Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the usual questions for people who are curious about Scouting. You can wander through them for a brief overview or follow the links for more details.

You’re also welcome to stick around and check out all of our pages to see what all the fuss is about!

How popular is Scouting in Victoria?

We’ve just had our tenth consecutive year of growth here at Scouts Victoria, so we’re proud of what we’re doing.

Our membership has grown to 22,000 people in more than 400 Scout Groups across the state. Activities include everything from geocaching to power boating and caving. Of course, it wouldn’t be Scouting without the traditional hikes and camps, but there are also plenty of adrenalin-pumping options on offer for those who like to get their heart rate up.

With Scouts Victoria, prepare for adventure and you’ll prepare for life!

How do I join Scouts?

Get in touch with us, and we’ll match you with the best local group for your age.

Look up your local Scout Groups here and then send a direct email to the local Leader in charge, or contact our office on 1800 SCOUTS (1800 726 887) or reception@scoutsvictoria.com.au.

What’s the age group for Scouts?

Scouting offers adventure to boys and girls, men and women, of all ages. It can be a 20-year experience through the different age levels, or you can step straight in for the first time at any age along the way.  

Our youngest members are Joey Scouts, aged 5-7 years. As long as they’re already at primary school, these children are welcome to join us and get an early start to the fun, friendship and skills they’ll experience through Scouts. 

The next age group is for Cub Scouts (7-10 years), followed by Scouts (10-15 years), Venturers (15-17 years), and Rovers (18-26 years).

Our Leaders are adult members (18 and over) who support our younger members, organise activities and generally make things happen. If you’re an active, outdoors person who enjoys inspiring others, regardless of whether you’ve been a Scout before, please contact us.

How safe is Scouting?

Children and young people have the right to be emotionally and physically safe at all times.

Scouts Victoria has a rigorous checking process for leaders, strict safety measures for our activities, and zero tolerance for anybody who jeopardises the safety or well-being of our members.

In addition to national police checks and other legal requirements, we have policies and procedures to keep safety in the spotlight. You can check our Child Protection Policy, Code of Conduct for Adults and other documents on our dedicated Child Safe Scouting webpage.

How inclusive is Scouting?

We don’t just talk about inclusiveness and diversity. These values are at the very heart of what Scouts do and how we do it. We embrace equality in practical, age-appropriate ways, and we make sure that every member feels included.   

More than one third of our membership is female, and girls have been in all Sections of Australian Scouting for more than 30 years. (Not to mention the women Leaders we’ve had for more than a century!)

Our members come from different religions, races and cultural backgrounds. We offer adventure opportunities to Scouts with different physical and mental abilities, and we support young people regardless of their sexual orientation or economic situation.

The Scout Promise is to help other people. We’re positive and supportive, not judgmental or intolerant.  

We have programs to assist with financial hardship and Scout Groups that specialise in activities for Scouts with disabilities.

What’s in it for me?

Scouting means something different for every one of our members and Leaders. And the rewards will also change for those individuals over the years, depending what they’re up to in life.

It could be something as simple as fun and friendship if you’ve just moved to a new area, or it could be the chance to explore, travel and push yourself through new challenges to take your mind off schoolwork. You might want to help others, or you might shine in the spotlight of a theatre production. It’s fun to solve problems when you’re out camping with mates, and one day those skills will also come in handy in your working life. We have a huge range of activities to suit all age groups and interests.

Your Scouting journey can help you get accepted into universities, or can help build your experience for a teaching career. Leadership and learning are core values in Scouting that will help you in all aspects of life. 

Experts have even found that Scouts have better mental health in later life.UK researchers found a 15% lower risk of mental illness or depression for middle-aged people who went through Scouts or Guides, because they’ve developed resilience and other important qualities.  

Is there a secret handshake?

If we answered that question, it wouldn’t be a secret!

Scouting certainly has a lot of traditions and bewildering words, but you can have plenty of fun finding out what’s behind them all.

If you’ve ever wondered about a ‘woggle’ or a ‘moot’ or a ‘jamboree’ then check out our page on Scout Language.

Do I have to wear the uniform?

The Scout uniform is usually worn for meetings and special events, but it isn’t always required for activities. Each Group make its own decisions about when and where to wear uniform. And it won’t take long before you’re proud to do so!

We’ve changed a lot since the military-style uniforms that our grandfathers used to wear. Our blue shirt is the main part of today’s uniform, with different coloured sleeves if you’re a Joey, Cub, Scout etc. You’ll also need a belt. The scarf and badges are usually supplied by your Group.

Uniforms can be bought online from the Scout Shop, or there’s a shop you can check out in Oakleigh South (1702 Dandenong Road). The shirts usually cost $35 to $50.

How much does Scouts cost?

The costs of Scouting varies between the Groups and depends on the activities that you do. If your Scout journey takes you skiing, flying and travelling overseas, then you’ll probably pay a bit more than Scouts who focus on camping, hiking and theatre productions closer to home.

You’ll generally pay an annual State fee which covers insurance and goes towards Scouts Victoria running costs. Plus there’ll be a group cost which is calculated and managed by your Group. Sometimes the group cost is a weekly ‘subs’ charge and sometimes it’s an annual fee.

Event charges come up from time to time as well. These cover things like food and petrol as well as a range of other expenses, depending on the activity. 

In cases of financial hardship, we can often work out a way to have the fees waived or subsidised. Scouts Victoria also offers grants and scholarships for some of the major activities.

What do the Leaders do?

At Scouts Victoria, we’re youth led and adult supported. It’s all about nurturing our young members to develop skills for work and life, and it takes a special type of person to do that.

Many of our volunteer Leaders are parents who want to enjoy the experience with their kids. We also welcome trainee teachers, former Scouts, and adventurous types who’ve never been part of Scouting before.

How do I become a Leader?

Our Scout Leaders are energetic, enthusiastic volunteers who enjoy making a positive difference to young people’s lives. If that appeals to you, start the ball rolling by contacting your local Group. 

Naturally, there are essential checks like the state government’s ‘Working with Children Card’ requirement and a National Police Check. We ask for referees and we follow through to make sure we’re getting the right people.   

You’ll also need to do some training, which will vary depending on the role that you choose. Some of the training is face-to-face, while some modules are done online at your own pace. Many of the skills you’ll pick up in training are valued across other professions.

There’ll be people to support you through those challenging early steps, and you’ll soon thrive in a positive, vibrant network of members and leaders.

If I’m not a Scout, can I hire your halls and campsites?

Some of our Scout Halls are available to hire for meetings and functions, but the types of events allowed will vary from venue to venue.

The same goes for camping at our range of different properties, which can be booked by school groups and other organisations. Some of the Scouts Victoria Campsites are large and include plenty of facilities, while others are small and basic for a quieter getaway. 

How can a business or community group engage with local Scouts?

We’re always looking for new activities to challenge our members and involve them with their community.

If you have an idea for an event or project, please call our office. We’ll put you in touch with the relevant Group Leader.

How can overseas Scouts build friendships in Victoria?

We have a National Pen Pal Coordinator, who can put you in touch with our groups or members. You could meet a new lifelong friend through old school pen and paper, or through internet face to face chats.

If you’re coming to visit Victoria, we’ll connect you with members and groups to make the most of your trip. Touch base with our International Commissioner before you head our way.

I need a hand with some Scout Memorabilia.

We get many queries from people who’ve found their grandfather’s old Scouting medal or a faded old photo that probably has a great story behind it. Thankfully we also have a team of experts at Scout Heritage Victoria who can often give you some answers.

They even have a Scout Heritage Centre in East Bentleigh, where many treasures like yours are stored and displayed. 

If your query relates to something in the last 20 years, we may even be able to help you out at the office. It’s worth a call.

Or perhaps you’re feeling a bit nostalgic about your own experience as a Scout and you’d like to connect with others who are staying in touch with our events and people? There is a terrific group of people who do just that, called Friends of Scouting Victoria.

How do I solve a dispute?

If you’re a current Adult Member, please follow the process found in the Info Book.

If you’ve already followed the process but your complaint isn’t resolved, send an email to complaints@scoutsvictoria.com.au

This email is also the way to lodge a complaint if you aren’t a member of Scouts.