Scouts developing confident and resilient youth: survey

Merimbula Scouts check out some rock pools during one of their hikes. A new survey shows Scouts are more self-confident and mentally resilient than peers the same age.
Merimbula Scouts check out some rock pools during one of their hikes. A new survey shows Scouts are more self-confident and mentally resilient than peers the same age.

Young people involved in Scouts are more resilient and self-confident than their peers a new study shows.

A survey of over 1000 young people collected by Resilient Youth Australia found that Scouts have an overall better life satisfaction than their peers, and the longer they remain with Scouts, the more resilient they become.

The survey found they boasted stronger self-confidence, mental wellbeing and the capacity to cope in difficult times such as the bushfires or COVID-19 lockdowns.

Merimbula 1st Scout leader Jim Clark said it was wonderful to hear that Scouts was having such a positive impact on a new generation.

Mr Clark said the fundamentals of Scouting was to provide life skills "coming through in a fun way", which in turn boosts confidence and self-belief in those who took part.

"That's what we're all about, it's about teaching them to look after themselves," he said.

He said despite the rise of social media and online presence, Scout numbers were holding steady as critical life skills still played a pivotal role for developing youths.

"Regardless of any survey this is what we do, Scouting can offer a lot for young people to build their confidence," he said.

"It takes a community to raise a child these days."

Mr Clark said Scouts was multi-levelled with face-to-face sessions as well as camping trips, activities and annual events including bike rides spanning hundreds of kilometres that show members the kind of obstacles they can overcome.

"Our bike hike spans several hundred kilometres and for those kids between 10 and 14 they can get a lot of confidence out of it."

Mr Clark said the natural surrounds for both the Merimbula and Cobargo based Scout troops added a lot to their value with outings including camping, bike rides and canoeing to embrace the environment.

But he said Scouts boiled down to basic life practices that helped people lead self-sufficient lives.

"It's a way of life and it's pretty basic, but we just try and give them the skills and confidence to get on with it," he beamed.

Scouts chief commissioner Phil Harris said it was wonderful to see the measurable effect Scouts was having for young people.

"We're proud to know that the work we do for young people in our communities is helping build resilience, self-confidence and the emotional capacity to help cope during difficult times," he said.

"They reaffirm the essential service Scouting is, and continues to deliver to our local communities."

"This is especially poignant today as everyone needs the ability to stay positive after the devastating bushfires over summer and now the impact of COVID-19 on the lives and livelihoods of Australians."

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