The role of the Scout Leader*

A Troop-centred process –Youth leading, Adults supporting

Leading an Adventurer Level Journey is one of the high points in a Scouts experience. Your role in the process is to ensure the Scout has the right training to be able to plan and complete the journey safely, to support and advise them, and to enable them to achieve their goals. Encourage them to use PLAN – DO – REVIEW. You will also need to mentor the Troop Council through the approval and review stages. By supporting the Scout and Troop Council (rather than doing the work for them) you help them to develop and grow. The Scout section is all about developing skills and independence – you are an integral part of the process.

The Scout Leader’s role BEFORE the journey is to

  • Prepare the Scout for the Adventurer Level Journey
    • Ensure appropriate badge work is completed i.e.
      • Adventurer Level Navigation
      • Adventurer Level First Aid OR Emergencies Target OR a First Aid course
    • Assist the Scout to gain relevant experience e.g.
      • By leading an Explorer Level journey
      • By participating in an Adventurer Level journey (with another Scout leading)
      • By participating in other journeys or related activites e.g. hikes, rogaines, orienteering, canoe expeditions or training, cycling trips etc.
  • Advise the Scout to allow sufficient time to plan and complete the journey and report back to the Troop Council before his or her 15th birthday. Allow at least 10 weeks.

The Scout Leader’s role in the PLANNING phase (steps do not need to be done in this order)

  • The process of selecting a route may vary between Regions. Whatever process is followed the Scout should have their route confirmed before they do any detailed route plan.
  • Find a Journey Advisor
    • The Journey Advisor should be a Leader with a Basic Outdoor Skills qualification (from basic leader training). He or she may be from another Group or Section (e.g. Cubs or Venturers).
    • The Journey Advisor should have personal and recent knowledge of the proposed route, or be able to access information on the current state of the route.
    • For canoe expeditions the Journey Advisor should have the appropriate Water Activities Guide Level qualification
    • For bicycle journeys the leaders should be experienced in bicycle touring.
    • The Journey Advisors role is to check the technical aspects of the hike – the Scouts navigation skills and route planning; to advise on campsites, escape routes, water, special permits and approvals etc.; to advise on gear & menu requirements in relation to the location, season, likely weather and type of journey. (See the Adventurer Level Journey Skills & Planning Checklist.)
  • While it is not necessary to attend the Scouts meeting with their Journey Advisor, the Scouts parents should attend the meeting.
  • Suggest potential journey participants from within the Troop and help find participants from outside the Troop if necessary. -Ensure sufficient Scouts are asked to participate. The minimum requirement is a party of 5 (the Scout plus 4 others), however the journey may be delayed or cancelled if someone gets sick or drops out. This is one aspect of planning the Scout may not consider without your input. Encourage them to ask more than the minimum number of others to join them.
  • Assist the Scout to plan their journey, including to
    • Develop a route plan. This may be new to them and is a critical step in ensuring the safety of the hike. Mentoring the Scout through detailed route planning is very important. This may be
      done by the Scout Leader or delegated to a Leader with more experience in the type of journey being undertaken.
    • Develop a menu and gear list. The journey Advisor may suggest amendments based on the journey requirements.
    • Find or borrow appropriate gear if necessary.
    • Develop a risk analysis – this may also be new to them. It doesn’t need to be overly complex; the idea is that the Scout understands the risks for this particular route and for journeys in general and considers how to minimise them.
    • Consider the impact of weather on their journey and to monitor the weather leading up to it.
    • Write & submit the necessary forms.
    • Identify outside authorities who should be notified or consulted e.g. local Police, Rural Fire Service, and National Parks & Wildlife Service.
    • Document their planning and journey e.g. by keeping copies of forms, lists, the route plan, taking notes, photos etc. The Scout Record Book says the journey should be reported by use of an illustrated log.
  • Facilitate a meeting between the Scout and the Troop Council.
    • The Scout should not be unduly delayed by waiting for the Troop Council to meet. If the Troop Council meets infrequently they may need to schedule a special meeting to discuss approval of the Scouts journey plans.
  • Supporting the Troop Council (see Role of the Troop Council)
    • Younger or less experienced Troop Councils will need more support. By mentoring them through the process the first few times you will set them up for future independence.
  • You, not the Journey Advisor, need to approve the Scout to start their journey.
    • You need to check that the forms and notifications are submitted
    • You need to check with the Journey Advisor for any last minute route information
    • You must check that conditions safe to start the journey (e.g. taking into account weather, fire risk, current track conditions etc.). This final check should be conducted just before the journey

The Scout Leader’s role DURING the hike – the DOING phase

  • The ‘Activity Coordinator’ needs to monitor the progress of the journey. This could be the Scout Leader, Group Leader, or another Leader from the Group or outside the Troop. The Activity Coordinator MUST be the ‘Activity Coordinator’ nominated on the Activity Notification Form.

The Scout Leader’s role AFTER the hike – the REVIEW phase

  • Support the Scout in documenting their journey and preparation for review by the Troop Council.
  • Ensure the Troop Council knows what to check for to acknowledge that the Adventurer Level Journey Requirements have been met:
    • Was the journey the required length?·At least 30 km for a hike·At least 12 hours total travelling time over three days for a canoe or bike journey
    • Was the team self-sufficient i.e. did they carry all the items required for the journey? This applies to all journeys – hikes, canoe expeditions and bicycle journeys.
    • Did the journey require two nights out-of-doors?
    • Was the journey in terrain unfamiliar to the Scout? -Were there at least four other Scouts on the journey?
    • Were lightweight equipment and foods used as far as practicable?
    • Was the journey monitored by an adult leader?
    • Were all Government and NSW Scout Branch rules and regulations complied with?
  • Encourage the Scout to complete any outstanding badgework required to qualify for the award of the Adventurer Cord.

There is more detailed advice on Adventurer Level Journeys available on Patrol Tent.

Also see the document Adventurer Journey Management – Skills and Planning Checklist.

*In this document ‘Scout Leader’ may also mean an assistant Scout Leader or other Adult Leader who is familiar with the Scout Section and the Scout Award Scheme.

Role of a Scout Leader PDF

Once printed, this information is no-longer controlled
FORM: ALJ-003 ISSUE: RIV 1.0 DATE: 04/17