Scouts Victoria's Growth Area Strategy Framework
The purpose of the Scouts Growth Areas Strategy Framework (SGASF) is to provide a blueprint for Scouts Victoria to:
- Implement a region-based approach to establishing new scout groups in new communities
- Raise scouts' profile as relevant and influential providers of youth and community development through partnerships with local community, municipalities and state government agencies.
The SGASF assists in addressing two of Scouts Victoria's priority strategies and goals:
- Youth membership growth
- Societal recognition as relevant and contemporary
The SGASF also integrates with respective Scout regions' revitalisation programs for existing scout infrastructure, programs and services.
The strategy focuses on the growth areas encompassing the municipalities of Whittlesea, Hume, Mitchell, Melton, Wyndham, Cardinia and Casey.
The SGASF embodies the belief that scouts can make a major contribution to youth and community development in newly established and yet to be developed communities as scouts are one of the few volunteer organisations that can provide structured tailored programs outside of school hours, for all young people aged six to 25 years, 40 weeks a year.
Situational analysis informed by Plenty Valley region pilot
An evidence base was developed to inform the SGASF through the implementation of a Plenty
Valley Region Growth Areas Strategy pilot launched in April 2011. The pilot focused on the Mernda and Doreen communities in the City of Whittlesea and was managed through a Plenty Valley Region Taskforce comprising representatives from the scouts region, branch and key local organisations and government agencies.
The Pilot was undertaken in four phases including:
- Feasibility: scoping, resourcing and planning,
- Partnerships: building local support,
- Establishment: new scout groups and new scout leader pool, and
- Transition: move from region support to becoming a functioning scout group within the existing district structure.
Key recommendations from the pilot included:
- Develop a LGA-specific strategy to develop scouting in new communities and the revitalisation of existing scout groups in traditional areas
- Secure full-time resources to provide capacity in building localised partnerships and raising community awareness as to the community benefits of scouting groups in new communities
- Establish a dedicated region team of experienced scouting personal to support the engagement of local volunteers as new scout leaders and or members of parent committees in new scout groups
- Implement ongoing research and evaluation to determine the impact of scouting in growth areas, in particular value-adding to community development.