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Parents' Information & FAQ's


Parents tell us that Scouting gives their children more confidence, responsibility, a broader set of friends, a chance to pursue things they might not get to do otherwise, adventure and an extended family.

‘Children learn social skills as well as practical ones. They have to remember things to bring the following week so they have to take a bit of responsibility for their own stuff!’

‘When I see Ella at Cubs, doing things for herself and her friends, I’m so impressed. It helps you step back and let them get on with it. ’

‘Scouting helps parents prepare their kids for life’

Parents’ FAQs

What is Scouting?

Scouting is open to all young people from the age of 4, boys and girls from all backgrounds.
Scouting is a ‘values’ based, educational movement and all members, young and older, willingly accept a unique Promise and Law as a guide to a standard of conduct.

The exciting and adventurous training programme aims to develop each young person so they reach their own potential by ‘learning by doing’ whilst being skilfully guided by adult leadership.

The ultimate success of Scouting depends on the quality, commitment and enthusiasm of its local adult leadership. All are volunteers who freely give their time to help the development of young people. All leaders are required to undertake training and our ’young people first’ policy includes a code of practice for adults to safeguard the welfare of all young people by protecting them from physical, sexual and emotional harm.

Since the experimental camp in 1907 on Brownsea Island, Dorset when the World Scout movement was started by Robert Baden -Powell and a small party of boys, his ideas for training young people to become responsible citizens has spread via fun, friendship and learning. Scouting is still growing today, there are Scouts in 218 countries and two-thirds of the world’s Scouts are in developing countries.

My local Group has a waiting list, why is this?

We have over 30,000 young people on waiting lists around the country due to a shortage of adults. If there is a waiting list for the Group your child hopes to attend you could think about joining us yourself. We always welcome any help from parents.

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?

This will vary depending on your Group but it is likely to be between £100 and £150 per year which is collected weekly, monthly, termly or annually depending on local arrangements. This fee usually covers the cost of the hire or upkeep of the meeting place and so on. 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.

What do Scouts wear and where can I buy it?

Scouts wear a uniform of blue trousers and a coloured sweatshirt, shirt or polo shirt (which varies 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 Store or our local District Scout Shop; there’s one at Scout Park Campsite, Gordon Road, Bounds Green N11 2PB – click here for details.

Is there a planned programme of activities for Scouts?

Yes. Behind the fun of Scouting, there is an educational programme. 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.

My child is a Scout but we are moving house, how can I enrol him/her in a new Group?

Firstly, you will need to tell your child’s current Group that you are leaving the area. Then, call the Scout Information Centre on 0345 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 we will be able to give you the details of the Scout head office in this country.



Young people thrive in secure surroundings, at home and away. Wherever we go, we’re serious about keeping them safe.

All of our volunteers give their time freely to help young people to thrive. Some volunteers lead their Group week in and week out. Others call in occasionally to share a specific skill, or to provide an extra pair of hands – whether they’re abseiling down mountains, helping a group of eight year olds to build a robot, or expertly remembering how everyone takes their tea.

All of our leaders are interviewed locally and asked to provide references. They undergo the mandatory training that they need to be the best that they can be, including basic first aid and child protection. Special training is provided for those taking young people away on residential events like camps and sleepovers.

Everyone who works with young people also has to undertake a disclosure check (also known as a ‘police check’).

There’s more information about safety and safeguarding on our Headquarters website.

The Yellow Card and code for volunteer behaviour

As Scouts, we have a clear code of behaviour by which we expect everyone to abide, known as the ‘Yellow Card’. This code is shared with all adults who interact with young people – regardless of their role – and is included in the training that leaders receive.

If you volunteer to help out with an activity, you’ll be given your own Yellow Card to keep to hand and to refer back to. Check out a digital copy of the Yellow Card.


Safeguarding and Safety are two of our key policies that anyone involved in Scouts must work to. You can see the full policies in our Policy, Organisation and Rules section:

Raising concerns or commenting on activities

If you’re unhappy with anything relating to your child’s time in Scouts, you should raise it immediately with your leaders, no matter how trivial it may seem.

If you’d rather speak to someone else, contact the Scout Information Centre.

Find out more about raising a concern.


The Scouts has a policy in place to ensure that complaints are taken seriously and dealt with appropriately.

This guide describes how to make a complaint and how your complaint will be dealt with. It is the policy of Scouts to have a fair and open process for dealing with concerns raised by members and non-members that directly affect them or their children in Scouting.

Scout Values

In line with its values, The Scouts recognises its responsibility to deal fairly, constructively and consistently with expressions of concern or dissatisfaction from members and non-members, including parents and carers on behalf of themselves or their children.

As Scouts we’re guided by the values of integrity, respect, care, belief and co-operation.

When applying this policy, these values should be at the forefront of every interaction and decision that’s made, and all involved should be regularly reminded of them.

Focusing on the values of respect and care, the wellbeing and mental health of all involved when dealing with an expression of concern or dissatisfaction should be considered throughout. Find out more about supporting mental health in Scouting on our Mental Health webpage.

Informal Resolution

Many complainants do not want to enter a formal complaints procedure. They simply want to have their questions answered, their concerns dealt with, or their opinion noted.

Informal resolution may be as simple as the complainant having a conversation with the local volunteer manager before making a formal complaint to discuss how a concern raised can be resolved.

If a complainant feels it is appropriate, they may be willing to meet with the individual they are raising the concern against with the support of a local volunteer to see if an amicable solution can be found.

Local, informal resolution should always be attempted before engaging in the formal complaints policy.

What complaints are accepted?

We accept complaints about how you have been treated by Scouting or, if you are a parent or carer of a young person, how that young person has been treated by Scouting. We have a few basic rules for the acceptance of complaints:

  • Complaints will only be accepted within three months of the date that the complainant reasonably knew enough facts to report the issue.
  • If there’s reasonable belief that a complaint is vexatious or malicious, then it won’t be progressed.
  • Complaints broadly or substantively the same as a previous complaint raised under any of Scouts’ policies will not be progressed.

Making a complaint

For paid Scouts staff:

Complaints in relation to Scouts staff and matters relating to headquarters at Gilwell Park (HQ) will be handled by the relevant line manager and/or Director and, where appropriate, the Chief Executive or senior staff member in accordance with this policy and/or relevant employee policies. Complaints related to HQ can be submitted online.

Complaints about volunteers or local matters:

Formal complaints should be made in writing (physically or digitally) wherever possible to the most appropriate volunteer line manager. This could include the Group Scout Leader (GSL), District Commissioner, County Commissioner or Regional Commissioner. If you do not know the name and / or contact details of who to raise the complaint to, please contact our Information Centre. 

Complaints should ideally be made on the Complaints Template

What should the complaint include?


Scouts’ complaint template asks that complaints be kept to no more than 1,000 words in length and complainants are encouraged to keep within this limit. Supplementary documentation may be requested at a later stage as part of the investigation process.

Response to complaints

We handle complaints in a positive and proactive manner and expect resolutions and outcomes to contribute to a process of continuous improvement.

Please bear in mind that adults in Scouting are volunteers and have other calls on their time. It may therefore take a little longer to sort out your complaint, however you will be kept informed of the progress of the complaint with an acknowledgement of a formal complaint within seven days and regular updates (typically at least every 14 days).

The investigator may need to speak to you and a number of other people to fully understand your complaint and the circumstances surrounding it.

The manager will make a decision about the complaint and will inform you whether your complaint is upheld or not and the actions that will be taken as a result.

If you are not satisfied

If you or those who are directly affected by the outcome of a complaint are not satisfied with the outcome of the original complaint or the process undertaken, there is a right for appeal. Only one appeal is allowed per person directly affected by a complaint and if multiple appeals raise the same concerns they may be carried out as one appeal.

Any appeal must be received within 14 days of you, or those directly affected, being notified of the outcome of the original complaint. Appeals should ideally be made on the appeals template.

Contact details of who to make an appeal to will be contained within the complaint response and appeals must be directed to the most appropriate and most local volunteer manager at the next management level of Scouts. The appropriate volunteer manager can then decide whether they’ll manage the appeal themselves or delegate to one of their deputies or assistants to manage the appeal.

Read the Complaints Policy and other resources to help managers handling complaints.

Anti-Bullying and Whistleblowing

Scouts acknowledges that it can be a difficult decision to report a concern of bullying and/or harassment about someone known to you. A volunteer may also feel unsure about whether the behaviour they are experiencing or witnessing amounts to bullying or harassment.

However, it’s important that action is taken promptly in order to prevent the situation deteriorating. All concerns raised should be done in-line with the Scouts Complaints Policy.

The Whistleblowing policy is for all volunteers who have a serious concern in regards to a breach of our standards or conduct. This policy makes sure that if a volunteer has a serious concern, they know how to raise it as soon as possible. The matter will be comprehensively investigated and the appropriate action taken.

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