The Rover Challenge

The Rover Challenge is a good way to give an overall structure to the kind of things we’ve mentioned so far. It also encourages you to focus on your own development.

While it follows on from related programmes that are under taken in other sections, the Rover Challenge is different in that it focuses purely on activities and projects designed by you. After all, you have a lot of other things to fit into life, so this approach is more flexible and allows you to set the timescale for what you want to do.

The Rover Challenge is a mix of the ASSES and the SPICES, and is set out in two stages. One of our key ideas is progression. We also recognise that the place you are in when you join as a Rover is likely to be very different to the place you are in when you leave. To reflect this, the following stages are used: 

  • Participation
  • Leadership

Both ‘Participation’ and ‘Leadership’ involve undertaking a series of projects. But the key difference between the two is the role you take on within the Rover Crew. At the ‘Participation’ stage your role is to take an active part in the successful delivery of the project, at the ‘Leadership’ stage your role is to plan and organise the project.


  • Be involved in planning and organising one or more projects that are based on all 5 of the ASSES.
  • In carrying out these projects visit each of the 36 key ideas in the SPICES.
  • Review the 36 key ideas as you go along to see how you are getting on.


  • Be involved in delivering one or more projects which are based on all 5 of the ASSES
  • In carrying out these projects visit each of the 36 key ideas in the SPICES.
  • Review the 36 key ideas as you go along to see how you’re getting on.

ASSES and the Rover Challenge

For the purposes of taking on a project for the Rover Challenge we’ve narrowed the focus of the ASSES a little.

  • Adventurous - Engage in an expedition based around one or more of the adventure skills developed during your time in the programme... Go for something that will really stretch you.
  • Social - Get to know about the culture of people in other communities and other countries. The idea is to find out what life is really like, don’t just be a tourist.
  • Skill building - Skills take on all shapes and forms. You are encouraged here to either develop a new skill or take an existing skill to a higher level.
  • Environmental - Examine the impact you have on the world around you. Take on a project that has a positive impact.
  • Service - Take a look at your local community and the wider global community. Identify a project that you can undertake that will make a lasting difference.

The idea is to take on a project from each of the ASSES during both ‘Participation’ and ‘Leadership’. This can be 5 individual projects (one for each of the ASSES) or you can combine a number of them into bigger projects. This is about how you want to shape your programme.

SPICES and the Rover Challenge

The second element of the projects is the SPICES. While the projects will be based on the ASSES areas, each project should build in the various ideas presented in the SPICES.

You’ve already been introduced to the SPICES and various ideas associated with each one. These ideas are also referred to as learning objectives, and there are a total of 36 in all. That sounds like a lot, but it’s not really.

The idea is to incorporate opportunities to explore these key ideas when carrying out your projects. What you will probably realise as you go along is that unplanned opportunities to explore the SPICES will crop up all the time.

You will also come to realise that the SPICES can crop up just about anywhere, whether you are undertaking a simple activity or a more complicated project.

As you carry out your projects you should review how you are doing in terms of the SPICES. That’s it!


Completing the Participation or Leadership stages of the Rover Challenge is worth marking. You’ve gone to considerable effort to complete the projects, so it’s time to recognise what went into it.

Whatever way you want to mark this, it’s important that you do it in a relevant and appropriate way. For our part, badges are available for each stage. Pins are available as well.

In terms of pins, there are a number available. Green is for when you commit to joining the crew, orange is when you complete the Participation cycle and Purple is for the Leadership challenge.

You should find a suitable occasion to present these badges and pins to members of the crew. Ideally, try something that will mean something to the recipients.