The work of the Review is ongoing. Check out some of the outcomes of the research so far below.

Stage 1 | McCrindle Research | BDRC Jones Donald | Developmental Stages Research | Stage 3 | YPR Educational Proposal | Stage 4 | Australian Scout Promise and Law Recommendation Report

Stage 1 (Initial Scoping Research)

Topic 1 (1-1)

In 2013, the Brownsea Island Patrol of the National Youth Council worked with the YPR Coordinating Team to gather feedback from Scouting members all over Australia to establish the “burning issues” within our organisation today that should be looked at by the YPR.

What are the burning issues that members of Scouts Australia believe should be covered in the review? – Published 11 Feb 2014

Appendix 1
Appendix 2
Appendix 3

NB: Although the word “recommendation” is used in the above report, the sole intention of this paper is to pull together input from our membership from a whole range of sources. The YPR coordinating team wanted to make sure that in our careful planning of how to proceed, we hadn’t overlooked anything vital. We thank you so much for your input and comments.

Topic 4 (1-4)

A group of Scouting volunteers conducted initial research into aspects of the Fundamentals of Scouting in Australia.

In twenty-first century Australia, what should be the Mission, Aim, Principles & Methods of Scouts Australia? – Published 1 Feb 2015

McCrindle Logo

McCrindle Research (market research on Scouting in the context of contemporary Australia)

Market research company, McCrindle, partnered with Scouts Australia for the YPR in 2014. This research, made up of 3 phases, paints a picture of Australian society today, the world in which our current and potential members live.

McCrindle Phase 1

This phase analysed a series of focus groups of current and previous Scouting members and their families. This snapshot was developed to be a foundation for future research.

YPR Target Market Research: Initial Exploratory Analysis – Published 4 August 2014

McCrindle Phase 2

“Understanding the needs and desires of Australian Families for a national youth program” – This phase contains a comparative analysis of surveys of Scouting parents & non-Scouting parents Australia-wide. These surveys included one of over 1,000 non-Scouting parents and one of over 1,800 Scouting parents – you may well know someone who took part!

YPR Research: Understanding the needs and desires of Australian families for a national youth program – Published 25 November 2014

McCrindle Phase 3

“Understanding the factors shaping the world of Generation Alpha and Generation Z” – This phase presents a scoping study providing a glimpse into the future of Generations Z & Alpha, identifying strengths and weaknesses of, plus possible opportunities and threats for Scouts Australia.

YPR Scoping Study: Understanding the factors shaping the world of Generation Alpha and Generation – Published 25 November 2014

BDRC Jones Donald Logo

BDRC Jones Donald Research Issues of Retention

Market research company, BDRC Jones Donald, partnered with Scouts Australia for the YPR in 2014. This research gathered qualitative information to explore why our retention is poor even amongst our strongest groups, specifically among young adolescents. The company ran a number of focus groups with former Scouts and their parents.

Research to support strategies for retention of 10-15 year olds – Published 8 August 2014

Developmental Stages Research

To help us gain an understanding of the developmental needs of young people in Australia today, researcher and former Scout Kellie Loveless gathered information from a range of different secondary sources. Her findings are explored and summarised in the following documents:

Scouts Australia Age Summary Report – Published 17 February 2015

Scouts Australia Key Developmental Stages Matrix & Summary Report – Published 13 February 2015

Stage 3 The Foundations of “One Program”

Stage 3 of the YPR began in June 2014 when team leaders and team mentors came together to meet each other, the YPR Coordinating Team, the National Youth Program Team, and to learn from the experiences of Scouts Canada and Scouting Ireland.

This was the beginning of eight months of hard work, meetings, surveys, research, investigations, forums and visits to events. There was:

  • 19440 hours of work
  • 7000+ people surveyed
  • 5000+ pages of literature read
  • 756 pages of reports written
  • 70 focus groups
  • 61 team members
  • 40 meetings
  • 30 surveys
  • 5 major events
  • 8 teams
  • Stage 3 was all about developing the big-picture concepts of a future youth program for Australian Scouting – concepts that will drive the ideas and detail that will emerge in Stage 4.

Most of the recommendations have been cleared to pass on to the Stage 4 teams. Some recommendations will require approval from various National committees. For these, we will soon be entering a consultation phase with our entire membership.

We are now proud to present to you the final reports of Stage 3, and ask that you offer your feedback in a constructive and well considered way.

This report provides a summary of the information and proposals contained in the eight Stage 3 reports (listed individually below).

The report “Leadership For All” (published 12 May 2015) looks at the role that Scouting can play in leadership development of our youth members. It considers the place of “leadership courses” as well as the idea that leadership development should be integral in the way the program is delivered, in a developmentally appropriate way.

The report “An Adventurous Program” (published 12 May 2015) looks at the concept of adventure in the program. It examines the idea that having an adventure in Scouting is an important part of personal growth, how adventure might be defined, and where Adventurous Activities fits into this model.

The report “Areas of Personal Growth” (published 21 May 2015) considers the Areas of Personal Growth for our youth members. It validates the relevance of Social, Physical, Intellectual, Emotional and Spiritual Development towards the overarching aim of Character Development. The merits of involving youth better in understanding this concept is explored.

The report “The Scout Method” (published 21 May 2015) explores “how” we do Scouting. It is identified that the understanding of the Method in Australian Scouting is limited and inconsistent. This report proposes eight newly defined Method elements, and a visual representation for both adults and youth.

The paper “Discussion on a Progressive Award Scheme” (published 25 June 2015) provides an initial exploration into this part of the program. The paper’s initial findings present a need for further exploration into the topic, particularly the need to consider the role and aims of a progressive scheme in the future program. Is an award scheme something every youth member should complete, or something for those who want a bit extra?

The paper “Age Sections” (published 05 August 2015) provides an outline of the different stages of youth and adolescent development and how the Scouting section model fits around these identified milestones. The initial discussion paper provided the basis for continuation of work through 2015. The final paper presents three distinct models for feedback, each identified with pros and cons from Australian and World Scouting perspectives. What should Australia’s Scouting sections look like within the framework of a ‘developmental’ program?

The report “The Fundamentals” (published 01 September 2015) provides key insights and findings into our approach and wording to fundamental aspects of the Scouting program in Australia. This exploration of the Purpose, Principle, Mission, Aim, Method, and Promise & Law considers the underlying meanings behind these aspects of Scouting, and provides new approaches for a contemporary Australian context.

The report “Duty to God and Spiritual Development” (published 01 September 2015) looks closely at these two aspects of the Scouts Australia program. Duty to God (Fundamentals) and Spiritual Development (one of the six Areas of Personal Growth) are aspects of the program identified as needing particular focus in the Review. This paper explores the relevance of these areas and proposes revised approaches to maintain their key place a 21st Century Scouting program.


Let us know what you think of these reports!

YPR Educational Proposal

Scouting is about education (World Scout Youth Program Policy, 2015).

Scouting’s educational approach is the Scout Method. But is this relevant to young Australians today?

The YPR has developed an Educational Proposal for Scouts Australia which aims to explain to the Australian Community how the Scout Youth Program meets the developmental needs of young people in Australian Society, in accordance with the Purpose, Principles and Method of the Movement, and in line with the Mission of Scouting.

Download Version 1 of the Educational Proposal, and send your feedback through to yp.review@scouts.com.au.

This document will continue to evolve with feedback and the development of a new Scout Program.

Stage 4 Designing Tomorrow

Starting with a week long camp in July 2015, five intergenerational teams workshopped, debated, and creatively imagined what a future youth program for Scouts Australia could look like. Their task was to:

  • Answer how to implement the Areas of Personal Growth and Scout Method and the associated themes for the Age Sections
  • Define the key Symbolic Framework or theme
  • Illustrate the purpose of our core activities
  • Generate a developmental leadership model that is in partnership with adult support
  • Show how the program will be adventurous
  • Explain how small groups function and the names of the groups
  • Imagine key names and descriptions of how each section operates
  • Outline the role of adults
  • Devise a Personal Progression Scheme which meets the developmental abilities of youth and flows as one continuous learning journey from beginning to end – from ages 6 to 26.


Stage 4 Teams concluded working in March 2016. After thousands of volunteer hours, these teams collaboratively developed the New Program Concept. This dynamic document outlines answers to all the above questions and is summarised into a presentation. Since then, their work has been presented and discussed at a range of Branch and National forums. These have included the National Youth Program Team meetings, the annual Program Conference in May 2015 and the National Operations and National Executive Committee meetings in June 2016.

Specific and well documented outcomes of Stage 4 are being shared around the country in the form of interactive workshop sessions. These sessions involve a presentation developed by the YPR Coordinating Team, and workshops which aim to question, challenge, excite and stimulate participants thoughts, expectations and understandings. Keep an eye on your Branches communication channels to find out about your local presentation, and check the YPR website for updates. Once presentations are underway across Australia, and arrangements have been made for rural Scouting communities, the outcomes shared in the presentations will be made available on the YPR website and open for comment.

Australian Scout Promise and Law

A review into the Australian Scout Promise and Law was instigated in 2013 after being identified as a ‘burning issue’ in the initial stages of the Youth Program Review. In this scoping stage of the review, many members provided feedback that the Australian Scout Promise and Law required revision and potentially updates to reflect modern language and understandings. Since then, investigation has incorporated many consultations, both within and external to the Scouting community.

The Youth Program Review consultations have garnered more than 7,300 responses (noting that some people may have responded to more than one survey), and cover a wide range of demographic categories. The Scout Promise and Law are clearly areas where members passionately advocate for their opinions and beliefs, and this has been considered while compiling, analyzing and representing the data provided.

This report draws together all previous research into the Promise and Law in one document, providing commentary on the considerations and discussion points before drawing together final recommendations.

Download the Australian Scout Promise and Law Recommendation Report.