Scouts FAQ

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We hope this FAQ list has been helpful. Have you got another question? Contact us to get an answer.

 

How can my child benefit from joining Scouts?

In an independent survey of over 2,000 parents of Scouts, nine out of ten parents said Scouting is worthwhile and nine in ten said their children find Scouting enjoyable.

As your child progresses through Scouts you should be able to see signs of the impact their Scouting adventure has on them.

Parents tell us Scouting gives their children more confidence, responsibility and a broader set of friends. Scouting can help develop your child’s social skills and encourage self-sufficiency, and gives them access to activities and opportunities that may have been otherwise unavailable to them. A huge number of parents agreed that since their child joined Scouting family life was easier and they were ‘nicer children to live with’.

What is the age range for Scouts?

The Scout Section is for young people aged between 10½ and 14 years. There is flexibility in the age range: young people can join from age 10, and can move to Explorers between age 13½ and 14½. A District Commissioner may also permit a young person to be in a Section outside of the recommended age range, for example due to a young person’s additional needs and/or disability.

What is a Scout Troop?

The Scout Troop is the third section in the Scout Group, above Beavers and Cubs. A Scout Troop is divided into small groups called Patrols, each headed up by an older Scout called a Patrol Leader, and often with an Assistant Patrol Leader.

What are the main benefits of being a Scout?

Scouts aims to build and develop young people’s confidence, sense of adventure and outdoor skills, as well as encouraging them to explore their beliefs and attitudes and be creative. It offers them the independence to put these skills into practice at camps and even on international trips. Scouts are encouraged to work together and take the lead on all sorts of projects, from community based work to planning games and activities for their meetings.

What are the main Scout activities?

Scouts are encouraged to take part in a wide range of activities as part of their programme including traditional Scouting skills, such as camping, survival and cooking, as well as a wider spectrum of adventurous activities, from abseiling to zorbing. Participation rather than meeting set standards is the key approach, and there are a number of Challenges awards and activity badges that Scouts can gain during their time in the section to recognise their achievements.

What badges and awards are available to young people in the Scout Section?

Activity badges – allow Scouts to show their progress in existing pursuits, but also to try all kinds of new things and form new interests. Challenge awards – involve accomplishing a number of more ambitious tasks within the Troop or community. There are several challenge badges across a number of themes, from the physical and outdoorsy to challenges dealing with the local community or issues connected with the Scouting world. Core badges – these are special badges, obtained upon joining or moving on from the Troop, or for time spent in the Scouting movement. Activity packs – some activity badges are sponsored by outside companies, and these companies often provide extra exciting resource packs to help Scouts towards gaining their badges.

What is the Scout Promise?

The Promise is a simple way to help young people and adults keep the Fundamentals of Scouting in mind. The Promise is the oath taken by all Members as they commit to sharing the values of Scouting. It is therefore vital that every Member considers the Promise and discusses its meaning before making the Promise and being invested into Scouting.

Are there variations available for the Scout Promise?

There are a number of variations of the promise to reflect the range of faiths, beliefs and attitudes and nationalities in the UK within Scouting. Each version is written to be appropriate to the broad level of understanding of each of the age groups within the Movement. We believe that this approach is inclusive. Celebrating and understanding difference, including difference in faiths and beliefs, is an important aspect of the educational and developmental side of Scouting. For further information, see the Promise page on the Scout Association website.

What is the Scout Motto?

Be Prepared.

What is the Scout Flag?

The Cub Scout flag is dark green, bearing the Scout symbol and Motto.

What do Scouts wear and where can I buy the uniform?

Scouts wear a teal green shirt or blouse, navy blue activity trousers or skirt, a group scarf with a woggle, and a Scout belt. There are a variety of local shops and online providers of the Scout uniform. Full details about these can be viewed on our Shop page.

How should badges or awards be placed on the Scout uniform?

Please view the official diagram on the Scout Association page.

My local Group has a waiting list, why is this?

The Scout Association has tens-of-thousands of young people on waiting lists around the country due to a shortage of adults. If there is a waiting list for the Group your child hopes to attend you could think about joining us yourself. We always welcome any help from parents. With more adult help our waiting lists for young people would be shorter and more young people will be able to experience the adventure of Scouting. Find out more.

How much does it cost to send my child to Scouts?

This will vary depending on your Group but it is likely to be between £50 and £100 per year which is collected weekly, monthly, termly or annually depending on local arrangements. This fee usually covers the cost of the hire or upkeep of the meeting place and so on. Trips, camps and activities are usually charged separately. Cost should not be a barrier to anyone taking part in Scouting and if this is an issue, you can speak to the local Section Leader in confidence.

Will my child be insured when on Scout activities?

Yes. All Members of Scout Groups are covered under the Scout Association’s Personal Accident and Medical Expenses Policy.

We’re moving to a new area, can I transfer my child to a new Scout Group?

Firstly, you will need to tell your child’s current Group that you are leaving the area. Then call the Scout Information Centre on 0845 300 1818 and they will be able to put you in touch with a volunteer in the area you are moving to. If you are moving abroad we will be able to give you the details of the Scout head office in this country.

My child is moving up a section; what do I need to do to help them prepare?

When the time comes to move up to the next age range, a young person can have mixed feelings: excitement at moving on, sadness at leaving friends behind. Making the transition as smooth as possible goes a long way to helping your child settle into their new section.

First of all you need to check what the process involves with your child’s current Section Leader as it can vary locally. You might need to put your child on a waiting list for the next section or, in some cases, it may happen automatically.

You should also ask whether the new Section Leader will be in touch or if you have to contact them first. Also be aware that meeting times and places may be different in the next section.

If your child has friends in their section that they want to move up with, make sure that the section leader knows about this so that they can help if possible. This could also be a good opportunity to arrange sharing transport to and from meetings.

So, how do I get involved?

Why not join your local group?