THE SPONSOR

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Every recruit must, after completing his acceptance period, choose for him or herself a Sponsor, who is to be an invested Rover Scout. In the case of a new Rover Crew with no invested Rovers the Sponsor may be chosen from the squiring Crew. It is up to the Squire to choose a Sponsor, not the

Rover Scout Leader to appoint one. In the case of a particular Rover being chosen too often, the Leader should take some form of action. Something can obviously be learned from this popular Rover, so take note.

A person cannot become a Squire if they know nothing about Rovers, so after allowing a suitable probation period to get to know the Crew, he or she then chooses a Sponsor. A period of service is set by the Crew for the Squire and a programme for that period is drawn up between the Sponsor and the Squire. Probation and service times differ from Crew to Crew, but a three-month period seems to be the average.

During the squireship period the Sponsor has some weighty responsibilities. If his Squire is a nonScout he will have to get him through some training in Scouting skills, and recruits must be made aware of the Scout Promise and Law, looking at it from an adult point of view. It is the Sponsor’s duty to make the Squire understand the ways of Rovering and the Crew’s traditions. The Sponsor places the importance of independence upon the Squire, showing him that the job means everything to him. By concentrating on the fact that he must consolidate himself he will learn “stickability”, confidence and determination, and even more important, he will not be a burden to anyone.

The Sponsor who “talks down” to his Squire will not make a success of his task. Do not assume a superior attitude, Rovers are just not like that, they are on an equal footing in the Crew, with the Sponsor obviously being the more experienced member.

When all the above is complete, the Sponsor will prepare the Squire for his Vigil. Nowhere else in

Scouting is one required to look so deeply within oneself before an investiture, than as a Rover. The Sponsor must be ready to assist the Squire with his Vigil. The Sponsor never questions the Squire on his Vigil; after all, a Scout’s Honour is to be trusted. Because of this, more often than not a lifelong friendship is formed (nothing sloppy or sentimental) but a solid, strong, clean friendship based on mutual understanding, tolerance and appreciation.

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