Scouts NSW and author Susanne Gervay join forces against bullying
Published Mon 18 Sep 2023
To be a good Scout, bullying is out.
That’s the message being shared with almost 1600 Cub Scouts as part of Cuboree 2023 later this month.
Scouts NSW and best-selling author Susanne Gervay have teamed up to educate children about bullying – how to identify it and how to help someone who is being bullied.
The first two books in Gervay’s I Am Jack series, which are highly regarded books about bullying and were turned into an award-winning play, will be distributed to Cub Scouts during the event, as part of a new anti-bullying focus by Scouts NSW.
Cataract Activity Centre will play host to the Cub Scouts, aged between eight and 12, from 29 September to 3 October for Cuboree – an event to have fun, make friends and “Explore the World” in a series of themed activities.
The Scouts NSW Youth Protection Team have created an anti-bullying package to help youth members recognise the five areas of bullying – physical, verbal, relational, group and cyber. This package will be presented for the first time to an audience at Cuboree. It was developed in response to the increasing number of children experiencing bullying within their communities.
“Our Cub Scouts will attend anti-bullying workshops to raise awareness of bullying behaviours, who to go to if they are being bullied and how to support a friend who is being bullied,” Scouts NSW Executive Manager Youth Protection and Issues Management Renee Jensen said.
“We will also be helping them consider their own behaviours as in most instances, children do not necessarily understand their behaviour may be of a bullying nature, so these workshops will give them an opportunity for self-reflection.”
As one of the leading non-formal educational movements in the world, Scouts understands their unique position to deliver this program and the importance of educating children and young people on topics that impact their lives, helping them build confidence in a safe and supportive environment, while re-enforcing that youth safety and protection is Scouts NSW’s priority.
Scouts are delighted to have the support of Gervay in this project and the opportunity to share her age-appropriate stories with our youth members.
I Am Jack is about a boy, inspired by Gervay’s son Jamie, who likes going to school until he starts getting bullied.
“My life and passion are children; I think kids are disempowered,” she said.
“They can’t speak up for themselves. Though they have a lot to say, they can’t access that voice and I give them voice.”
Gervay said she was excited about the opportunity to collaborate with Scouts NSW.
“I think Scouts is a wonderful organisation; I think highly of them and the fact they’re taking an anti-bullying position,” she said.
“I’m an anti-bullying advocate, but not just pursuing the kids who bully. Everyone bullies and gets bullied, so let’s negotiate the process of what has happened.
“We need to get parents and teachers involved in helping develop that empathy – what if it was me, how would I feel?”
Sign-up, volunteer and join today: scoutsnsw.com.au/join-scouts