Scout Advancement Programme

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Making a plaster cast, SANJAMB 2017
Making a plaster cast, SANJAMB 2017

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.

The current advancement programme is effective from 2019, and was given the name "Entsha" which means 'New' or 'Young' in Zulu. The previous programme was effective from 2002 to 2018.

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.

The programme covers many important skills, including First Aid, hiking, mapping, survival, cooking, and leadership.

Advancement Levels

After Membership, there are four advancement levels: Traveller, Discoverer, First Class and Springbok.

Membership Traveller Discoverer First Class Springbok
“I have just joined the Troop”
Learn about the Scout Promise and Law, and Scouting background.
“I am Learning to be a Scout”
Learn what it means to be a Scout, and learn new skills.
“I am Learning to be an APL”
Be involved with your Patrol and Troop, sharpen your Scouting Skills.
“I am Learning to be a PL
Become a well-rounded Scout and citizen.
“I am a Leader of Scouts!”
Lead your Patrol and Troop on a number of projects that challenge you.


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.

First Class

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.

Theme badges

For each advancement level, there are six theme badges that have to be attained. These theme badges are:

Once a Scout has obtained a theme badge within an advancement 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.

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.

Challenge awards

The Challenge Awards are there to stretch Scouts who seek additional goals in their Scouting career. Among others, these include:

See also