If you have any questions about joining the Scouts then you’re welcome to email us – our details are on the contact page – or contact Scouts’ UK office on 0345 300 1818.
Below are some frequently asked questions for you.
Who can join?
Put simply, everyone. Regardless of your gender, sexuality, background, religion, ability or anything else you can be a Scout. Anyone between 4 and 25 can become a member of our youth sections from Beaver Scouts to Scout Network and we will do our absolute best to accommodate them.
But it’s not just young people. Adults can also get involved by becoming a volunteer. Thousands take the plunge and show they have that special something, and with 2,000 Scouts waiting to join in Hampshire alone we’re always on the search for volunteers. There’s no upper age limit and there’s a role to suit nearly everyone.
Take a look at our Joining page for more information about joining and volunteering.
What sections are there?
In Scouts we have six sections for everyone aged 4 to 25 years old to make sure our young people spend time with people of the same age and skills. They also tailor the scouting programme differently to the different ages making it relevant for more people. They are:
- Squirrel Scouts for 4-6 year olds
- Beaver Scouts for 6-8 year olds
- Cub Scouts for 8-10½ year olds
- Scouts for 10½-14 year olds
- Explorer Scouts for 14-18 year olds
- Scout Network for 18-25 year olds.
To find out more, see each section page on this website. You can find details of how to contact them here. We have the first five sections meeting at our HQ and the sixth (Scout Network) meeting locally.
Do you still make a promise?
Yes, we think it’s important so that all Scouts know how important the things in the promise are. There are different versions of the promise depending on your age, beliefs and whether you call the UK your home. It is all about making a promise relevant to you. Ask a leader or check out the Scout website where all the different versions are listed.
Don’t let the promise put you off. If you’re an adult then there are roles in which you don’t have to make it and there are versions of the promise to suit largely everyone including if you have no faith. If you have any questions, or to learn about the alternative promises for your section or role then ask a leader or email.
What about uniform?
As a uniformed organisation, we do have a uniform which we wear to show who we are.
The uniform for Squirrel Scouts, Beaver Scouts and Cub Scouts consists of a jumper and group scarf while the Scouts, Explorers Scouts, Scout Network and Leaders have a uniform consisting of a shirt, scarf, trousers and belt. The group scarf is provided by the group when invested.
Uniform can be bought:
- Online from Scout Store
- Oasis Christian Centre in Church Street, Romsey.
- Skoolkit in Commercial Road, Totton
- Eastleigh District Scout Shop at Allbrook Hill, Eastleigh
If you have any monetary concerns then please don’t hesitate to ask a leader – we often accumulate quite a collection of uniform over the years. Remember that kids do grow quickly so make sure there’s enough growing room.
What about money?
Unfortunately, providing lifelong skills does cost some money. However, a recent report revealed that the Scouts was one of the most affordable youth activity out there so we must be doing something right.
All sections will need a contribution to pay for the upkeep of our building, insurance, membership of the Scouts, the training and resources that support our leaders and, of course, to pay for the activities themselves. Occasionally some activities and camps will require some additional money and you will be informed in advance of these occasions. We also balance them out, so there’ll always be an affordable adventurous activity each year.
We try to lessen the impact of some of these costs by doing a lot of fundraising so we can subsidise some trips, fund improvements to our Scout HQ and generally keep the amount our parents have to contribute right down.
If you have any worries about money, please talk to a leader – we don’t want anybody to miss out because of money troubles and hopefully discrete arrangements can be made. We also have access to hardship funds so nobody is held back!
How do we keep our Scouts safe?
We know that young people need safe surroundings in order to thrive and become confident members of society. We therefore take the protection of every child very seriously.
All of the volunteers who give their time are interviewed locally and asked to provide references. Furthermore, if they work with children regularly then they are asked to take a DBS criminal record check.
There is a clear code of behaviour that volunteers are expected to follow – it is known as the Yellow card and a poster of it can be found in the hall. You are very welcome to read it, find out more and questions us about it. It is updated regularly as the Scouts learn from past events and from those outside the movement.
All leaders receive training to help them undertake their roles including regular First aid, safeguarding and safety training. These essential training sessions must be updated at a minimum of every three years. Section leaders are also taught about running safe activities and there is special training for residential events.
You will always be notified in writing about outings or residential trips asking for permission and including details on who you can contact during the event.
We teach young people skills for life, including how to keep themselves safe. That could be Cubs knowing what equipment you need when doing an activity like hiking or climbing. Or maybe Squirrels learning about the superheroes in our community who help us. Throughout, our young people know through our code of conducts what is and isn’t OK at Scouts, who they can ask for help and who they can talk to if they don’t feel comfortable asking a trusted adult. We have posters from the NSPCC in our hall and more will be coming soon.
For more details, see the Scouts’ page for parents that answers those questions.