All you need to know about Scouting as a Youth
Common questions answered
Which section is right for me?
Cub Scouts are typically 7-12 years old (primary school)
Scouts are 12-16 years old (secondary school)
Venture Scouts are 16-18 years old (typically junior college, polytechnic or ITE students)
Rover Scouts are 17-26 years old (tertiary institutions, young working professionals)
Rover Scouts of ages 21+ sometimes serve as Adult Leaders in addition to persuing the Rovering programme – that is entirely possible.
If you’re older than 26, then you should consider looking at joining as an Adult Leader instead.
What do Scouts do?
An easier question to answer would be “What do Scouts not do?”
Scouts have different programmes that cater to different age groups. Each Unit will also have their favourite activities. Essentially they will follow a core programme developed by Headquarters and will progress according to their training scheme.
All Scouts undergo training to build up individual and groups skills. There is a common module for progress badges and a choice of individual proficiency and skill badges.
Scouts have many avenues for outdoor activities and adventure. They also have opportunities for many overseas events like Jamborees and Camporees where they get to meet fellow Scouts from all over the world. Through the Scouts, you can build life-long friendships with people of different races and creeds, both at home and abroad.
What kind of awards can I gain?
Each youth section has its own progress badge scheme and top award. Find out more under our Sections pages.
All youths initially work towards gaining the World Scout Badge and have to meet a set of requirements to show that they understand the fundamentals of Scouting and are ready to be formally invested as a Scout, and to wear the uniform.
What are proficiency badges?
Proficiency badges or some might refer to them as interest badges are given when a Scout shows that he/she has sufficient knowledge of the subject matter.
For example, if you going through swimming classes and have attained a certain level of skill and certification, you could simply show it to your Scout Leader and receive the appropriate swimming proficiency badge. It is really up to you what you would like to pursue.
Will I have to do tests?
Yes, although they differ from those conducted in schools. Scouting encourages a person to participate in the widest possible range of activities and one way of doing so is to encourage him/her to work for a progress or proficiency badge. Badge work are not examinations. With no penalties for failing, a Scout is encouraged to try again and again. The idea is that a badge gained represents his achievement in that activity. Of course, individuals who want to attain the highest honour possible as a young Scout can do so by challenging themselves to achieve the prestigious President’s Scout Award.
Are Scouting activities dangerous?
There is always an element of risk in all outdoor activities. However, Scouting has been around for almost a hundred years, and most Scouts have survived remarkably well. On our end, the Singapore Scout Association has a strict safety code where every activity must be assessed by in terms of risk level and steps are taken to prevent accidents. Adult Leaders are also trained in first aid and handling emergencies.
Are there any opportunities to go overseas?
Being a worldwide movement, the Scouts around the world organise numerous international camps, exchange programmes, youth forums, community service and expeditions for any Scout who is keen to join. Not only will a Scout visit the country, he/she will also enjoy opportunities for closer contact with the people there. Scouts throughout the world speak the same ‘language’ through their adherence to the ideas of Scouting and their symbols, like the Scout uniform, salute and the left handshake. Take a look at our International page.
How much time will it involve?
Like everything worth doing, you must be prepared to invest time and energy into Scouting. Outside the weekly meetings, there will also be additional activities and projects which you will want to take part in. Scouting is a non-formal educational movement, and all the time you spend in Scouting will not be wasted. More importantly, Scouting is a way of life, a promise you keep to yourself once you’ve made it. As the saying goes, ‘Once a Scout, Always a Scout!’
Which uniform do I wear?
Typically, most scouts are land scouts. Both boys and girls wear the olive green coloured shirt. Boys wear the shorts or the pants depending on their age and girls wear the culottes. All Scouts wear the scarf and depending on the occasion don a head gear (beret).
Don’t worry, just head to the Scout Shop at the Headquarters and there will be friendly staff who would tell you all that you need to get started.
What are the benefits?
Have you ever desired to wear a uniform and shoulder some adult responsibilities? Perhaps lead a team of boys your age into the jungle for an adventure. Look no further, Scouting allows you to do this and more. The fun goes from simple sing-alongs, to camping, to sea activities and from overseas exchanges to mountain climbing.
Have you gone online and joined a forum that boasts a membership of thousands? Did you feel like you belonged to something greater? Scout boasts a membership of at least 28.6 million registered individuals. Now you can belong to a real worldwide fellowship, one that is recognised in nearly every single country in the world.
How much does it cost?
The annual registration fees are S$7 for Cubs, Scouts and Ventures, and $12 for Rovers and Adult Leaders. Life Membership costs S$120.
A set of uniform should cost no more than S$100.
Most cost would be offset by the fund-raising activities the Association does and the Ministry of Education gives a great deal of funds to help lower the monetary cost of being a Scout.
How do I join?
Most Scout units in Singapore are based in schools, and the best way for anyone to become a Scout would be to join a school-based Group. It should be quite easy for you to ask your schoolmates or your teachers more about Scouting in your school, as there is probably a Scout Group in yours.
If not, have a look at our map and see which are the nearest Open Groups around your area. If there’s a contact for that Group – great, you can try approaching them direct. Or you could contact us and we’ll link you up.