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by Mior Rosli on Tuesday, 2 March 2010 at 04:40

Rover Scouting is a service division of Scouting for young men, and in some countries, women. A group of Rovers, analogous to a Boy Scout troop, is called a 'Crew.'

The section was started in 1918, following the successful growth of the Scout Movement, and was intended to provide a Scouting programme for young men who had grown up beyond the age range of the core Scout section. It was quickly adopted by the national Scouting organisations around the world.

Since Rover Scouting began, it has undergone many changes. Some national Scouting organisations no longer include a Rovering programme, but have replaced it with other programmes. In many of these countries, there are alternative Scouting organisations who maintain the original programme. Despite the differences in programmes, all organisations continue to provide a programme for young men, and sometimes women, into their early 20s.
Rovering provides enjoyable activities that combine personal development with meaningful service. A Rover Crew governs itself, but often has an older adult as a 'Crew Advisor' or 'Rover Scout Leader.' The founder of Rovering, Sir Robert Baden-Powell, called it a “brotherhood of open air and service.”
Rovering is the jolly journey of young people from adolescence to successful and responsible adulthood in the principles of service to God, country and his fellowmen.
The objectives of Rovering are to:
• Provide service to the Scout Movement
• Provide service to the community
• Develop as individuals by expanding one's range of skills
• Enjoy fellowship, social, outdoor, and cultural activities
Rovering provides an experience that leads to a life enriched in the following ways:
• Character and Intelligence
• Handicraft and Skill
• Health and Strength
• Service for Others
• Citizenship

Each of these elements, from character through service, finds expression in the crew's activities.

From the organisation's inception in 1918, Baden-Powell intended Rovering to have no upper age limit; however, after his death in 1941, the typical age shifted to 18 - 25. Traditional Scouting Organisations such as World Federation of Independent Scouts (WFIS), Baden-Powell Scouts (BPSA), Rover Explorer Scouts Association (RESA), Pathfinder Scouts Association (PSA), the Rover Scouts Association (RSA), and the United States Rovers continue to honour the founder's intent by having no upper age limit.
"Rover Scouting is a preparation for life, and also a pursuit for life."
- Baden-Powell, 1928.

In the 1920s, the progress badges of Rover Scouts (then known as "special proficiency badges") were not too different from the Scout section - Rover Scouts wore a First Class badge and the King's Scout badge that had red trim, together with their proficiency badges. In addition, they were qualified to achieve and wear the Rambler's Badge (metal version) on the left epaluette and the Rover Instructor badge.

In the 1930s, the number of badges were greatly reduced - no more First Class badge, King's Scout badge or proficiency badges. A Rover was only entitled to wear only two badges - the Rambler and the Rover Instructor. After World War II, even the Rover Instructor was not issued for a brief period. The situation improved after 1948 when the "Plan for Rover Scouts" introduced the "Progress Badge", initially a lanyard worn on the right shirt pocket, but later changed to a cloth emblem to be worn on the right epaluette.

In a bid to rescue the flagging Rovering section, the Scout Association introduced a new organisation and training scheme in 1956, where new badges were launched to attract new members. Queen's Scouts were entitled to wear a miniature replica on their left sleeves (or the Airman's badge/Seaman's badge or Bushman's Thong under the right epaulette, but not together with the Queen's Scout badge replica) before they qualified for the highest award in the Rover section - the Baden-Powell Award (a special epaulette worn on the left shoulder).

All of the badges are now historic in The Scout Association, with the exception of the Queen's Scout Award, following their discontinuation of the Rover Scout programme.

The Baden-Powell Award still forms the award scheme for several of the traditional scouting associations that retained Rover Scouting, such as the Baden-Powell Scouts' Association. To qualify for the Baden-Powell Award, a Rover must gain the Rambler (cloth version), Project (renamed from Progress badge), Scoutcraft Star and Service Training Star. Rovers are also entitled to wear Interpreter emblems of the specialised language.

 In 2003 The Scout Association introduced the Scout Network, aimed at a similar age range (18 to 25) to the former Rover Scouts.

While the Scout section has the World Scout Jamboree, Rovers have World Rover Moots. The first occurred in Kandersteg, Switzerland in 1931.
• 1st World Rover Moot 1931: Kandersteg, Switzerland
• 2nd World Rover Moot 1935: Ingaro, Sweden
• 3rd World Rover Moot 1939: Monzie, Scotland
• 4th World Rover Moot 1949: Skjak, Norway
• 5th World Rover Moot 1953: Kandersteg, Switzerland
• 6th World Rover Moot 1957: Sutton Coldfield, UK
• 7th World Rover Moot December 1961-January 1962 Melbourne, Australia

From the 8th World Moot, held in 1990 in Melbourne, Australia, the event was renamed World Scout Moot because the term Rover is not used in many countries.
• 8th World Scout Moot December 1990-January 1991: Melbourne, Australia
• 9th World Scout Moot July 1992: Kandersteg, Switzerland
• 10th World Scout Moot July 1996: Ransåter, Sweden
• 11th World Scout Moot July 2000: Mexico City, Mexico
• 12th World Scout Moot July-August 2004: Hualien, Taiwan
• 13th World Scout Moot July 2010: Nairobi, Kenya
• 14th World Scout Moot August 2013: Quebec/Ontario, Canada (proposed)

International Scout events in Europe aimed at the older age section usually keep the Rover name. There was a European Rover Moot in 1965 at Tived in Sweden. There is currently a series of events called RoverWay. This first occurred in 2003 in Portugal, followed by 2006 in Italy, the next is scheduled for 2009 in Iceland.

The CES (Confédération Européenne de Scoutisme) holds an annual International Rover Moot.
• June 2007: Het Naaldenveld in Bentveld. Netherlands
• June 2008: Mettmann Germany
• June 2009: UK

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