An Introduction to the Scout Section
The Scout Section has existed since Scouting began in 1907. Though the Section has gone through many changes its values and fundamental principles have remained unchanged. Today there are over 100,000 Scouts in 6,600 Troops across the UK.
Who is Scouts for?
Scouts is open to young people aged between ten and half and fourteen years old who want to join and can make the Scout Promise.
The Scout Promise
Scouting differs from many organisations in that it requires its Members to make a Promise. The Scout Promise is the same for Scouts, Explorer Scouts, Members of the Scout Network and adult Members of the Association. There are several versions, designed for different faiths:
- 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.
- In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent the Most Merciful,I promise that I will do my best to do my duty to Allah and to the Queen, to help other people and to keep the Scout Law.
- On my honour,I promise that I will do my best to do my duty to my Dharma and to the Queen, to help other people and to keep the Scout Law.
- On my honour,I promise that I will do my best to do my duty to God and to the country in which I am now living, to help other people and to keep the Scout Law.
- On my honour, I promise that I will do my best to uphold our Scout values, to do my duty to the Queen, to help other people and to keep the Scout Law.
By making the promise a young person becomes a Member of the worldwide Movement; they become a Scout.
The Scout Law
The Scout Law is a set of ‘rules’ that Scouts should do their best to live their life by. They are based on the Laws that Baden Powell came up with, but have evolved to reflect changing times. The Laws are:
- 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 careful use of time and is careful of possessions and property.
- A Scout has self-respect and respect for others.
The motto for all Members of the Movement is:
The Scout Uniform
Scouts wear a teal coloured shirt. They will also wear a scarf (sometimes called a “necker”), the colour of which varies from Scout Group to Scout Group. They will also have a leather woggle, to keep their scarf up. Activity trousers and a Scout belt are also parts of the Scout uniform and there are several optional items available as well!
How Scouts are organised
Scouts meet together as a Troop and work within a variety of small groups called Patrols. A Scout called a Patrol Leader leads the Patrol. The Patrol Leaders work with the Leadership Team in setting the programme and in decisions affecting the Troop. The Patrol system is one of the important ways that young people can take responsibility for themselves and others. A volunteer leadership team made up of uniformed Leaders and other informal Assistants and helpers will guide the Troop. Explorer Scouts who are Young Leaders might also assist the leadership team in the Troop.
Making the Promise is the most important act in Scouting and is common to every section. Scouting has a special ceremony for making the Promise called Investiture or being invested. When a young person makes their Promise they receive their Group Scarf, The Membership Award (for those coming into Scouting for the first time) or their Moving-On Award (if they have been in Cubs) and are welcomed as a new Member into the Scout Family.
What do Scouts do?
Scouts normally meet once a week for a couple of hours. It is an opportunity for them to catch up with friends, learn new skills and explore issues relevant to their age group. They will also have their chance to say what they want to do!
Scouts are encouraged to take part in a wide range of activities as part of their programme. On top of the adventure of outdoor activities that forms a large part of the Scout Section, a Balanced Programme will help them find out about the world in which they live, encourage them to know their own abilities and the importance of keeping fit and help to develop their creative talents. It also provides opportunities to explore their own values and personal attitudes and develop in all the Personal Development Areas.
The following are the six Programme Zones for Scouts. As part of the Balanced Programme they will take part in activities from all the zones regularly.
- Beliefs and Attitudes
- Fit for Life
- Creative Expression
- Outdoor and Adventure
Being in the outdoors and taking part in adventurous activities is fundamental to Scouting and plays a big part in the other five zones.??????
These Zones are delivered using 10 methods, which give the programme variety and range. The methods are:
- Activities Outdoors
- Design and Creativity
- Visits and Visitors
- Team-Building Activities
- Activities with Others
- Prayer, Worship and Reflection
- Technology and New Skills
Badges and Awards
While the emphasis is on a Balanced Programme of activities, there are still badges and awards for Scouts to aim for. Badges and awards are given in recognition of the effort made by each young person at their own level.
The Membership Award
This award helps the young person understand the commitment they are making when they make the Promise and become a Member of the Movement, if they have not been a Cub Scout. It covers the history, traditions and practices of Scouting.
?Joining In Awards
The Joining In Awards recognise a commitment to Scouting. They celebrate Scouts participating in a Balanced Programme over a period of time. They are awarded on the anniversary of the young person joining Scouting.
Note that the Scout Association changed the programme in 2015. As such Scouts who joined before this date may hold badges from the old syllabus, which do not appear here, or look slightly different. This is not a problem and they can keep them on their uniform. All activities from Easter 2015 use the new programme.
The Challenges complement the Balanced Programme. These have been developed to extend Scouts’ skills and experience in a particular area. There are nine Challenges in the Scout Section:
Activity Badges are optional, but they provide an opportunity to reward a young person who has taken part in an activity over a period of time. They should raise interest and extend a young person’s skills throughout their time in Scouting.
There are 60 Activity Badges:
- Activity Centre Service
- Air Researcher
- Air Spotter
- Air or Sea Navigation
- Athletics Plus
- Circus Skills
- Dragon Boating
- Environmental Conservation
- Fire Safety
- Global Issues
- Hill Walker
- Local Knowledge
- Martial Arts
- Master at Arms
- Media Relations and Marketing
- Model Maker
- My Faith
- Physical Recreation
- Powe Coxswain
- Sports Enthusiast
- Street Sports
- Survival Skills
- Water Activities
- World Faiths
Staged Activity Badges
In addition to the Scout Activity Badges, there are 14 Activity Badges staged across all the Sections, which gives a young person the opportunity to develop an area of interest throughout their time in Scouting from 6 – 18. They are:
- Air Activities
- Community Impact
- Digital Citizen
- Digital Maker
- Emergency Aid
- Hills Away
- Nautical Skills
- Nights Away
- Paddle Sports
- Time on Water
Chief Scout’s Gold Award
This badge is the highest award available in the Scout Section. It is gained by completing all the Challenge Awards, plus any six activity or staged activity badges.
The Chief Scout’s Gold Award can be worn on the Explorer Uniform once they move onto Explorer Scouts.
The Moving-On Award
This Award helps ease the transfer of a Scout to the Explorer Scout Unit. It also allows the Scout to be invested into the Unit immediately, recognising that they are already Members of the Scout Movement.
Scouting has a reputation as an outdoor organisation based on strong traditions of camping and other outdoor pursuits. This is reflected in the Balanced Programme, with about half the programme taken up by the Outdoor and Adventure Programme Zone. Scouting offers a range of activities for Scouts away from their home throughout the year, lots of camps and when possible a longer camp in the summer. These are an important part of Troop life and everybody is encouraged to go.
Scouts Taking the Lead
Scouts have the opportunity to make more and more decisions for themselves about they want to do and want to get out of Scouting. The opportunities will be there for them to take part in a wide range of activities and to gain a variety of skills and knowledge. They will get to learn more about themselves by not only taking responsibility for themselves, but for others as well.
Scout Association Publications
If you want to know more, there are a range of publications on offer. We hold a copy of each in the Scout Hut – ask one of the Leaders if you’d like a look. None of these are required purchases.
Badges and Awards
This A6-sized book fits into your pocket, though it is a bit thicker than the Cub and Beaver versions, reflecting the greater number of badges available. Aiming at both Scouts and their parents, it lists the requirements for every single badge in the Scouts section, with coloured pictures of each one. This book uses the new 2015 requirements that we are now following in Stocksfield. It is useful to have all this information available in a book, and at £4.00 it is reasonably priced. It can be purchased online from:
Please note that details of all the badges and their requirements are also available free online at:
Scout Activity Log
The log is essentially an A4 cardboard wallet. Scouts are obviously deemed as too old for stickers – unlike the Cub version there is no sticker sheet – you have to make do with pictures of the badges inside the A4 guide. This guide also contains information about being a Scout, the Promise and traditions, activities, worldwide Scouting, etc. The price of £4 has not gone down well with some purchasers. To make matters worse, the wallet has three slots designed for optional A6 booklets – covering Outdoor and Adventure (booklet 1), Doing it All (booklet 2) and Getting Active (booklet 3) that retail at £2 each. If you do decide to purchase the set, you are better buying them all at once, together with the wallet for a total of £10 – saving you £2. The set can be purchased online at: