Program Essentials - Milestones

All Scouts in your Unit should be working through their Milestones. On the ground, this involves all Scouts meaningfully participating, assisting and leading in a range of activities across a diverse program (a mixture of the Challenge Areas). This could be anything from a Joey Scout giving the instructions for a cooking activity for a Personal Growth Challenge, to a Rover Scout leading their Unit on a white water rafting expedition for an Outdoor Challenge. 

Once a Scout has completed a certain number of participates, assists and leads, they will complete a Milestone. This will normally happen over a 6-12 month period. 

Participates, assists and leads will look different depending on the Section, and the experience of the Scout. The measure of an appropriate challenge will be guided by the skills and experience of the individual Scout.

The best measure of a successful program is whether all the Scouts involved are achieving their Milestones. 

This means all Scouts are actively involved in a diverse program, and are developing their leadership skills through experience. A well-planned program will help to make this a reality; it starts with an engaging mix of all the Challenge Areas, and also requires the sharing of assisting and leading opportunities. 

It’s expected that all Scouts will achieve Program Essentials Milestones, regardless of their interest in exploring other aspects of the framework. The Program Essentials really are the core of the program experience. 

For more detail about each Sections Milestone expectations, download the Examples of Assisting and Leading documents here.

Milestone Requirements

The exact expectations for the Milestones will vary depending on the age section the Scout is in. Check the relevant age section Youth Member Guide for the expectations for your age section. 

In general, all Scouts: 

  • Will be involved in participating (actively! – this is about more than just attending), assisting and leading across a range of Challenge Area-related activities. These experiences should be developmentally appropriate for the individual, and at each age section the expectations and requirements will change a bit too. You can read more about this in the relevant age section chapter of this handbook, and in the age section’s Youth Member Guide.
  • Will be involved in a personal reflection to identify how they’ve progressed through the SPICES. 

There are three Milestones in each Section of the program. Of course, if a Scout starts partway through the section age-range, they’re not necessarily expected to start at Milestone 1. As a guide: 

  • Start at Milestone 1, if a: Scout transitions into the section from the section below 
    • Scout joins the section less than 1/3 of the way through its length (in the first year for a three year section) 
  • Start at Milestone 2, if a:
    • Scout commences in the section between 1/3 and 2/3 through a Section’s length (in the second year for a three year section) 
  • Start at Milestone 3, if a:
    • Scout commences in the section in the final 1/3 of the section’s length 

If a Scout has finished the participates for one Milestone, they can start to count participates for the next Milestone, even if they’ve not completed their assists or leads. 

Milestone One


24 participates (six from each Challenge Area)

2 Assists (from two different Challenge Areas)

1 Lead 

Milestone Two


20 participates (five from each Challenge Area)

3 Assists (from two different Challenge Areas)

2 Leads 

Milestone Three


16 participates (4 from each Challenge Area)

4 Assists (from at least two different Challenge Areas)

4 Leads 

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