What is the NSW Lone Scout Group
NSW Lones Scout Group was formed in 1915 in order to service the needs of youth where isolation, transportation, disabilities, parental work commitments and other factors prevented them from participating in normal Scout Group activities on a regular basis. As such, the NSW Lone Scout Group (often referred to as Lones) is a NSW Branch or State Resource. We exist to service the needs of youth across all the Scout Regions of NSW.
As a State Resource, it is common for us to pick up youth members whose families have moved to an area where a scout group does not exist allowing them to continue their scouting experiences. This is very common in the country areas of NSW and with the many servicemen, servicewomen and their families both within Australia and serving overseas. When they move back to an area where a scout group is active these Lones Members are encouraged to transfer to that Group. Thus, they get to experience both the self motivated and the Group promoted experiences.
The Scout Regions can call upon Lones to service the youth of a Group that is going through a transition period, or where there is a lack of Leaders for a particular section or waiting for Leaders to complete their training. A bit like being in a holding pattern where the youth can return to the Group as soon as the Group is ready. There is a set of strict criteria that each applicant must meet in order to join the NSW Lones Scout Group. Of course, it is expected that the youth member would join or re-join the regular Scout Group should their circumstances change.
How We Operate
At NSW Lones we recognise that one of the main reasons that we exist is because the conventional Scout Group does not suit everyone’s situation. The criteria covers most of the reasons why youth may wish to join NSW Lones in order to continue or start their scouting experience. But how do we differ from a regular scout group?
In a conventional scout group situation, the scout Leader is relied upon for programming and assisting the youth members achieve their goals and milestones. In Lones, it is the Parents and Guardians who do most of the direct assistance with the Leaders offering support and guidance. We also rely upon the many other resources that often go unnoticed, such as school teachers, sports coaches, music tutors and the like. A regular scout group would meet once a week during school terms, at Lones, we do not have that privilege, and therefore we need to rely upon those around our youth members, such as parents, to provide the support and encouragement needed to allow our members to grow and achieve their goals.
As Leaders, we do our best working with the youth members in identifying their needs, goals and aspirations, then, with the local support mentioned above, a plan is put into place creating a pathway for all to follow. Our leaders have many years experience in programming, advising, planning and assisting our members. In the past we have relied heavily upon the phone and snail mail to communicate to our members. With the bandwidth opening up on the Internet, we are finding that this has rapidly become an major and essential tool in delivering our services and support.