There are Scouts in 216 countries and territories across the world. Whether you meet in a Scout hut in Matlock, a church hall in Toronto or a primary school in Nairobi, you are among the 28 million members of the global Scouting Movement.
Why do global Scouting?
Getting Scouts involved in the world around them encourages them to:
- Experience other countries, peoples and their cultures
- Appreciate that they belong to a worldwide family of Scouts
- Explore the challenges faced by others across the world
- Contribute as a global citizen and respond to global issues
How is the global programme organised?
Learning about the world is an important part of Scouting. For Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers, the global programme is split into two elements:
Learning about Scouts in other countries and Scouting as a global movement. Exploring those countries through visits abroad and international activities here in the UK.
Engaging with the world around us, exploring issues that affect different countries and people in different ways.
Learning about how, as Scouts, we can make a positive impact and leave the world a better place.
Information about the Global Issues and International Activity badges, as well as some useful activity resource packs can be found at here
In addition to the badge programme for Explorers, there are elements that are specifically aimed at the Explorer and Scout Network. These are focussed around the top awards:
This award offers an exciting international challenge. While it is called the Explorer Belt, it is open to 16-25 year olds. It involves an independent journey of 100 miles over 10 days in a foreign county. The challenges and major project that each team complete bring with them a real understanding of another country's culture, people and way of life. During the 10 days, teams are self-sufficient, managing their own budget, accommodation, navigation, catering and programme. They are supported by an in-country team of adult leaders, who monitor the teams from a distance.
More information is available at https://members.scouts.org.uk/supportresources/search/?cat=52,207,397,252
Chief Scout's Platinum, Diamond and Queen's Scout
All of these top awards, aimed at Explorer Scouts and Scout Network members, have global elements.
Those gaining the award choose a number of activities from the International, Community and Values List.
The activities are focussed on global issues and international opportunities and can be found here:
A global programme, here in the UK
As well as covering the different badge requirements and awards during section meetings, there are lots of other opportunities to go global.
Linking with Scouts overseas
We have Groups in Derbyshire who are linked with Scouts in Germany, Norway and Canada for example. We even have a whole District who are linked with Scouts in the USA. Maybe you are already lucky enough to have a link with an overseas Scout Group.
If not and you are interested in this please contact ACC International for more details of the International Links Scheme.
There are two types of links available under the scheme:
- International friends - this is a link between individual members in different countries.
- International group links - many Scout Groups in the United Kingdom like to match up with a Group abroad to exchange letters, photos and other material.
Jamboree on the Air (JOTA)
This is an annual event in which around 500,000 Scouts and Guides from all over the world make contact by means of amateur radio.
Short-wave radio signals allow communication from virtually any location on Earth. It offers individual Scouts the opportunity to speak to others from across the world.
You can find out more by emailing email@example.com
Jamboree on the Internet (JOTI)
Simliar to JOTA, this event connects Scouts from across the world using the internet.
Groups of volunteers provide technical support in a number of locations across the UK, that enable individuals and groups to get involved.
JOTI and JOTA are held over the same weekend each year, normally in October.
You can find out more by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Across the UK, there are several residential events that are also open to international Scouts. Camps such as Peak, held every five years at Chatsworth House in Derbyshire, allow Scouts to camp alongside (or even host) Scouts from abroad. These events are often a week long summer camp, where international visitors can take part in activities alongside UK Scouts.
Travelling abroad can provide some of the most memorable experiences and lasting friendships that Scouting has to offer. It challenges members of all ages to step outside of their comfort zones, to see places, interact with others and take part in activities that they simply wouldn't get the opportunity to do in the UK. There is plenty of support available and a network of leaders that are more than happy to share their experiences with you.
There are a number of ways in which young people and adults can travel abroad within Scouting:
Attend an organised international event
There are many international Scouting events going on across the world that you can attend. These range from national Jamborees, to World Events.
Other countries host similar events, which are often called National Jamborees, where Scouts come together from across the host nation and from overseas. Many Derbyshire groups regularly attend events such as the Haarlem Jamborette in the Netherlands, which is ran periodically.
Scouts can also the three largest international events, which collectively called World Events. These include the World Scout Jamboree (for Explorer Scouts), Roverway (also for Explorer Scouts) and the Moot (for Scout Network). Most of these events are open for individual adult members to apply as part of an International Service Team, which provide logistics and activities support to the camp.
Take part in a county event
Derbyshire Scouts regularly run international events which are open to members from across the county. These have included winter trips to the International Scout Centre in Kandersteg, Switzerland, as well as trips with the aims of achieving top awards such as the Explorer Belt. They provide leaders with an introduction to running a visit abroad, by joining an experienced leadership team.
Organise your own international event
Many groups from across Derbyshire run their own visits abroad. These include long weekends taking Cubs to Disneyland Paris, international expeditions and Explorer Belts, and week-long European summer camps. Support is available from your ACC International and other members of the county team, as well as from those that have travelled abroad previously, to help you plan and run your trip.
A few things to note:
- Travelling abroad requires different paperwork from a camp here in the UK. You should speak to your ACC International as soon as you start planning your trip.
The paperwork is not onerous or difficult to complete, but it is compulsory.
- Many companies offer ready-made visits abroad, taking care of your travel, catering, accommodation, and activity requirements.
Some of these companies are organised specifically to cater for Scouts or school groups, and will be able to offer advice.
- Similar to the UK, other countries have their own Scout centres and campsites which offer programme, accommodation, and catered options that can help with your organisation.
The International Scout Centre in Kandersteg, Switzerland is by far the most popular visited by UK Scouts. Find out more about Kandersteg at https://www.kisc.ch
As your ACC International, it is my role to support all members of Derbyshire Scouts with any aspect of global Scouting. Whether it's an activity idea for your Cub Scouts' global issues badge, or that confidence boost you need to take your Scouts abroad, please get in touch.