Membership of Murwillumbah Scouts is open to young people who meet the standard criteria for membership. We are aware of the importance of Scouting in offering children unique and beneficial life experiences and seek, where possible, to include youth with diverse needs. Nonetheless, the group is run by parent and leader volunteers. This means we have limited resources and cannot do everything we would like to do. In taking on a child we also have to assess behaviour and whether this poses a risk to the child or others around him or her. This is very important because we engage in activities such as abseiling, rock climbing, canoeing and the like. which require that youth can take instructions and behave in a consistent manner.
Why is there a period of observation?
With this in mind, all youth who come into our group spend a few weeks observing, without commitment from them or from the group, to see if Scouting is an activity they will enjoy. During this time, our leaders closely evaluate each child’s behaviour to form judgements as to whether their behaviour may present safety risks, to themselves or others. For example, well run activities such as abseiling, canoeing or hiking have a manageable risk, but this risk can grow quickly if a child cannot be relied upon to pay attention, follow instructions and work as part of a team. We communicate any concerns with you to either put in extra support for the child or to decline membership.
Sometimes we have to say no to a parent enquiring about our Scout group
There are times when we do not have the capacity to take any more youth. We are required to have only so many youth per leader. In the instance where the group is full, we maintain a waiting list for when openings occur.
At any one time there are youth with special needs in our group. These youth usually require close attention and, with this in mind, there are only so many youth with special needs we can cater for at a time. Sometimes our group is at capacity in this regard and we are not able take a new youth on as a member. We do not like doing this, but we have to consider the overall functioning of the Scout group. We have to take into consideration whether we have sufficient appointed leaders adequately trained to deal with the mix of youth members in the group at any given time. In other words, at these times we just do not have the resources to meet the needs of every child. If we have to say no at the time of enquiry, there may be a future opportunity for that child as the group and its resources change. With this in mind, we can place you on a waiting list.
Basic requirements for youth members
There are some basic requirements for any child to join Murwillumbah Scouts. These are:
- Your child needs to be able to toilet and dress her/himself as this is not our leaders’ role.
- Your child must follow the Murwillumbah Scouts Code of Conduct.
- Your child should be able to interact with fellow youths in ways that typify Scouting principles.
- Your child’s attendance in Scouting must not require any appreciable change in meetings and overall methods of Scouting such that it is to the detriment of the other youth members.
- The Scout leaders, if they deem necessary, will make a condition of your child’s membership that one parent or guardian becomes a parent helper to accompany your child during certain activities or, if required, at the weekly Scout meetings. If asked to be a parent helper, you will need to fill out a form, get a Working with Children Check (a ‘Blue Card’) and complete a small amount of online learning around child safety.
If you have any further questions regarding this, please contact the current group leader whose details are on the Contact Page of our website.