FAQs: frequently asked questions

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 6 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?

Scouting has five sections covering the age range of 6 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:

To find out more, see each section page on this website. You can find details of how to contact them here.

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.

The traditional scout promise is used by most Scouts, Explorers Scouts, Scout Network members and leaders. It has gone (almost) unchanged for over 100 years:

On my honour I promise that I will do my best, to do my duty to God and to the Queen, to help other people, and to keep the Scout Law.

The Scout Law is based on our fundamental values as a movement. It is:

  • A Scout is to be trusted;
  • A Scout is loyal;
  • A Scout is friendly and considerate;
  • A Scout belongs to the worldwide family of Scouts;
  • A Scout has courage in all difficulties;
  • A Scout makes good use of time and is careful of possessions and property;
  • A Scout has self respect and respect for others.

Cubs have a simplified promise and law, which is:

I promise that I will do my best, to do my duty to God and to the Queen, to help other people and to keep the Cub Scout law.

The Cub Scout law is as follows: Cub Scouts always do their best, think of others before themselves and do a good turn every day.

As the youngest section, Beaver Scouts have a promise alone. The traditional promise is:

I promise to do my best, to be kind and helpful and to love God.

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 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:

If you have any monetary concerns then please don’t hesitate to ask a leader – we often accumulate quite a collection of lost 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 Scouting 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 Scout Association, 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.

The amount varies on the section so speak to your section leader. 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. This includes the Pat Turner fund run by the Antler Club.

How will you keep my child 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 your child’s leaders will be able to show you a copy if requested.

All leaders receive training to help them undertake their roles including regular First aid, safeguarding and child protection training. 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.

For more details, see the Scouts’ Child protection page or the Safe and Sound leaflet. Some of our sections may have copies of this for you to see. Otherwise you are able to call the Scout Information Centre on 0345 300 1818.