If your child is interested in joining scouting, or you're keen for them to get involved, take a look at some of the questions we are most frequently asked by parents and carers.
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 it costs?
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.
Uniform can either be bought from Scout Shops Ltd or a local supplier. You can ask the adult volunteers in your child's Group for more information on where to buy.
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.
My child has a disability or additional need; can they join Scouts?
The Scout Association is committed to being inclusive of all young people, regardless of ability or disability and has a clear Equal Opportunities Policy. There is flexibility within Scouting and all Scout groups should make reasonable adjustments wherever possible to support the inclusion of young people with disabilities or additional needs.
Scouting is delivered by adult volunteers and is not a statutory provision (such as the education system, for example); however we endorse systems of supporting our volunteers with inclusion. We encourage local volunteers to meet with the parents/carers of the young person to discuss their individual needs and plan support strategies. In some locations, there are also volunteers specialising in supporting inclusion. However, despite this and the best efforts of our volunteers, there may be situations where a particular Group does not have the capacity or resources to meet the needs of a young person or make the reasonable adjustments necessary. In such instances, local volunteers can work with the parents/carers, to find an alternative Group.
You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org who can provide information and put you in touch with local volunteers, to discuss and find out about local Groups. If further support or information is required, you can contact the Diversity and Inclusion team at email@example.com
Is Scouts a religious organisation?
The Scout Association is an inclusive and values-based Movement. Membership is open to young people and adults of all faiths and beliefs, including the absence of an affirmed faith, humanists or atheists, who share our values. Our values are integrity, respect, care, belief and cooperation. A key element of the programme is spiritual development and exploring different faiths, beliefs and attitudes. There are a range of variations of the Promise (a commitment made by all members), to account for different age ranges, faith and beliefs and nationalities (including those who are stateless).
My child is in Scouting, is there anything I could do to help?
The short answer is yes. Many of our helpers and Leaders are parents of our youth Members. This is for a number of reasons including being able to see first-hand how Scouting benefits young people and wanting to give something back, being able to spend more time with their child and realising that volunteering for Scouting is enjoyable and teaches them new skills. Speak to your child’s Section Leader to discuss how you might become involved.
I will only be able to help out on a flexible basis is this ok?
Yes. There are many different ways to help in Scouting and many of these can be adapted to suit your needs. Whether you can help out once a fortnight, month or term or just at special events or camps, there is bound to be a role you can play. Learn more.
I don’t feel I have any suitable skills; how can I get involved?
Parents can volunteer and help in many ways; you don’t have to be a regular Bear Grylls. You might have first aid knowledge that you could teach the group, or you might be able to teach our Scouts a thing or two about DIY.
If you’re good with accounts you could be Group treasurer, or if you’re a culinary whizz you could run cooking sessions with the young people. Everyone has a skill (whether you know it or not) and we can make use of it.
There's no pressure to continue as a helper or leader afterwards, but hopefully we'll be able to inspire you by showing how easy and rewarding it can be to volunteer with Scouts.
Do I have to wear uniform?
No. Although Scouting is a uniformed organisation, adults in Scouting do not have to wear a uniform.
We’re moving to a new area, can I transfer my child to a new Scout Group?
If you're moving to a new area, transferring to a new Scout Group can be great way of helping your child settle in and make friends. You should let your child's current leader know as soon as you can that you're planning to move.
When you know where you're moving to, you can contact the local Group directly.
You can also call the Scout Information Centre on 0845 300 1818. They will be able to put you in touch with a Group in your new area.
If you're moving abroad, the Information Centre will be able to give you the details of the Scout organisation in that 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.
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, every term or annually, depending on local arrangements. This fee usually covers the cost of the hire or upkeep of the meeting place. 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.
How are leaders screened, and what safety precautions do The Scout Association have in place?
Our leaders undergo a stringent screening process. This includes a Police Records Check, appointment panel Interview plus two personal references. Our thorough safelt and risk management policy require that there must always be two registered leaders present with any number of children. Leaders are well versed in risk management and our Duty of Care during their training process.
For more information on how we keep you child safe download our Safe & Sound leaflet.
Is there a planned programme of activities for Scouts?
Yes. Behind the fun of Scouting, there is an educational programme that was reviewed and launched in January 2015 following extensive consultation with our leaders and young people. While each Group will undertake different activities, the main programme themes are Outdoor and Adventure, Skills, and World. Group Leaders are trained to deliver this programme.
What do Scouts wear and where can I buy it?
Scouts wear a uniform depending on the age range. All Scouts (adults and young people) wear a coloured scarf or necker, the colour of which varies depending on the Group. Uniform can either be bought from Scout Shops or your local district Scout Shop (the adults in your child's Group will be able to give you more information).
Have you got another question? Contact us to get an answer.
To download our Parents Guide to Scouting, click here.