The Outdoor Adventure Skills program is about having life-changing experiences.
The purpose of the Outdoor Adventure Skills program is not the badge; it is an invitation for Scouts to try something new, be outside more and test themselves with progressive challenges.
Outdoor Adventure Skills are tools to support the Plan-Do-Review process. The organization of an activity should match the participants’ level of expertise, and include the evaluation of the progress the youth made in a particular skills set.
Each of the nine Outdoor Adventure Skills pathways is organized into nine stages. Each stage builds on the previous stage and leads to the next. The stages are not aligned with Sections.
There are many different approaches that youth and Scouters can take to establish which stage each youth is currently at. First, there are some resources to help determine what skills youth in Pack and Troop have, based on the badge they earned in the previous program, but that may not encompass all their skills.
Here are a few other approaches that may work for your Section:
- Invite each “Patrol” (Team) explore Stage 1 of a skill. Then ask each Patrol to share whether everyone has the competencies for Stage 1. If some youth do not have all of the competencies, this is a good opportunity for more accomplished youth to mentor others on the Section’s next adventure on that skill pathway.
- For a younger Section, ask the youth to choose one skill and explore the competency statements together. If any of the youth are missing some competencies for the next Stage, encourage them to plan an activity so that everyone can learn to practise those competencies.
- For an older Section, give each Patrol (Team) a skill and ask that they develop a plan to teach a younger Section an appropriate stage of that skill. If the youth can successfully teach other youth up to a certain stage, they have demonstrated the competencies for that stage. Don’t forget, mentoring is built into the competency statements, so introducing that aspect at the beginning will set the Section up for success in the future.
- Ask the Section Leadership Team if it, and its Patrols (Teams), has an interest in a specific skill. If it does, support the SLT as it plans a camp around that skill.
Currently, Scouters and youth can print a single page from the larger “OAS document.” With few exceptions, all of the competency statements for an Outdoor Adventure Skill stage will fit on a single page. Youth can carry these pages to and from meetings in a “Program Map pouch.” Progress can be tracked using the check boxes.
If a more accomplished youth is assessing another youth's OAS competencies, how can Scouters know that this assessment has been done correctly?
If Scouters are concerned that there is an issue with youth assessing one another, they can ask some simple questions of the youth trying to complete the stage. Youth at least two stages above youth being tested, external instructors and Scouters are able to test and sign off on the skills and competencies required for the stage. Evaluating youth may not have the same expectations as Scouters; they may be more or less critical of other youth’s progress than Scouters would be. If Scouters think there are systemic problems. They should talk about the situation first among themselves, and then with the Section Leadership Team.
No, a youth should fulfill all competencies of earlier stages before being recognized for the highest stage independently attained.
The decision of whether or not to pursue the Outdoor Adventure Skills should be left to the youth in each Section. If the youth would not like to explore the OAS competency framework (and, as a result, pursue their Top Section Awards), the Scouters should support that decision. However, Scouters should still aim to facilitate a balanced and exciting program for the youth to participate in based on their interests. Scouter should also re-confirm the youth’s decision occasionally in case they have a change of heart. Scouters should be aware of youth who are interested in pursuing the Outdoor Adventure Skills, regardless of what the majority of youth decided, and help to facilitate that aspect of the program for the interested youth to the best of their ability.
No, the OAS badges are for youth only. While Scouters are encouraged to attain the knowledge and skills needed to support the OAS framework for their youth, the badges themselves are for youth only.
All youth are encouraged to work towards the OAS framework and develop their personal abilities. However, the competency statements for each stage of each skill are set, and apply to all youth.
YES! sheets are available from the Scout Shop, Badge Magic sheets is a new method used to adhere badges and crests to your uniform, blankets, hats, or / and backpacks that is designed specifically for the OAS badges. Badge Magic is “peel and stick”, the adhesive allows you to attach your badge instantly eliminating the need to sew. Badge Magic is machine washable and the glue is easily removable with Goo Gone so your badges can be easily removed when desired. Badge Magic is available at the Scout Shop. Or if Groups would like to explore a Velcro option, there are many off-the-shelf options available at craft, sewing and department stores.
Outdoor Adventure Skill cards are a way of recognizing youth’s achievements and encouraging them to work towards the next stage. They are available from the Scout Shop in full sets of 81 cards. They can also be purchased individually.
Still need help? Please feel free to contact the Scouts Canada Help Centre