Digital Letter of Introduction

Dear Scouters,

Our team would like to formally introduce ourselves to you and your team, and we all decided that a formal letter of introduction would be the best way to say ‘Hello’.

The internet is an amazing resource for communicating with Scouts from all over the world, and our goal is to open this opportunity up to every Scout in every country, no matter what. We are a truly international organisation with Team Members and Users from all over the World. We aim to provide as much support as we can for Scout groups and individuals involved in Scouting, to get online and connected with each other,  especially during JOTI, where we will be providing services to get Scouts talking to each other and meeting other members of our Scouting family on an international level.

We are focused on working to support Messengers of Peace projects, and a number of us are working diligently on achieving our own projects. We are an organisation that is youth lead, with adult support, meaning that we want to provide opportunities for all members of scouting, no matter what section or age. In recent months we began the process of becoming a registered not-for-profit organization, and this will allow us to offer the opportunity for youth members to experience and participate in corporate governance.

So far, majority of our users are from United Kingdom, Australia, The Netherlands, and New Zealand. We have many different teams that support our organisation. We offer Minecraft, Heroes of the Storm, and a few other gaming services, and a TeamSpeak 3 voice chat service. We are also working on setting up and implementing a safer webchat alternative to IRC using Discord, so that youth members are protected and able to participate in a secure environment.

The mission of Scouting is important to our organization, and we are working to contribute to the education of young people, through a value system based on the Scout Promise and Law. We wanted something that was fun and interactive, innovative and amazing. We spoke to a number of our adult support members, and we recruited a Training, Learning and Development Coordinator. These people have provided us with some very unique skills, and a huge amount of support in our formation. We have a fully interactive e-learning environment, that covers all training a person would need to join the team and work together to support the users of the ScoutWired services.

We have a Service Level Agreement between our Council, our Training Team, and our Team Members. This is our standard of outcomes and expectations that we use to guide us. We have compulsory Child Protection and Network Security training, and a system in place to provide a safe online environment for users. Our team members and council are all WOSM NSO registered and verified. We have adult supporters who are teachers, rovers who are studying to become teachers, and users who are skilled in technical areas that want to share their knowledge with youth leadership and other youth members, and provide a supported education environment. In turn they have spent time mentoring us, and tutoring us to be able to deliver topics around internet safety and support when there are issues. Most importantly, we want to share this system with our fellow scouts from around the world.

Communication is innovating rapidly, and at a rate that we cannot measure. JOTA-JOTI is a very important annual event that is amazing to participate in. It has some great opportunities, and the current technology being used is slowly out-dating. With the price of technology being significantly cheaper now, access to webcams and internet is expanding just a quickly as mobile technology. Minecraft is exceptionally popular and continues to be even when the JOTI weekend is completed. We currently have around 800 unique users participating regularly on our Minecraft server, we moved servers early in 2017 and lost the data before that, but we are pretty sure we’ve actually had over 1200 in total.

Our structure is based on the patrol system. Our Council consists of a team of Coordinators (Patrol Leaders). They in turn have teams/patrols of their own. The Training Team works with the Council Coordinators to create and provide training and support for the teams, which means that we have a creative and innovative educations team with limitless possibilities and outcomes. In turn, creating a supporting learning environment based on peer training and assessment. Building skills in a non-formal learning environment to increase confidence and exposure to leadership and mentoring.

We aren’t all leaders, and most of us are youth members, so we’re not here to boss people around and dictate who gets to do what and who doesn’t. This project has been the biggest Scouting achievement and was a platform born of hard work which earned me my Queen Scout Award and Messengers of Peace badge. It has been a new and exciting learning experience for us all as well. Scouting needs a platform for innovation for youth to be able to play, learn, grow, experiment, and practice. This platform needs to be safe, secure, and have support. We really hope we can work together to expand the Youth Programme online opportunities.

Thank for you taking the time to read this.

 

Yours in Scouting,

Hamish Price (from Scouts New Zealand),  and the ScoutWired Team.