It's a question that is often asked of Rotorua scout leader Niall Dinning.

"Is the Scout movement still going?"

To which Niall, the Volcanic Scout Zone leader, is always happy to reply with gusto - "Yes, it is."

In fact, there has been a 30 per cent increase in Scout numbers in the past year in the zone that stretches from Rotorua to Whakatane and Taupo, he says.


Today is national Scout Scarf Day - a promotion day for all those associated with the 107-year-old movement to wear their Scout scarves to work or school.

"People are coming back to scouting because it is challenging and adventure-based, which other activities available to teenagers are not," says Niall.

Scouts has re-invigorated and refocused after a period of decline in membership, he says.
He was drawn back to Scouts as an adult, after being involved as a youth, because he enjoys seeing people succeed.

"When you see the looks on faces when challenges are achieved, the change and their demeanour is almost indescribable."

The organisation is also promoting a membership drive asking those involved in Scouts to bring along a non-Scout friend to introduce him or her to activities available.

Bringing along a friend will earn the Scout a badge for achievement, says Niall.

Parents are also welcome to help with activities, he says.

There are currently 10 Scouts groups in the Volcanic Zone - four in Rotorua (Arawa, Central, Lynmore and Ngongotaha), Whakatane (3), Taupo (2) and Waikite Valley.


The inaugural national Scout Scarf Day represents the unity between 33 million Scouts around the world and is a visible reminder of the skills and values they hold, says national commissioner Kelly Bleakley.

Past and present Scouts will be wearing their scarf for the day to work or school to promote scouting and adventure for girls and boys aged from six-years-old to 26-years-old.

A competition is being held for the most novel place to wear the scarf, or the most notable celebrity to wear the scarf with.

National development manager Mark Long says with 20,000 Scouts in New Zealand, there is a good chance the public will see a Scout wearing their scarf down the street today.

For more information about joining the adventure with Scouts, go to or call 0800SCOUTS.