Thank you for taking on a role with local scouting. You are joining the most successful youth movement the world has ever seen.

Scouting is about everyday people working as leaders and supporters in their communities, giving young people confidence, a sense of purpose, life values and outdoor skills that are hard to find anywhere else – we call these ‘skills for life’. Whatever role you are taking on you will also have the opportunity to learn new skills, make new friends and give something back to your local community. You will be helping young people (directly or indirectly), gain skills for life and have amazing adventures as part of the larges co-educational youth organisation in the UK.

Introduction and Purpose

This page is designed to give you a brief overview of scouting and provide a guide to your first few months in the Movement. It will also give you an idea of the types of support available to you and will hopefully answer some of the many questions you are likely to have.

We hope that after reading through this page you will:

  • feel welcome and comfortable as a new member of scouting
  • get excited about our programme
  • Start to learn more about scouting or history and traditions
  • know how to access training and other learning opportunities that will help you develop
  • know about the many resources that can help you along your scouting adventure.

Making you feel welcome

When you start a new job, someone will usually tell you about the company you have joined, where you fit in, what is expected of you and where you can gain support, they will also help you identify any additional skills you may need to do your job. Taking on a role in scouting is no different and that’s the aim of our welcome to scouting web pages!

As an adult volunteering with scouting you have a unique role to play in the lives of young people. Over time you will meet young people who are benefitting from the fun and adventure they have had while in our care. They may not say thank you today. next week or even when they leave but throughout their lives they will remember and use the skills and fun they had as a scout!

We don’t expect you to do this on your own and you will receive lots of support and focused training for your role.

Baden-Powell once said, ‘Scouting is not a science… it is a great game’. Enjoy the game, have fun helping others and thank you for contributing to the lives of young people in your local community.

Scouting’s growing

Our five pillar approach to volunteer support

Achieving this requires a holistic and sustained approach to supporting you in your role. To do this we have developed five key pillars of support.

Each of the five pillars comprises of key support and tools to help you develop as a volunteer in scouting and to enable you to help provide quality scouting to young people be it as a leader or as a volunteer line manager or support.

Our structure

Scouting across the UK is divided into around 160 Scout Counties. Within a Scout County, there are a number of Scout Districts, and within a Scout District there are a number of Scout Groups, Explorer Scout Units (14 to 18 years) and a Scout Network (18 to 25 years).

Our volunteer line management

Line managers are volunteers who support other volunteers to be successful and often have decision-making roles in carrying out in scouting.

If you are a section leader, your line manager is the group scout leader. Their line manager is the district commissioner. District commissioners report in to county commissioners.

Scout Groups

Our three youngest age groups (we call them sections) – Beavers (6 to 8 years), Cubs (8 to 10 years) and Scouts (10 to 14 years), make up a scout group. There are around 8,000 across the country.

Our volunteer leaders are responsible for planning and delivering the programme to the young people in their section. Beaver, cub and scout Leaders are supported by a group scout leader (GSL). The group scout leader is the lead volunteer in the scout group and is responsible for making sure the group has a team of suitable adults who are well trained, supported and have the equipment they need to run amazing programmes.

GSL:Cam Beale

Deputy GSL:

Acorn Drey Leader: Joe Ray

Peanut Drey Leader: Joe Ray

River Beaver Leader: Kerrie Bowers

Wood Beaver Leader: Graeme Harris-Scott

Phoenix Cub Leader: Craig Wilkins

Taurus Cub Leader: Bethan Cowley

Atlantis Scout Leader: Jess De Sousa

Endeavour Scout Leader: Tina Elliott

District Commissioners

District commissioners (DC), is the lead volunteer in the scout district and is responsible for the provision of scouting in the area the scout district covers. The DC supports the GSLs in the district and also leads a district team which is responsible for supports the leaders in the beavers, cubs, scouts and explorer sections across the District.

DCs are supported by a county commissioner (CC) and the county team. Scout counties are made up of a number of scout districts.

DC: Dave Shill

DDC: Rob Link

ADC Beavers: James

ADC Cubs: Cam

ADC Scouts: John and Tina

Executive Committees

Each group, district and county annually elects a body of trustees including a chair, secretary, treasurer and a number of board members. We call this group of volunteers the executive committee.

The group, district or county executive committee works with the relevant volunteer manager (GSL, DC or CC), to ensure that the scout county, district or group operates in accordance with the policies, organisation and rules of The Scout Association and the rules of the UK Charity Commission.

Group Chair: Bex Fouch
Deputy Group Chair: Randall McKay
Group Scout Leader: Cam Beale
Deputy Group Scout Leader:
Group Treasurer: Jason Phelps
Group Secretary: Gill McKay

Put your phone down and what are you left with? Just teamwork, courage and the skills to succeed.’
Bear Grylls, Chief Scout Bear Grylls