

Applications for the position close on 23 November 2015 and should be sent to int.comm@scouts.com.au.