If you are currently travelling Australia with kids or thinking about it…then please consider Lone Scouts!
What is a Lone Scout? I had no idea, I had never heard of it…so when Noela from Lost and Loving It posted in our Facebook Group “Aussie Big Lappers” about her son’s involvement I was intrigued and wanted to know more.
Our two home-schooled kids have just arrived into a small town, smack bang in the middle of Central Queensland, they know no one, yet they already have a community of peers ready to welcome them in! If you’re currently travelling Australia or even thinking about it, wouldn’t you want that for your kids too? My name is Noela and we run the travel blog “Lost and Loving it”.
Over five months ago we waved goodbye to all our family and friends, and left to travel the whole of Australia in our four wheel drive and camper; and also to go backpacking around the world with our kids! Pretty exciting hey? But like many other fellow travellers with kids, we had the same concerns about uprooting our children’s lives. What about friends? Will they turn into hermits instead of their usual bright and outgoing personalities?
In truth, none of these are likely by themselves as road life offers so many incredible opportunities to socialise and learn. But to safeguard our concerns and to give our kids the best opportunities, we joined our son into the Scoutreach Lones Program.
What is Lone Scouting?
You’re very likely to have heard about Scouts Australia. Scouts Australia has almost 70,000 members, and is now one of the largest youth movements in our country. Lone Scouts or Scoutreach Lones, the name depends on your state, is an additional branch of Scouting in Australia. Youths who are travelling in Australia, like our kids, and even those who are living in remote areas where the nearest Scout group is some distance away, are still able to be a part of this greater community by joining Lone Scouts.
Having all the bonuses of being a part of Australia’s largest youth movement – but no fixed address.
Before travelling indefinitely, we absolutely loved our son being a regular Joey and Cub Scout. Unlike regular Scouts where you attend weekly meet ups at the same Den; a Lone Scout has a lot more flexibility where they can complete activities in their own time, and also able to attend any Scouts Den around the whole of Australia! Wherever we are, wherever we go, and no matter how long we are in an area, a Scouts den and the connection with peers for our kids is never too far away.
Although we’ve been with Scouts from the start, your kids don’t have to. You can join Lone Scouts any time before or during your travels, and even transfer your memberships if plans change.
What Scouts and Lone Scouts do?
Adventure, mateship, encouragement, learning, confidence, uplifting, respect and inspiring environmentally aware leaders – these are all words we would use to describe what Scouts do. Each visit with a Scouts community, or time aside as a Lone Scout, is all for preparing the child to achieve skills to reach encouragement badges. No child fails. Each child no matter their ability has every chance to succeed.
The activities are very wide ranging, always engaging and age appropriate. Rob as a Joey and Cub Scout has been on camps, gone Abseiling, learnt first aid skills, knows how to tie various knots, gained confidence to speak in front of up to 30 kids that he has just met, participated in loads of community events and always has fun.
The Scouts motto is “Be Prepared… for new adventures”
As a parent what do you do with a Lone Scouting child?
To help your child succeed with Lone Scouts, one parent will need to be their Lone Scout Adult Friend. You yourself won’t need any experience with Scouts, but you must be enthusiastic and encouraging to help your child succeed. Each Lone Scout is set activities from their Scout Section Leaders, that are designed to help the kids thrive, and the Lone Scout Adult Friend helps facilitates the challenges. The parent will also need to be the one that makes contact with the Dens their child is wishing to visit. For us, this has never been more than one phone call, as each Group Leader has been so welcoming of our Lone Scout son.
Who is eligible?
We are counting down the days until our 5 year old daughter can become an official Joey Lone Scout. Until that day she is very happy to watch her brother and occasionally participate as an unofficial ‘Bilby’.
The Scouting Adventure can begin for anyone over the age of 6! Each section is divided into age based groups. These are:
Joey Scouts: 6 – 8 years, Cub Scouts: 8 – 11 years, Scouts: 11 – 15 years, Venturer Scouts: 15 – 18 years and Rover Scouts: 18 – 25 years
How much does it cost and how do you join?
There is a free call 1800 SCOUTS (1800 726 887) number and additional State and Territories contacts can be located here:
The costs do vary for each State and Territory. For us we pay an annual membership fee and additionally purchased the Cub Scout shirt, so Rob can really feel a true part of his community. In certain states there may even be Government assistance vouchers that if eligible, can be contributed towards your Scouts fees.
In writing this article, we really hope you can identify the incredible opportunities and experiences that being a Lone Scout and being connected with the largest youth movement, could provide for your own children while travelling this amazing country. We really feel that we can provide our children the best of all worlds while travelling – stability, friendships, education, leadership and socialisation – mostly by putting ourselves out there initially, to create learning and thriving opportunities.
In addition to Lone Scouts, we also try and provide an all-round home education to our kids in many other ways. We engage a Piano tutor who works online with our kids to continue to advance their musical skills. Yes, we even have an electric keyboard in the camper!
We participate in Karate classes and Home School group meet ups all around the country, to continue to progress their confidence, self-defence skills, Karate belts and socialisation abilities. And we, as the parents try and turn everyday opportunities into a possibility to have fully engaged ‘hands on’ learners. So far our efforts have taken us some incredible places together – being the first of the public to be toured inside a town’s water supply and dam wall, private instructions on Aboriginal dancing, tours of Outback Stations, full lessons on geology and rock formations and so much more!
To be fully inspired on what this amazing country has to offer, for additional ideas on how to educate your children on the road or just to live an incredible adventure through our experiences, follow our blog “Lost and Loving It”
Hope to see you out here.
Noela – We are “Lost and Loving It”
THANK YOU so much Noela and family – a fabulous read xx Here is a little more about Lost and Loving it:
We are travel enthusiasts! This is our second lap around Australia, but this time we are travelling slowly and enjoying every single moment with our young family. Our kids Rob, aged 8 and Abby, aged 5 are what we call out “Little Learning Legends”. They are so motivated, happy and fully engaged in learning along our travellers.
As well as participating in Scouts we also do Piano lessons over email with a tutor, continue Karate and self-defence lessons by visiting Dojos (Karate Schools), connect in with as many Home Schooling groups while we travel and carry out as many Random Acts of Kindness so we can model compassion and honesty for our kids to follow.
We are self-sufficient budget travellers. We have a weekly budget of under $500 per week which is easy to maintain as we are fully self-sufficient on solar and eat healthily. We keep to a lower budget for our family of four, so we can travel for as long as possible!
An activity that we all get involved in is Journaling…our Australian made Travel Journals are perfect if you are on the road full time, or weekends away and all types of travelling adventures in between…
92 Journal Pages | Activities | Reusable Packing checklist and Address Book