2008 - The Year of the Scout

2008 was officially declared the Year of the Scout, and this year also marks 100 years of scouting in Queensland.  The John Oxley Library holds numerous items documenting the history of Queensland scouting.  Searching Picture Queensland using the term ‘scouts’ will retrieve images of scout buildings, gatherings and people, including this image of His Royal Highness Edward, Prince of Wales, inspecting a group of Boy Scouts at Warwick in 1920.

 His Royal Highness Edward, Prince of Wales, inspects Boy Scouts, Warwick, 1920, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland, Image No: 199804

Other items held in the collections include published works such as A golden jubilee history of the Maroochydore Scout Group, covering 1937 to 1987, and the substantial In the light of all the years : (a history of scouting in Queensland) by Ralf Fones.

Newspaper clippings about Scouts and Scouting are also available through our reading room, as well as souvenir programs for the Brisbane Gang Show, many of which feature names and images of cast members.

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Tried to find books written to celebrate Australia’s Year of the Scout?Australian author Christopher J. Holcroft has written two books specifically aimed at capturing the imaginations of Scouts and Venturers everywhere.His first book, Only The Brave Dare, was published in May this year and follows the exploits of a group of Venturers on a NSW Christmas holiday. When the Venturer Unit paddle out to explore an old wrecked submarine, they are taken prisoner by a group of Russian mafia who go to the sub to rerieve a haul of drugs left overnight by a mother ship.It is up to the most unassuming Ventuer to escape their convict jail with a lighthouse built on top and turn the prison into a weapon against the Russians.The second book, CANYON, is due out mid-November. It follows Scott the hero of the first book, as he sets up a national rescue scheme run by Rovers. He goes on a canyoning trip with his Venturer Unit that turns into disaster and a race against time. Half of his Unit are pitted against the raging elements in a herculean dash to safety. The second half try and save the life of a Venturer who has befallen a tragedy no one counted on.Both Only The Brave Dare and CANYON were written by a Venturer Leader for scouts in the Year of the Scout. The books are published by Poseidon Books and available on http://www.poseidonbooks.com/

When the Brave Dare to CanyonBOOK REVIEW BY MICHAEL LEE, 18 of Hurstville,New South Wales, AustraliaCANYON by Christopher J Holcroft, is the second instalment in a series that follows the adventures of Scott Morrow and his Venturer Unit. The novel tells the story of a canyoning trip that places the Venturer Unit against the elements and forces them to make a life and death decision.The book begins with the characters practicing their abseiling skills, as they learn to trust each other, in a controlled environment before they have to put these skills into practice in the most extreme weather conditions.With meticulous detail the author impeccably describes the scene, painting a picture in the reader’s mind. As the story builds in intensity the author switches between characters at different locations keeping the reader’s intrigue.The book shows the important connections between the different sections of the scouting family, particularly the bond between Venturers and Rovers.Like Only the Brave Dare the book is targeted towards teenage readers with a passion for adventure.Throughout the adventures of the Venturer Unit the author highlights the importance of team work.The novel is a suspenseful and entertaining read that keeps you on the edge of your seat.CANYON is an adrenaline filled story that will be thoroughly enjoyed by all teenagers.CANYON is available through Poseidon Books at www.poseidonbooks.com/

Only The Brave DareReview by Christopher Ganert,18, Ramsgate, NSW, AustraliaOnly The Brave Dare, by Christopher Holcroft, is a novel about Venturers on a camping trip who cross paths with the Russian Mafia.The book begins with a Queens Scout presentation and then introduces the main character.The world of Scouting and Venturing is described as the novel incorporates an emotional touch to the characters' interactions.The novel switches between different characters in different locations with different roles in a fashion that is simple to understand.Although there is the occasional violence, the author's description is acceptable for teenage readers.Only The Brave Dare portrays the Scouts as an organised, independent unit with some of their feats and routines seeming almost unbelievable.However, their feats and routines are plausible with the Venturers' training and experience.With the novel being set for a younger age, and using younger characters as the main role players, Only The Brave Dare is a gripping read for any teenager.Although the novel has several corny pages at the start, overall, it is a suspenseful and entertaining read.The novel is definitely a decent, educational experience for any teenager.Only The Brave Dare is available through Poseidon Books at www.poseidonbooks.com/

Third book in the Scott Morrow trilogy now out!The long awaited final book in the Scott Morrow adventure series by Australian author Christopher J. Holcroft is now available online.A Rite Of Passage is available at http://www.buybooksontheweb.com/product.aspx?ISBN=0-7414-5938-8In the book, Scott Morrow and his Venturer Unit organise a scuba dive and a special ceremony to welcome a new Scout into the Unit at a picturesque seaside setting.Calm is shattered when a vicious war between two motor cycle gangs erupts at the dive site. Scott and his fellow Venturers are forced to answer questions of courage when the lives of a group of Girl Guides are threatened: Will they stand and be counted when their own lives could be at dire risk? Will they stand at all?A Rite Of Passage is a novel showcasing the determination of teenagers who become young men when fate steps in.A Rite of Pasage was written specifically for boys aged 11-18 to encourage them to readand enjoy the great outdoors.Christopher

A Rite of Passage details the latest exploits of Venturer Scott Morrow and his unit, his latest endeavour; learning to dive. Scott is already famous for his escapades with the Russian Mafia after they captured his unit, and furthermore from his daring and brave rescue of a fellow Venturer and then a Rover during a canyoning accident.A Rite of Passage is aimed at teenage boys to encourage them to read and experience more of life by getting outdoors and living the adventure. It should surely achieve this, because it is easy and pleasant to read and provides a simple to understand, yet highly insightful look into perspectives we wouldn’t usually see which could only be formulated by someone with great experience and knowledge.We are allowed to see into the lives of gang members, which we are not usually exposed to through the media – we get to contrast our existing perceptions, challenging us to think more broadly about what we really know about people who are so often stereotypically portrayed. We gain a better understanding of what goes on behind the badges in the investigations of policeA Rite of Passage promotes Venturing and Guiding movements in an accurate and positive light (although potential members shouldn’t expect to help fight the Mafia or dispel bike gang wars) by highlighting the different opportunities available through the movements. Not only outdoors activities like scuba diving, but social activities like the formal McDonald’s which appeal to the target audience as growing, socialising people are featured, exploring the dynamic of the movement and the variety of experiences to be had. The novel also touches on the various formalities within the movements, adding to the accuracy of their representation.A Rite of Passage touches on issues common to the targeted responder: balance of study and leisure (which Scott is forced to deal with), friendly and romantic relationships (such as those between Scott and his unit, and then that which develops between some of the Unit and the Guides) and growing up (taking on adult actions and responsibilities like leadership and bravery, and acting out of consciousness for others) and through the central character, Scott, we are shown that life can be hard, but manageable and there is no limit to what we can do if we set our minds to it.Existing members of the Venturing and Guiding movement will enjoy examining this perspective on a part of their lives, Scouts and Guides can look to it as a taste of what they can (within reason) experience in the older sections and outsiders of the movement can see it as a written reason to look up their local group.Most outstandingly however is the notion that ordinary individuals can, when placed in a situation that demands it, do extraordinary things. We, as responders, may not ever experience the crossfire of warring gangs, but we can, as average, everyday people, embark on our own extraordinary adventures by getting out into the world, challenging ourselves and trying something new – we place ourselves in the situation to achieve. It is within all our capabilities to try something new and it is through Scott Morrow that we can realise that.