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