Out with the old, in with the new badge scheme

The video explains it!

There are some exciting changes happening in Scouts currently, which is the most significant change since the old badge system was introduced in the 1970s. The (new) youth program provides a better framework for outdoor adventure skills badges and focuses the remainder of the badge system on our core leadership skills, as well as broadening the special interest badges we have currently. It is a very positive change. There are some associated changes such as simplifying some terminology (all sections are now “Units”, eg Cub Scout Unit) and we have a new logo.

Like to read a paper copy - jump straight to the Badge record books and order your own copy for $15 including postage. There is a digital app (free) called Terrain. Log in with your Scout membership number and DOB as YYYY-MM-DD.

There are more details on transitioning to the new scheme, but most scouts will be best finishing their boomerang or Pioneer/Explorer cord and moving to the new scheme.

Scouts has a well developed method for youth to progressively learn how to lead their activities using a structured approach. The program planning worksheets are on the national site.

Program on a poster

This is a great introduction, and be sure to check out the slides at the bottom of the page.

The badge system

This system encourages and acknowledges personal growth of the Scouts.

First badge: Introduction to Scouting, then Introduction to Section

Then, in parallel

Milestones (1, 2, 3) --- Special interest areas (SIA) --- OAS

Peak award (after Leadership course; Adventurous journey, reflection)

This is called the Personal Progression Framework

Details: The peak award requires Milestone 3, six SIA badges (across 2 or more areas), OAS progressions (depends on section) leadership course, journey and reflection.

OAS progressions:

Each section requires a level in the core areas (Bushcraft, Bushwalking and Camping) and a total number of progressions in any area (including the core areas). These are in the table below.

Joeys: Stage 1 in core areas: No other progressions required.

Cubs: Stage 3 in core areas plus 8 progressions total.

Scouts: Stage 5 in core areas plus 10 progressions total.

Venturers: Stage 5 in core areas plus 12 progressions total (4 of which are stage 4 or higher).

Rovers: Stage 5 in core areas plus 14 progressions (6 of which are Stage 4 or higher).

Badge record books

Use the digital app, Terrain (log in with scout member number and DOB as YYYY-MM-DD), or the paper record books.

Three books:

#1 Badge record books now available for the new system. Buy the appropriate books below (Hint: log on under the "leader (will be renamed member" side with your scout membership number - use the forgotten password link if required):

Joey Scout Record Book

Cub Scout Record Book

Scout Record Book

Venturer Scout Record Book

Rover Scout Record Book

#2: Outdoor Adventure Skills OR SJW has created a compact book and some sign off sheets linked below.

#3: Most Scouts will require a logbook, similar to the "camping record" in the back of the green book, which you should complete online.


Most Scouts will require a logbook to document their skills. Create your own record using this template.

LOGBOOK Outdoor-Activities - SJW Alan format 20190419.xlsx

Challenge areas

There are four Challenge Areas that support ideas generation & make up the Scouting Program, these are; Community Challenge, Creative Challenge, Outdoors Challenge and Personal Growth Challenge.

Some Ideas Are:

  • Getting out & into the community

  • Engagement

  • Involvement

  • Projects & Partnerships

  • Visits

  • Volunteering

  • Diversity & Inclusion

  • Environment

  • Active Citizenship

Projects could be:

  • Local

  • National

  • International

  • Supporting

  • Knowledge

  • Service

Some Ideas Are:

  • Expression

  • Arts

  • Making

  • Creating

  • Inventing

  • Designing

  • Planning

Projects could be:

  • Unusual

  • New

  • Colourful

  • Bold

  • Innovative

  • Investigative

Some Ideas Are:

  • Environment

  • Camping

  • Time in Nature

  • Water Activities

  • Adventurous Activities

  • Journeys

Projects could be:

  • Fast

  • High

  • Wide

  • Slow

  • Deep

  • Safe

Some Ideas Are:

  • Health & Wellbeing

  • Resilience

  • Mental Health

  • Beliefs & Values

  • Social Justice

  • Skills

  • Interests

Projects could be:

  • Invidivual

  • Healthy

  • Growing

  • Resilience

  • Believeing

  • Commitment

  • Understanding

  • New Skills

All Scout programs should be adventurous, fun, challenging and inclusive for all Scouts.

By following challenge area model, young people are able to create a Scout program that is engaging and applicable for all members.

What's really important is that Scouts in all Sections are planning for and leading the programming of their Unit as much as possible, appropriately supported by older Scouts and our Adults. Some Scouts may need support to contribute their ideas, and to deliver their ideas in the program.

Challenge Areas - more info

3 Milestones

Milestones record the normal activity of Scouts, including learning leadership skills by doing. All Scouts are capable of completing the milestones if interested and would normally complete a milestone each year.


- 24 participates (6 from each Challenge Area)

- 2 Assists (from two different Challenge Areas)

- 1 Lead (one activity from any Challenge Area of your choice.)


- 20 participates (5 from each Challenge Area)

- 3 Assists (from two different Challenge Areas)

- 2 Leads (two activities from any Challenge Area(s) of your choice.)


- 16 participates (4 from each Challenge Area)

- 4 Assists (from at least two different Challenge Areas)

- 4 Leads (from any Challenge Area(s) of your choice)

Participate - Assist - Lead - means???

Here it is explained.

Participate - Assist - Lead

Plan -- Do -- Review using SPICES

All activities use the "Plan - do - Review" circle and youth reflect on their adventures and achievements using a structured method called SPICES. SPICES enable Scouts of all ages to understand the Educational Objectives of the Scout program and how they apply to their personal development. Leaders support Youth during the Review process, using prepared ‘I Statements’ that explain the developmental expectations of sectional age ranges and sets of SPICES Cards that feature questions relating to the SPICES that spark reflection on activities and aid in the understanding of personal growth.


Google Classroom has been deployed at SJW to provide a safe area accessible to our families to view and document efforts towards achieving badges. It is set up and run by our volunteers but it is developing very well.

Special Interest Areas

SIAs are badges that Scout earn for any worthwhile project, within six broad categories, and following the plan, do, review framework. Approval is required after the "plan" stage and on completion.

Main site - Qld scouts

You'll find:

SIA video introduction

Adults Leader Guide to SIA

Resources for all sections

Effort required for each section: Joeys=2 hours; Cubs=4 hours; Scouts=8 hours; Venturers=12 hours and Rovers=18 hours.

OAS Assessors, approvals and compact book

OAS is competency based, so trained youth and leaders are required as assessors. The SJW qualified assessors are found in Classroom in the reference area.

This badge system caters for all skill levels over a broad range of outdoor, physical activities. SJW has produced a compact book that you can use to check your progress. There is an app, Terrain, for recording progress.

See book below - why not print out the stage 1 pages and tick off what you can do, and circle things that you'd like to learn next. The lower stages are progressively being converted to worksheets and loaded into Classroom.

You should read the introduction on the left first below.

If you are ready, jump online and buy the nicely bound copy from the ScoutShop.

BOOK OAS introduction 6 pages 20200409.pdf
OAS book in compact format 20200414 50pages.pdf

Moving to the new scheme

Most cubs and Scouts should finish their next boomerang or cord (if close), which equates to a milestone, and then move across to the new scheme. Achievement badges or Proficiency badges equate to SIAs. Scouts can choose to stay on the old scheme, if already started, till end 2022, in which case new SIAs count as proficiency or achievement badges for the old scheme. Details here.

An online mapping tool exists to SIA and milestones. There is no mapping for the OAS as the structure is different, BUT for a short while, a recognition of prior skills process is available, which benchmarks current skills into the new badge stages.

Adventurous Journey

Plan and undertake an adventurous journey, which can be bushwalking, canoe, bike or other means that connects with the outdoors, with some other Scouts. Key requirements: Only one or two Scouts can plan and achieve the requirement on any journey. The size of the party is variable to suit the journey and risks. Scouts should be competent and can be drawn from the current or higher age section. Adults need to be available to help if required. (Note these requirements differ to the Record book and clarification is being sought).

More details in the Record Book or Scout HQ website. Scout Record book extract here:


Looking for the badge placement chart?

SJW Rover Scout Rhiannah and RA Jarrad give some tips on performing a skit.