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Got a question?

We have tried to answer as many of the most frequently asked questions as we can but inevitably we cannot answer every question you may ever have. The categories below are given to help you navigate the page.

General
Volunteer
Gift aid

If you have a question that we have not answered, please use the Contact Us page to get in touch.

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General

Is there a waiting list, why is this?

There are 30,000 young people on waiting lists around the country due to a shortage of adults. If there is a waiting list for the section 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, Click Here to find out how you can help.

Can girls join?

As a Group we have welcomed girls for many years, with active female members since 1995. The Scout Association made all sections fully inclusive in 2007 and now ALL Sections in ALL Groups are open to both boys and girls.

I'm not a Christian, can I still join?

The Scout Association does not see religion as a barrier to enjoying Scouting. There are now recognised variants to the Promise, covering a range of religious views, so we can adapt them to suit most situations.

I have additional needs can I join?

We are open to all who are prepared to make the Scout promise. We can't promise that we have all the facilities, but if you explain your circumstances when you ask to join, we will do our very best to work with you to provide the best Scout experiences we can.

Will my child be insured when on Scout activities?

Yes. All Members are covered under our Personal Accident and Medical Expenses Policy.

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

We charge a subscription fee of £2 which is collected weekly, but arrangements can be made if you wish to pay monthly or termly. This fee covers the cost of the upkeep of the meeting place, resources, insurance and so on. We charge a fee of £1 for non attendance, this covers the insurance portion of the weekly subscription which has to be paid annually for every member no matter how often they attend.

Trips, camps and activities are charged separately and for more expensive trips we run a camp bank to help you spread the cost. Cost should not be a barrier to anyone taking part in Scouting and if this is an issue, you should speak to the Section Leader in confidence and they may be able to help.

What do Scouts wear and where can I buy it?

Scouts wear a uniform of plain dark trousers and a coloured sweatshirt or shirt (which varies depending on the age range). All Scouts (adults and young people) wear a coloured scarf or Necker, our Group's wears scarlet with the group badge on the back. Uniform can either be bought from Scout Shop directly or through the Group supplier, an order form can be found in your welcome pack or in the Download section of the site.

Is there a planned programme of activities for Scouts?

Yes. Behind the fun of Scouting, there is an educational programme which was completely redesigned in 2001 following years of work with educationalists and youth workers. Whilst Groups will undertake different activities from each other, the main programme areas are: Outdoor and Adventure; Global; Community; Fit for Life; Creative; and Beliefs and Attitudes. Group Leaders are trained to deliver this programme.

Can we just turn up at a meeting?

No it is best to contact the Group before hand. There may not be places available straight away and the section may be meeting away from the normal meeting place. The best thing to do is fill in the form on our Join Now page and provide us with some basic information, a Section Leader will then contact you to discuss your child attending their first meeting.

Will my child be safe?

Members of the Scout Association are protected in a number of ways; Policy, Organisation and Rules, as well as training and assessments help to ensure that those running Scouting activities do so in a safe manner. However activities in the outdoors nearly always involve an inherent level of risk that no amount of planning can mitigate and as such we do occasionally end up with a few bumps and bruises.

Adult volunteers working closely with young people are vetted using the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) disclosure process. The Association has a number of policies relating to Child protection with the overall aims set out in the Child Protection Policy.

We are moving house, how can I enroll my child in a new Group?

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

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Volunteer

WHY HELP?

There are many reasons why adults choose to volunteer for Scouting. Here are some that existing volunteers have given:

  • To give something back to the community: 'I believe the kids get such a lot out of it; I just put a bit back for what the kids take out.’
  • To support the Leaders: 'They give so much, you’ve got to give some of that back.’
  • Because volunteering is a ‘good thing': 'I just personally believe that you should always do some kind of voluntary work…otherwise nothing would get done in this world.’
  • As an enabler, so the Leader can do more: 'If I can help Sam, our Leader, out by doing the little things, then it means she has got more time to give the kids and then they get more out of it.’
  • To spend more quality time with your child: 'David used to go on his PlayStation2 while I read the paper after school and work – now we get a chance to do activities together.’
  • To develop your own skills: 'I hadn’t used a compass since I was a Scout. After I learned how to use one again, I take one out on family walks. We get lost less than we used to!’
  • To enjoy and rediscover adventure for yourself: 'We had a water fight at Beavers the other week, it was great!’

Why does Scouting need more help?

We have over 30,000 young people on waiting lists due to the lack of adult volunteers. If more adults helped out this would take the burden off our current volunteers and allow more young people to experience the adventure of Scouting. More adults would mean more young people could join Scouting, Groups could be smaller or new Groups could even open. We always welcome any help from adults.

How can I help with Scouting?

There are many ways in which you can give your time to help Scouting whatever your gender, age, abilities and skills. Simply let us know your availability and how you would like to help and we will match this to roles within your local area.

I don’t have a background in Scouting, does this matter?

No previous Scouting experience is needed. Energy and enthusiasm are the qualities we are looking for.

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.

Will I get paid?

Unfortunately, as a voluntary organisation we are unable to pay volunteers for the time they give to Scouting. Out of pocket expenses are paid and many Leaders are offered opportunities to take part in activities and social activities.

What are the benefits of helping out?

There are a number of benefits you can gain from volunteering.  Spending time with your child, learning new skills and contributing to your community are just a few of the reasons why our current Leaders choose to spend some of their spare time in Scouting.

I don’t have a specific skill but am keen to help out, what can I do?

Everyone will have a skill, attribute or ability that they can pass on to our young people. One of the best things about volunteering however, is the chance to learn new skills you may not have been able to otherwise.

Do I have to wear uniform?

No. Although Scouting is a uniformed organisation, adults in Scouting do not have to wear a uniform.

Are there any age restrictions on helping out?

As long as you are over 18 years of age, you can help out as an adult volunteer in Scouting. There is no upper age limit for adult volunteers. If you are aged between 14-18, there is the option of becoming a Young Leader. More information about the Young Leaders’ Scheme.

What is the process for joining?

There is an application form to fill out which someone in your Group will be able to help you with. For some roles you will be required to meet a small group of people outside of the Group to discuss the role you wish to take on. References are also required for some roles. An enhanced Criminal Records (or equivalent in Scotland or Northern Ireland) check is carried out on all volunteers.

Will I be insured?

Yes. All Members are covered under our Personal Accident and Medical Expenses Policy.

I am going to university away from home and would like to continue my Scouting, is this possible?

Yes. The best way of doing this if you are 18-25 is by joining the Scout Network. The Network has links with local Scouting and will be able to help you locate a Group close to your university. Alternatively, or if you are already a Member of the Network, you can contact the local volunteer, usually the District Commissioner, of the area where you will be studying. This volunteer can then put you in contact with a local Group based on your interests. You can find out these details by telephoning the Scout Information Centre on 0845 300 1818 or by filling out the online form.

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Gift Aid

Is a Gift Aid declaration complicated?

No, it is very simple and only requires you to declare that you want your subscriptions or a donation to be treated as Gift Aid payments. Simply follow this link to our gift aid form, print it, fill it in and return it to your section Leader.

Do I have to complete a separate declaration for each of my children in the Group?

Yes please, as children are often in different sections of the Group it is easier for us if we have a separate form for each child.

Will I have to reveal any personal tax information?

No, all that is needed is very basic information including your name, address and confirmation that you want your Subscriptions to be treated as Gift Aid payments.

Will it cost me anything extra?

No, the Group will simply claim back tax that would have otherwise have gone to HMRC. We can then use this tax to reduce the impact of subscriptions and improve our programme.

What will I have to do in the future?

Nothing, once you complete the declaration this covers your child until they leave the Group. You need only notify the Group if you change name, address or are no longer able to confirm the details on the declaration.

What happens if my child changes section?

Hopefully nothing, as the Gift Aid declaration is not in respect of a specific sum but merely the subscription, however much that will be it should move on with your child. However you may be asked to complete a new gift aid declaration by your new Section, this helps us to check the details are all still accurate

When your child joins Explorers a new declaration should be completed with the District’s details on. The Scout District will claim Gift Aid in respect of their Explorer Section.

What happens if I stop paying tax?

If you stop paying tax or have paid insufficient tax to cover the amount the Group will be claiming back you should inform the Scout Group and they will not make a claim for your payments.

What happens if my child leaves the Group?

As there is no legal commitment in a Gift Aid declaration the Group will only claim back the tax on the payments you made before the child left the Group.

If I am a higher rate tax payer can I claim back the extra tax?

Although the Group can only claim back tax at the standard tax rate, higher rate taxpayers can claim the difference back as tax relief on their self-assessment form.

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