2018 marks an important milestone, the 100th year of Rover Scouting. The Rover section was introduced in 1918, eleven years after Scouting was founded by Robert Baden-Powell. The introduction allowed Scouting to expand to a wider range of age groups by incorporating young adults, those aged eighteen to twenty-six. The goal of the Rover Section is to foster independence and self-reliance through youth-led activities. While camping and badge work may be viewed as traditional Scout activities, there are many additional components to the program that may not be as widely recognized such as giving back to the community.
The motto for the Rover Scout Section is “service”, and Rovers are in a unique position to be able to both participate in the Scouting program, as well as assist with younger Scout sections. With the change of the Canadian Path the motto has been altered to “Go Beyond,” which is fitting as the age range of Rovers is when you start thinking about your life and the goals you hope to achieve.
To go beyond is to do more than expected and to push your limits when learning a new skill. What’s beyond to you may not be to someone else, but you share the goal of rising above it. It’s good to focus on what you have learned but there’s something to be said of getting outside of your comfort zone. Despite the motto change, service is still an integral part of the program; in fact, many Rovers play a key role in facilitating activities and running sub camps as Offers of Service (OOS) at Jamborees
Rovers are also known to take on and lead service projects such as, shoreline clean ups or the implementation of community gardens. The hope is by the time you reach Rovers you have the leadership skills to take on such tasks. On an international level, there are positions available to volunteer abroad, participate in international exchanges, and attend leadership conferences. Not only does this provide the opportunity to develop interpersonal skills, but it also allows youth to immerse themselves in new cultures while making an impact on that community.
Over the years, the Scouting program has grown into an internationally recognized program with over forty million members. Every four years, the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) holds a World Scout Moot to allow Scouts from varying countries to celebrate Scouting and share their diverse experiences with fellow members. The word ‘Moot’ refers to a gathering of individuals. When discussing the term, it is often said that Scouts go to Jamborees, but Rovers attend Moots.
Moots are an opportunity to not only put your Scouting skills to the test, but to meet friends from around the world and learn about their culture. The Moot often has a theme, most recently in Iceland the theme was ‘Change’ and how as youth leaders, Scouts can help lead change in the world. The first World Scout Moot was held in Kandersteg, Switzerland in 1931 and since, has been held in various cities around the world. This year Kanderstreg will be hosting a special Rover Centenary celebration! The site is referred to as a mini and permanent Jamboree. Countries such as Sweden, Scotland, Australia and even Canada have all hosted a World Scouting Moot, and the next one will be taking place in Ireland in 2021.
The centennial of Rover Scouts is the beginning. The hope is that throughout the years we will continue to provide opportunity to reflect upon the impact of the program, as it allows youth to embark on outdoor adventures, make meaningful relationships, and facilitate Youth- Led activities.
Featured Image | Photo credit: 180th Pacific Coast Rover Crew