Scout Advancement Programme
The Advancement Programme covers a wide range of activities for Scouts. These activities are completed as you progress up the advancement ladder from Membership through to Springbok, gaining Interest Badges along the way.
|“||During your time as a scout, you will learn how to live with nature, hike safely, camp in comfort, cook your meals over a camp stove or fire and discover many ways to care for the land. No matter what trying conditions you may face; you’ll know how to take care of yourself. You’ll develop strength, confidence, and good judgment. You will also learn how to be a good team member and later how it feels to be a leader. As a Scout you will also learn skills that will help you throughout your lifetime.
Scouting experiences will help you discover that you can make good things happen in your life by planning and setting goals and then reaching for them. You’re in charge of your life and your experiences, and there’s no limit to what you can do - if you just put your mind to it.
|— Hugh "Buzz" Macey, The Scout Trail (2002)|
Aims of the Advancement Programme
The advancement programme is created to meet The Aim of SCOUTS South Africa, i.e. to contribute to the development of boys, girls and young adults in achieving their full potentials as individuals, as responsible citizens and as members of their local, national and international communities by:
- Developing their character;
- Training them in citizenship;
- Developing their spiritual, social, intellectual and physical qualities.
After Membership, there are four advancement levels: Traveller, Discoverer, First Class and Springbok.
|“I am Learning to be a Scout”||“I am Learning to be an APL”||“I am Learning to be a PL”||“I am a Leader of Scouts!”|
For each advancement level, there are six theme badges that have to be attained. These theme badges are:
One a Scout has obtained a theme badge within an advance level, they have the opportunity to move on to the next level theme badge without having to complete the entire advancement level. This allows the Scout to pursue the educational activities they enjoy. However, there are limits as to how far a Scout may advance with theme badges.
Membership is completed during the time when a Scout is joining the Troop. They learn the basics of Scouting, including the Scout Promise, Scout Law, and the story of our founder, Robert Baden-Powell.
The Traveller Advancement Level is all about learning to be a Scout. The Scouts will learn basic knots and lashings, first aid and safety, how to live outdoors, and will be introduced to community service.
The Discoverer Advancement Level is where Scouts start to learn leadership through being an Assistant Patrol Leader. Scouts learn more advanced skills compared to Traveller.
The First Class Advancement Level allows Scouts to learn to be a Patrol Leader by providing many leadership opportunities, such as planning and organising camps, hikes, and community service projects.
The Springbok Award is the highest award achievable by any Scout in South Africa. The completion of all requirements for the Springbok Award must occur before the applicant’s 18th birthday, with the exception of the final panel interview.
Scoutcraft and Interest Badges
See the Scout Interest Badges for more details about the various badges that can be gained, either as part of the Advancement Programme, or out of personal interest.
The Challenge Awards are there to stretch Scouts who seek additional goals in their Scouting career. Among others, these include:
- Bushman's Thong
- Airman Cord
- Seaman's cord
- Service Cord