History of Rovering in Australia

Rovers originally started when older Scouts wanted a section appropriate for their developmental age and ability. After some early experiments with Senior Scouts in the late 1910’s, Rovers was officially adopted in 1918. The publication “Rovering to Success” was released by Baden-Powell in 1922, which detailed the general aims and program of the Rover section.

“Rovering to Success” detailed the goal for Rovers to create a well-rounded and valuable member of society by developing oneself through leadership opportunities and a wide range of experiences not necessarily available to the general public. The main focus of these is to provide service to the Scouting community and the General community; hence the Rover motto of Service.

Originally, Baden-Powell based the Rover program off the Knighthood theme through the tale of St. George. Baden-Powell believed that St. George (The Patron Saint of Scouts) represented what a Scout should strive to be: selfless with both moral and physical courage.

August 1918

August 1918

Baden-Powell thought that Senior Scouts was not a good name for the new section and that it wasn’t imaginative enough. After various suggestions, Rover Scouts was adopted. Age of entry to Rovers was fifteen.

1920

1920

Age of Rovers was lifted to seventeen and a half. The first International Scout Jamboree also took place at Olympia, London.

September 1922

September 1922

Baden-Powell published Rovering to Success. The book was enthusiastically received and eventually became one of the cornerstones of Australian Rovering.

May 1923

May 1923

1st Epping (Sydney North Area/Region, NSW), thought to be the oldest continuously operating Crew in the world, is registered.

1931

1931

The 1st World Rover Moot was held at the International Scout Centre at Kandersteg in Switzerland.

1936

1936

Upper age limit of twenty-five was introduced. Squires could join a Crew at sixteen but could not be invested until seventeen and a half.

1956

1956

The Baden-Powell Award Scheme, first proposed in 1946, was introduced for the Rover Section, in a revised form. This was not made official nationally until 1961.

1961-62

1961-62

The 7th World Rover Moot, the first to be held in the Southern Hemisphere, took place in Clifford Park, Victoria.

1967

1967

The Rover section was abolished in Britain. “Underground” Crews continued to operate.

1970

1970

“Design for Tomorrow” recommended the abolition of Rovers, to be replaced by a new Section, Pathfinders. Rovers rejected this change.

1974

1974

National Executive Council agreed traditional and non-traditional Crews should function.

1975

1975

Female members were first officially admitted to the Rover section in Australia. Female membership had been trialed in various Crews over the previous five years.

1977

1977

The first National publication for Rovers in Australia, the Australian Rovering Guidelines, was published. This was later developed into the Australian Rover Handbook which has been revised a number of times.

1978

1978

The Policy Organisation and Rules was amended to reflect these changes, allowing the establishment of Rover Councils and almost full autonomy for the Rover Section from Group through to National level.

1979

1979

The first National Rover Council meeting was held at Joseph Harris Park, Mount Martha, Victoria.

1988

1988

The NRC Chairman was appointed as a full member of the National Executive Committee of the Scout Association of Australia

1990/91

1990/91

The 8th World Moot was hosted in Victoria. This was the first World Moot held for nearly thirty years and was a result of successful lobbying to the World Scout Council by Australia and a number of other nations.

2018

2018

Centenary of Rovering around the World