Becoming a Rover

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Before being admitted to a Rover Crew, one must have attained the age of eighteen and not yet twenty-six.

One joins a Rover Crew as a Recruit irrespective of whether one comes from Scouts, Guides or as a newcomer. Rover Crews do not always meet on a weekly basis and therefore a three-month probation period is set, and after this time the Recruit is invested as a Squire. The non-Scout is first to be invested as a Scout, and must be prepared to accept the Scout Promise and Law and commit themself to the Rover Crew's particular programme after acceptance by the Crew (and vice versa). When the Recruit is invested as a Squire, they then choose a Sponsor from the available invested Rovers. The non-Scout must familiarise themself, assisted by the Sponsor, with the many Scouting skills.

A Service Task (or quest) is decided upon between the Squire and Sponsor, and this task should be of such a nature as to give the Squire a "taste of what is to come". A word of advice to Sponsors don't overdo it – you might scare them off! The booklets "This is Scouting" and "What is Rovering" and also BP's "Rovering to Success" must be read.

Once you are a Rover you have a vote, and may also possibly receive a key to the Den, as happens in some Crews, thus allowing you to make full use of it in your spare time, as a quiet place, or for study.

How to join

To join you need to locate your nearest Rover crew and get in touch with the Crew Leader, or the Regional Rovers co-ordinator.

The Sponsor

Every recruit must, after completing their acceptance period, choose for themself a Sponsor, who is to be an invested Rover Scout. In the case of a new Rover Crew with no invested Rovers the Sponsor may be chosen from the squiring Crew. It is up to the Squire to choose a Sponsor, not the Rover Scout Leader to appoint one. In the case of a particular Rover being chosen too often, the Leader should take some form of action. Something can obviously be learned from this popular Rover, so take note.

A person cannot become a Squire if they know nothing about Rovers, so after allowing a suitable probation period to get to know the Crew, they then choose a Sponsor. A period of service is set by the Crew for the Squire and a programme for that period is drawn up between the Sponsor and the Squire. Probation and service times differ from Crew to Crew, but a three-month period seems to be the average.

During the squireship period the Sponsor has some weighty responsibilities. If the Squire is a non-Scout they will have to get through some training in Scouting skills, and recruits must be made aware of the Scout Promise and Law, looking at it from an adult point of view. It is the Sponsor's duty to make the Squire understand the ways of Rovering and the Crew's traditions. The Sponsor places the importance of independence upon the Squire, showing them that the job means everything. By concentrating on the fact that the Squire must consolidate themself, they will learn "stickability", confidence and determination, and even more important, will not be a burden to anyone.

The Sponsor who "talks down" to the Squire will not make a success of the task. Do not assume a superior attitude, Rovers are just not like that, they are on an equal footing in the Crew, with the Sponsor obviously being the more experienced member.

When all the above is complete, the Sponsor will prepare the Squire for their Vigil. Nowhere else in Scouting is one required to look so deeply within oneself before an investiture, than as a Rover. The Sponsor must be ready to assist the Squire with the Vigil. The Sponsor never questions the Squire on the Vigil; after all, a Scout's Honour is to be trusted. Because of this, more often than not a lifelong friendship is formed (nothing sloppy or sentimental) but a solid, strong, clean friendship based on mutual understanding, tolerance and appreciation.

Self-examination before investiture

The final step that you are required to take before you are admitted to Investiture as a Rover is to submit yourself to some form of self-examination, which is in some sense a summing up of all we have said about the Scout Law and Promise, and about committing yourself to service. Finally, it is an attempt to get you to assess yourself, your strengths and your weaknesses, and your intentions against the background of Rovering.

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