Special Interest Areas

Special Interest Areas (SIAs) encourage Scouts from all sections to try new things and pursue existing interests. Scouts set their own goals, enabling them to design a project that interests and challenges them personally. SIAs give young people ownership of their own development. Research tells us that this is important to learning success. SIAs build upon skills such as creativity, independence, and problem-solving. SIAs teach Scouts to set, plan towards, and achieve goals. SIA projects are deliberately open-ended and designed to meet the individual needs of each Scout.

Scouts Victoria have some ready-made subject matter experts already in place to help you with the SIA you are interested in. For more information head to their webpages via the links below.

Adventure & Sport

Adventure & Sport

Arts & Literature

Arts & Literature

Creating a Better World

Creating a Better World

Environment

Environment

Growth & Development

Growth & Development

  • Any of our teams can fit into the Growth and Development SIA area, depending on your project
STEM & Innovation

STEM & Innovation

  • STEM

Where did the SIAs come from? - The SIAs provide scope for adaptability and future proofing of the Achievement Pathways. For example, when new and emerging technologies are developed, they can easily be pursued by Scouts without having to create new SIAs.

They are broad, encouraging Scouts to pursue a diversity of interests and to ensure any activity a Scout could possibly think of can be included. Outcomes are always measured against an individual’s personal best. Scouts use Plan>Do>Review> to set and achieve their goals.

When proposing an SIA project, Scouts take into account:

  • Their existing level of knowledge
  • Skills
  • Experiences
  • Personal interests
  • New challenges they want to explore

SIA projects can be worked into weekly program but they don’t need to be done every week! Having said that, those youth members wanting to use the weekly program activity as a SIA project will all need to develop and have their own individual challenges signed off by the unit councils. Unit Councils are best placed to assess the appropriate existing skills, knowledge and abilities of members and to ensure they are being appropriately challenged by their proposed SIA project.

There can be overlap between Outdoor Adventure Skills and SIA projects.

Time Requirements for each project

Joey Scouts - 2 hours

Cub Scouts - 4 hours

Scouts - 8 hours

Venturer Scouts - 12 hours

Rover Scouts - 18 hours

Not achieving goals

If a Scout fails to reach their SIA project goal, this doesn’t mean they can’t be recognised for their achievements. This is where the Review> phase is extra important.

If a genuine learning experience has still occurred, there should be no qualms about recognising personal progression with the awarding of the SIA badge. The Unit Council should consider this carefully.

SIA requirements for the Peak Awards

Section

Number of SIA projects

How many areas

Hours duration each project

Joeys

6

2

At least 2 hours (including P>D>R)

Cubs

6

2

At least 4 hours (including P>D>R)

Scouts

6

3

At least 8 hours each

Venturers

6

3

At least 12 hours each

Rovers

6

4

At least 18 hours each

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