Disaster Relief Fund

Scouts Australia recently approved the creation of a fund to assist Scouts internationally in the event of a natural or man made disaster. When the devastating Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines, a number of Scouts Australia members raised concerns that we had no centralised, formal mechanism to assist those most in need.

“The ability to help Scout Associations help their countries in their time of need is vitally important”

“Internationally, Scouts often play an important role assisting during disasters, and the Scout program is vital in building resilient communities after disasters. Funding National Scout Organisations is an efficient and direct way of providing assistance.”

International Commissioner, Neville Tomkins.

MexicoHaitiFrom time to time, international contingents to major events return a financial surplus, and $20,000 of these funds have been used to seed the Disaster Relief Fund.

Scouts Australia has a track record in helping disaster affected Scouts, from a major respite program for victims of the Chernobyl disaster in the late 1980s, to assistance for Scouts after the tsunami in Aceh, Indonesia on Boxing Day 2004, as well as to the Scouts of Japan after the 2011 Fukushima disaster through the SISEP program and 2013 Australian Jamboree.img-detail-129


Our Favourite 3 Camping Hacks

Here are our favourite 3 camping hacks, though we are sure there many more out there. So put them in the comments below!

1. Chips as fire starters.

Grab some corn chips and using them as your fire starters. Cause we all bring some fried, oily to snacks on a camp.


2. Easy way to carry toothpaste

Make dots of toothpaste. Place them on a plate, let them dry. Sprinkle baking soda on them, then place into a re-seable bag to take with you!


3. Need some spice?

Get old tic tac boxes and fill them with your favourite spices, because you don’t need to have boring food on camps.




Youth Consultation: World Scout Youth Forum

How far has Scouts Australia come since 1993?

“Scouting is a Movement of young people, supported by adults; it is not a Movement for young people managed by adults only.”

Here at International News we’re big supporters of youth involvement in decision making – this blog is even written by young people! Last edition we were able to announce the Australian delegation to the World Scout Youth Forum, now it’s time for you to start having your input:

  • FROM TODAY: key forum documents and delegation positions, open for discussion and decision.
  • AT THE FORUM: the delegation will run a live blog, and crowd source decisions so you can have your input live.
  • INTO THE FUTURE: the recently unveiled WOSM Youth Wall will be essential for ongoing engagement, plus the National Youth Council is always keen to keep the international team up to speed.
Have your say in the lead up to the World Scout Youth Forum

Have your say in the lead up to the World Scout Youth Forum

From today, the delegation will be releasing – through this blog, and the Scouts Australia Facebook page – key documents that the Australian delegation needs to take a position on subsequently advocate for, at the World Scout Youth Forum.

Over the next month the delegation will be seeking input on the:

While you’re busy digesting those documents, there is an easier bit of consultation to undertake:

1. Scouts Australia has been allocated a Project Fair space at the Forum:

“it is a space to present young people’s projects and provide the opportunity for interaction and constructive discussion on issues related to these experiences. These projects could be Messengers of Peace projects, Scouts of the World Award projects, national projects or even local projects.”

What project should Scouts Australia display?


2. Scouts Australia needs to contribute a Scouting game that represents our country for a street festival in Slovenia. The game needs to be 5-15 minutes in duration.

Which Australian Scouting game should represent us in Slovenia?

Contribute your thoughts in the comments below, on Scouts Australia’s Facebook page, or email the delegation. Stay tuned for the next round of consultation!


Welcome Indonesia: Scout Student Exchange Expands!

Scouts Australia’s very popular Scouts International Student Exchange Program (SISEP) is expanding.

SISEP will add Indonesia as its 4th exchange partner after many successful years of Scout exchanges with Japan, Denmark, and the United Kingdom.

Scouts Australia has a growing relationship with Gerakan Pramuka, the Scout Association of Indonesia, after over 150 attended the 2013 Australian Jamboree in Maryborough, Queensland. Indonesia is home to over 17 million Scouts, but the SISEP trial will start with just two Scouts from each country exchanging.

Indonesian Scouts at the Australian Jamboree, 2013.

Indonesian Scouts at the Australian Jamboree, 2013.

We’re currently looking for 2 Scouts from NSW willing to be participants in the trial, as hosts and outbound exchangees, PLUS, we’re accepting expressions of interest for those interested in the program after the trial phase.

Read up on the SISEP program, and contact the National SISEP Coordinator, Barb Brook to record your interest, and for more information.


Contingent Leader Appointment: BP Scout Peak Expedition

Scouts Australia is excited to announce that Calista Beck, ACT, has accepted the position of Contingent Leader to the 2015 BP Scout Peak Expedition in Nepal.

This will be the first time in many years that Scouts Australia has sent an expedition party to summit the historic peak named after the founder of Scouting, Lord Baden-Powell. BP Scout Peak is 5,826m high, and is located in the Langtang Region north of Kathmandu.

BP Scout Peak

BP Scout Peak

The proposed expedition will take around 14 days, including 8-10 days of trekking and 1-2 days of climbing. Not all participants will have to summit the peak, with opportunities to trek into base camp, and undertake service opportunities at nearby Kakani Scout Training Centre.

It is anticipated that those participating in the climbing aspect of the BP Scout Peak Expedition will attend the Alpine/Winter School held Late 2014, and have be able to demonstrate appropriate climbing skills.

Calista is busy putting together her Contingent Team, so get in touch on bpscoutpeak@gmail.com if you’re interested in attending the event.

Lattitude Global Volunteering and Scouts Australia

Scouts Australia is delighted to announce that is has reached an agreement with the Melbourne based not-for-profit Lattitude Global Volunteering.

Lattitude and Scouts Australia both offer over 18s the opportunity to work in Scout Centres in the United Kingdom. Lattitude offers a ‘full service’ that includes flights, insurance etc. Scouts Australia only offers a basic facilitation service – do it yourself after initial introductions.

Latitude Global Volunteering has been in operation since 1972.

Latitude Global Volunteering has been in operation since 1972.

Lattitude and Scouts Australia will now cross-promote so that Scouts Australia members are aware of all their options when planning an gap year, or working holiday overseas in a Scout Centre. As part of the agreement, Scouts Australia members will get priority placements with Lattitude in Scout Centres in the UK.

Arrangements for Scout Centres outside of the UK remain unchanged by this agreement, and people interested in working in other countries should proceed as per the directions outlined on our website.

Lattitude Global Volunteering and Scouts Australia will also cooperate on development projects in the Pacific, so that we can maximise our effectiveness on the ground, tying together the Scout program and the school programs that Lattitude delivers.

MoP of the Month: Ecowalls, Indonesia

Gardens are normally horizontal right?! Not in Indonesia, where some Scouts decided that for their badge work they would green up their school grounds with a hanging garden. Check out their project, FYI you will need to use the translate button…

2014-05-28_221026Remember, if you are looking at working on a project or are already doing so, jump onto the Scout.org website and put the project up. Australia is ranked 24th in the world for service hours, so put those projects up there!

Scouting Profile: Hong Leng Chay from Singapore

Each Month, International News profiles a Scout from overseas…..

Hong Leng Chay (Scout Name: Wind)

First Scout promise: 1978

Current Scouting role:  Deputy Chief Commissioner & International Commissioner

In the real world: Private Banking, Wealth Management


What does an International Commissioner do?

An International Friendster 🙂

The International Commissioner is a member of a worldwide team. The job is to promote activities that lead to a greater international understanding by the members of the movement. The International Commissioner is primarily responsible for building relations with other Scout associations, and maintaining frequent contact with the World and Regional Committees and the World Bureau.

The most rewarding part of your Scouting role:

Establishing international friendship. Helping to connect Scouts from around the world. Having friends everywhere in the world including those you haven’t met!

Your funny campfire story?

I was a Patrol Leader and was responsible for escorting an important guest to declare the campfire open. Walking up to the wood pile with the torch in hand and I forgot the lighter !

On Singaporean Scouting:

Pretty much similar with everyone else in the world. Well, we have most of our Scouts in school groups and we do a lot urban Scouting, being a City-State.

Biggest Challenge for Scouting today: 

I think sustaining membership growth, and recruiting volunteer adults.

Scholarship: Azerbaijan Wonderland Scout Camp 2014

3rd– 17th JULY 2014

The Scout Association of Australia, in conjunction with the Asia-Pacific Scout Region is offering one scholarship to an 18+ member to attend the 2014 Azerbaijan Wonderland Scout Camp in Lerik, Azerbaijan as a member of the International Service Team.

This scholarship covers 50% of the economy airfare Australia – Azerbaijan, and event cost PLUS an additional EUR600 subsidy from the Asia-Pacific Region towards these costs. It is expected that the successful candidate will therefore need to make a personal contribution of approximately $520 towards airfares and the event fee, and will also be responsible for the cost of passport, travel insurance, and a Scouts Australia international scarf.

Activities on the camp include pioneering, water activities, as well as hiking to a medieval village. Lerik is in southern Azerbaijan, located in the Talysh mountains close to the Iranian border.

More information about the event is available by contacting the Assistant International Commissioner, Andrew Cooper on int.assistantcomm@scouts.com.au.

Scouts Australia is now accepting applications for this scholarship. Applicants must meet the following selection criteria:

  • 18+ member of Scouts Australia.
  • An outstanding ambassador of Scouts Australia.
  • Representative of a wide range of Scouting experiences.
  • Available for the duration of the event.

Interested candidates must send an expression of interest email to Andrew Cooper, International Commissioner, int.assistantcomm@scouts.com.au by 8th June 2014, that includes a brief summary of their Scouting experience, and a brief paragraph of no more than 150 word outlining why they are interested in travelling to Azerbaijan.