If you think Scouting’s just about knots, woggles and big shorts, then be prepared to be surprised. It’s how Richard Branson, Barack Obama and David Beckham got their start in life and you can benefit too.
There are 450,000 young people in Scouting, spread across five Sections: Beaver Scouts, Cub Scouts, Scouts, Explorer Scouts and the Scout Network. Each Section has its own balanced programme of activities, badges and awards.
Beaver Scouts are our youngest members. They usually meet weekly to take part in a wide range of activities including games, crafts, singing, visits and good turns, along with plenty of outdoor activities.
They will also have the opportunity to take part in the fun and excitement of camps and sleepovers. It may be the first time they spend a night away from home so it’s a real adventure for them.
A Cub Scout Pack can have up to 36 Cub Scouts and is split into smaller groups called Sixes. Cubs take part in a wide range of activities designed to be interesting and challenging. A Cub Scout meeting consists of games and activities with plenty of time spent outdoors.
Camps and holidays are some of the most memorable events of the year for Cubs.
Each Scout Troop consists of small units of six to eight Scouts called a Patrol, usually led by a Patrol Leader. Outdoor activities feature prominently, with the highlight being camping. Throughout the year, Scouts learn various skills, such as map reading, camp cooking and first aid in preparation for camp.
Rock climbing, potholing, gliding, photography and international experiences are just some of the things they get up to.
Explorer Scouts (14–18)
Explorers are encouraged to lead themselves in deciding the programme
and direction of the Unit, with support and guidance from Leaders. The Section also includes the Young Leaders’ Scheme, where young people are able to take on a leadership role in one of the younger Sections.
There is wider scope for activities like offshore sailing, campaigning, performing, parascending, mountaineering and expeditions.
Scout Network (18-25)
Scout Network is the fifth and final Section of the Scouting movement. Scout Network members take part in a variety of activities, which they undertake and organise themselves with the support of a Scout Network Leader.
Example activities include abseiling, camping, circus skills, climbing, go-karting, gorge walking, hiking, pioneering and watersports.
How much does it cost?
Scouting is an affordable way of providing a range of exciting and adventurous activities for your child.
In a 2010 survey, 75% of parents said Scouting provided the best value for money compared to other extra-curricular activities like sports and martial arts groups, youth clubs and drama or music classes.
The cost of sending your child to Scouting will vary depending on your Group. It is likely to be between £50 and £100 a year and this may be collected weekly, monthly, each term or annually depending on local arrangements.
This fee covers the cost of the hire or upkeep of the meeting place and so on. Trips, camps and activities are usually charged separately.
Young people wear core uniform of a coloured sweatshirt or shirt depending on the age range. They will also wear a special group scarf.
We don’t want young people to miss out through financial hardship. If concerns about finances may prevent your child taking part in Scouting or some activities, speak to your local Leader, as some assistance may be available in confidence.