Scouting is a global, educational youth Movement. In the UK Scouting is organised through The Scout Association and has a clear purpose:
To help young people achieve their full physical, intellectual, social and spiritual potential as individuals, as responsible citizens and as Members of their local, national andinternational communities.
Your Local Group
The local organisation your child has or is about to enter is a Scout Group (1st Swindon Sea Scout) and consists of a Beaver Colony for youngsters from 6 to 8 years old, a Cub Pack for youngsters 8 to 10 and a Scout Section for 10 to 14 years of age.
At 14 the youngster may joint one of the District Explorer Units and at 181/2 may join a County Network Group until they are 25.
The Group has an Executive Committee of parents like you who organise fundraising, look after the Group’s property, etc.
In charge of the Group is the Group Scout Leader (GSL). He manages the Leaders and the Group Executive.
15 Groups are linked together as a District, in our case Swindon North and each GSL reports to Tony Kilburn the District Commissioner (DC). He has a small team to help run the District and provide support to the Groups.
The DC is responsible to the County Commissioner who controls the 8 Districts within the County of Wiltshire.
All of these adults – your child’s Leaders, the commissioners and their teams and the committees which help are all unpaid volunteers. But, the postage, stationery, equipment, buildings, electricity, etc. which are need to carry out Scouting cost money. This is paid for through the subscriptions, and money raised by the efforts of you and people like you. So you are a vitally important unit in the Scout Movement, and without your efforts the work of the Movement could not continue.
About our Work
Even if we can’t solve all the problems in the world, we can help to make it a better place. Scouting makes a positive contribution to society by helping young people to develop as active members of the community:
- who are self reliant
- who are caring
- who are responsible
- who show commitment
Scouting works well when young people enjoy learning by doing it in partnership with adults. They do this by:
- taking part in a variety of activities and new experiences
- exploring the outdoors
- participating in teams
- taking responsibility
Our method for giving young people the opportunity to learn by doing is called the Programme. The Programme is a continuous progression of training, activities and awards that covers everything that young people do in Scouting from the age of 6 to 25.
It is the policy of The Scout Association to safeguard the welfare of all Members by protecting them from physical, sexual and emotional harm.
The Scout Association is committed to:
- taking into account in all its considerations and activities the interests and well-being of young people;
- respecting the rights, wishes and feelings of the young people with whom it is working;
- taking all, practicable steps to protect them from physical, sexual and emotional abuse;
- and promoting the welfare of young people and their protection within a relationship of trust.
Working Safely with Young People
The ‘Young People First’ code of good practice (yellow card)
As an adult in Scouting you have a responsibility to ensure that young people are protected from harm.
Adults in Scouting, including Members of the Scout Network who wish to work with young people, must accept and understand this policy. They must also agree to put the Association’s policy on child protection into practice.
The Scout Association is an open association. Whilst requiring all Members to make the Promise which includes ‘Duty to God’ or ‘to Love God’, the Scout Association does not identify itself with any one religion. There is no established Church within the Association.
The Scout Association is not directly and immediately concerned with the religious education of its Members. That responsibility is with the religious families to which the Members belong, although some sponsored Groups will have a more immediate responsibility towards their Members’ religious development.
However, the Aim of the Scout Association includes:
‘to encourage the spiritual development of young people’.
This responsibility is an integral part of the Association and needs to be achieved through the programme, method and structure of Scouting.
In Scouting, our adults have a responsibility to make sure that the Programme is fun and exciting. We must also make sure that it is safe. The Scout Association’s policies, rules, code of behaviour, advice on Child Protection (see below) and safety policy are there to ensure our young people stay safe while they enjoy themselves and learn.
In placing your youngster in the Movement, you have placed yourself under certain obligations. You will be expected to actively support the Scout Group, to pay the subscriptions, to assist in raising funds for training, equipment and administrative overheads and to make labour and skills available and to help other parents in these projects when called upon. Also, with a little more experience, you may be asked to sit on the Group Executive that manages the Group. If all parents pull their weight, it will benefit not only your son but all members of the Group.
The adult leaders who are prepared to train your child are voluntary unpaid workers. They devote their spare time to the children of other people. It is their contribution to the community in which they live, and their hobby, and like any other hobby, it costs them money. They deserve your utmost co-operation and support.
Leaders are made
The Movement is in constant need of good adults Leaders who are prepared to make a contribution to the community. No skills are required – just a willingness to learn and COMMITMENT.
The training given to the new Scouter is painless and fun, there is a vast satisfaction in knowing that you, as a leader are contributing something towards the development of the coming generation and it is an enjoyable, worthwhile hobby.
Your Part of the bargain
Your child has joined the Beaver, Cubs or Scouts. they have done more than just that – s/he has become a member of the world-wide Scout Movement many millions strong, in fact the largest youth movement in the world and growing.
But that is not all – you, the parents, have joined the Movement too. For Scouting is a co-operative community venture, sharing with the home, school and the church the task of building the character of the young – and you are just as involved as your youngster. Scouting is not a child minding organisation but a training movement. We are helping you to fulfil your main responsibilities as parents – to equip the next generation for the future.
Your part of the bargain is to assist the Movement in every way you can, for the Movement is not something apart, but a community effort in which you have a vital share and interest.
You will enjoy the association with Scouting and we will enjoy working with you.
We have no doubts you will fulfil your obligations.
If you have any concerns, talk them over with the Group Scout Leader now – don’t just let your child and the Leaders down later on.
Investiture and Uniform
Your child has joined the Beaver, Cubs or Scouts. Scouts are a uniformed organisation – that means that when you and you youngster decides that he/she wants to become a member the Section Leader will arrange an investiture. The investiture is the point at which, in front of his peer group, family, friends and leaders he/she makes a promise – this varies dependant on the section being joined.
We are a uniformed organisation and prior to investiture, you will need to obtain a uniform – this is different for each section and your Leaders will advise on what is required and where it may be obtained.