OAS - FAQ'S
Outdoor adventure skills FAQ's
- What are the Outdoor Adventure Skills (OAS) areas?
The OAS areas introduce 9 new achievement pathways that Youth Members can work towards in the New Youth Program. Each of these are focused on an outdoor adventurous activity. Please download and read the OAS Pioneer Handbook for more information on these.
- What are the Core and Non-Core areas?
The OAS framework splits the 9 activity areas into 'core' and 'non-core' areas. The three core areas focus on the outdoor activities that we consider fundamental to our program - Camping, Bushwalking and Bushcraft. It's what we do. The non-core areas focus on the more specialist activities that Youth Members can pursue - such as Cycling and Boating. Three of the non-core areas cover land based activities, and three cover water based activities.
- How many Stages are there in each area?
Each area has 9 stages, starting at stage 1 and climbing to stage 9. The lower stages are targeted towards the younger sections, while the higher stages are designed to challenge our most ambitious Scouts.
- What are the Streams?
There are 9 OAS areas - each focusing on a different category of outdoor activity. However, we know that there are many specialties within each adventurous activity. So, in some OAS areas split into various streams as of Stage 4. For example, at Stage 4, the Vertical OAS splits into Abseiling, Canyoning, Caving and Climbing streams.
- How will the OAS Stages be achieved?
The OAS framework is competency based, and recognises the skills that our Youth Members develop while participating in outdoor & adventurous programs. Each stage is made up of a list of skills (called I-Statements) that the Youth Member must have developed in order to achieve the Stage.
- What are I-Statements?
To earn each OAS Stage, the Youth Member must demonstrate competency in a range of skills. Each skill is listed as an 'I-Statement': "I can list what food to bring on a day bushwalk", "I can identify the main parts of a compass" etc.
- How are the OAS Stages assessed?
Each I-Statement is ideally assessed by another Youth Member who is two stages higher than the person being assessed. An Adult Leader acts as a Mentor to the assessment.
- What if we can’t find someone two stages higher to assess me?
As a first point of call, we encourage you to look outside of your Unit to a Youth Member in a higher section who may have the higher stage. After this, perhaps there is someone in another Group near you. If there is a Scout in another Region, a remote assessment could be organised using Skype or Facetime. Ultimately, if no Youth Member who is two stages higher can be arranged, a Leader can perform the assessment (with reference to the Adult Leader Mentoring Qualification Matrix)
- Will there be a new badge for each new stage?
Yes. However, when bench-marking Youth Members for the first time, it is expected that they would move through the lower stages very quickly, and so would only receive the badge that shows their bench-marked competency. When a higher stage is earned for an OAS competency, it replaces the lower stage on the uniform.
- Where do we wear the badges?
During the transition phase to the New Program, the OAS badges will be worn on the right hand sleeve where the current 'Additional Badges' are placed. If they don't fit in this spot, please try to fit them somewhere on the right sleeve.
- Where can the new badges be purchased?
The OAS badges will eventually be able to be purchased from the National Scout Shop, following the same procedures as in place for the current badges. However, as each Branch is implementing differently, the Scout Shop is reviewing the levels of access required, which may take some time. Queensland Branch are looking at some other options for our members until the Scout Shop is ready, and we'll advise of these shortly. In the meantime, please start bench marking our Scouts, and record their progress, ready for when the new badges can be purchased.
- What stage will I need to earn to achieve my Peak Award?
This will vary for each of the Sections:
- Joey Scouts will need to achieve Stage 1 in the core area's.
- Cub Scouts will need to achieve Stage 3 in the core area's, and have also achieved a total of at least 8 progressions throughout the OAS Stages.
- Scouts will need to achieve Stage 5 in the core area's, and have also achieved a total of at least 10 progressions throughout the OAS Stages.
- Venturer Scouts will need to achieve Stage 5 in the core area's, and have also achieved a total of at least 12 progressions.
- Rover Scouts will need to achieve Stage 5 in the core area's, and have also achieved a total of at least 14 progressions.
These requirements will not be in effect until later in the Implementation Plan. For now, the OAS Areas are simply earned in preparation for the later requirements, and do not contribute to the current award scheme.
- Do I need to start the OAS areas again when I move up to the next Section?
No, the OAS Areas are progressive, and carry across the sections. Once a Stage is earned, it is kept.
- Will Leaders be able to wear OAS badges?
- How do the OAS areas relate to Adult Leader Training?
Adult Leader Training and Adult Adventurous Activities Training remain separate to the OAS. Scouts earn OAS stages, and Leaders earn AA Levels.
- Will the OAS areas connect to VET certifications?
Some higher OAS Stages will link to VET certifications. More information will be provided in due course.
- Why are Motorsports & air activities not included in the OAS areas?
The intent of the OAS areas is to cover human powered activities. Motorsports, air-activities, & other non-included activities will be able to be pursued in the Special Interest Area component of the New Youth Program. The Special Interest Areas are being implemented at a later date.
- Can Joey Scouts earn OAS areas?
- How will we record OAS areas achievements?
There are a number of options you may choose to track progress:
- Print an OAS Booklet for each Youth Member, and tick off each I-Statement
- Use the example individual OAS progress tracking sheet
- Use the example Unit OAS progress tracking sheet
In time, an app/website will be released to track a Youth Members progress, but this is some time away.
- Will all OAS areas be available in all Regions?
Realistically, not for some time. It will take time for our Regions to build up the resources (both in trained people and equipment) to support all OAS Areas across the State - particularly in the higher Stages of the Specialist Areas. Where Youth Members need support to achieve a Stage due to lack of resources or a suitably qualified Leader to Mentor, we encourage their Leaders to speak with their Region Teams who will connect them with a suitable member of the Adventurous Activities team for assistance.
- How will we do Alpine in Queensland? - it's hot!
Well, we have a few options. For Scouts in South East Queensland, an indoor skiing facility has recently been opened that will support the lower Stages of the Alpine OAS. For the higher Stages, we may in future look to provide opportunities to travel interstate during winter to support Alpine OAS activities.