What is Scouting?
The Scout Association is the largest co-educational youth movement in the UK, Scouting provides adventurous activities and personal development opportunities for over 400,000 young people.
Scouting gives young people the opportunity to learn by doing, as part of a balanced programme. Our programme is a continuous progression of training, activities and awards that covers everything young people do in Scouting from the age of 6 to 18.
Every step of the way, we try to encourage friendship, social skills, teamwork and confidence and most importantly have fun!
When do you meet?
The usual meeting times for our 4 sections are:
- Beavers – Thursdays 6.30-7.30pm
- Cubs – Thursdays 6.30-8pm
- Scouts – Fridays 7-9pm
- Explorers – Fridays 7-9pm
Times of individual weekly meetings may vary due to activity, location, etc. If you want to come along and visit it us please get in touch first. We do ask that members arrive at meetings on time and are collected on time and it is useful to know in advance if a member is going to miss a weekly meeting.
As a guide, our terms are generally the same as the School terms, although we may run some special events and activities during the holidays.
Where do you meet?
All our Sections are based at Headingley Methodist Church halls in Chapel Street Headingley which is opposite the Arndale shopping centre (location map) We sometimes meet at an activity location instead, such as a local park or a Scout Campsite, this will be notified in advance
How much does it cost?
Subscriptions (Subs) are payable at the start of each term for each child (so 3 times a year) and can be paid by cash or cheque. Currently subs are £30 per term for Beavers, Cubs and Scouts and £34 per term for Explorers.
- Membership of the Group/Unit, District, County and National Scout Association
- Use of the Church Halls we meet in
- Cost of materials and resources for weekly meetings
Camps, Trips and some activities are charged separately. As a rough guideline, expect to pay around £20-25 per 24 hours for a camp (dependant on location, etc). Trips are generally charged “at cost” although we usually get a lower admission rate than the general public.
The Group has access to funds both locally and nationally and we encourage parents to talk to a Leader if they would like help with the cost of scouting. Some parents prefer to pay in installments while we are able to make sure that other children continue with the group through other sources of funding. Cost should not be a bar to membership – “no child left behind.”
Subs must be paid on time or contact made if you would like some support.
Is there a Uniform?
Once your child has been with us for a few weeks, she or he will need the correct uniform for their Section and this should be worn to all meetings unless told otherwise. Until they have uniform they should wear comfy clothes for their first few meetings, suitable for sporty games. Have a look at the uniform page for details of what to buy and where from. We often have some second hand uniforms available if the cost of uniform is an issue please discuss this with your child’s Section Leader.
Does my child have to go Camping?
A key part of Scouting is going away from home on residential “nights away” trips. These are a mix of camps, indoor sleepovers, and expeditions. Typically Cubs will be offered at least one nights away experience each year (often a two night camp or residential), Scouts and Explorers will be offered at least three nights away experiences each year including an indoor residential and a week long summer camp.
Whilst attendance at camps is not *required* it is strongly encouraged, and is a core part of the programme. Over the years we have found that young people who do not attend the camps miss out on a huge part of the Scouting Experience. We have a policy that young people will not be appointed to leadership positions (patrol leader at Scouts, Sixer at Cubs) if they have not attended a residential trip. Equally young people are not able to complete their Chief Scout Award without attending residentials. If you have any concerns about your son/daughter attending camps, or about paying for them, please do talk to us!
You will get plenty of notice about camps. There is financial assistance available for residential experiences, if this is needed please have a word with the Leader organising the camp.
Will my Child be Safe?
The Scout Association has a safeguarding policy that we follow. This includes DBS (previously CRB) checks for all our Leaders and helpers, running safeguarding training for them and following correct procedures at all our events. Have a look at The Scout Association’s Child Protection Policy. A qualified first aider is present for all activities and appropriate first aid equipment is available whether we are in the hall or out and about.
Scouting encourages young people to take sensible risks in a controlled way. Your child will climb trees, light fires and learn to use knives, as well as taking part in a number of adventurous activities. We recognise that minor injuries are an inevitable part of childhood, but follow risk assessments and operating procedures to ensure that all activities are as safe as possible.
Can Girls join Scouts?
Yes certainly! All of our Sections have accepted both girls and boys for many years now.
How does my child join?
Please complete our online joining form which gives us all information we require about you and your child. We will then get in touch with you by your preferred method and give you further information about the joining process.
Please note have a waiting list for Beavers as do most Beaver Colonies in our area so if you want to give your child the best chance of getting a space in Beavers we recommend adding them to our waiting list by using the online joining form before they are 6. However we do not accept people onto the waiting list before they are 4.
At present, there are not waiting lists for our other three sections, but we do prioritise spaces in these for our existing members moving up from younger Sections. When a Section is full spaces are allocated according to our waiting list policy.
Will I be expected to help?
In a word, Yes. The entire Scout Group and Unit is run by volunteers including all our Leaders and we need help from our member’s parents to keep running. However how much you help is up to you and can vary from simply supporting our occasional social events and fundraising efforts, helping with transport for events, helping out with weekly meetings occasionally as part of a parent rota to becoming a Leader yourself if you decide you want to.
We also have charity trustees called the Executive Committee, made up of Leaders and parents who are responsible for the overall running of the Group especially the Group’s finances and we ask annually for parents to join this committee
Volunteering for the group is very rewarding, and can be great fun. We run a range of social events for parents and families throughout the year, and its a great way to make new friends – for the adults as well as the kids!
How is the Group Managed
Scouting has a defined Leadership structure. Each Section is run by a Section Leader with support from Assistant Leaders . The Group Scout Leader has overall responsibility for all Scouting activities in the Group and they are ultimately overseen by a District Commissioner.
The Group is an excepted charity, and as such is managed by trustees known as the Executive Committee. This committee is made up of Leaders, parents, and lay members.
Explorers is slightly different with the Unit forming part of Explorer provision across our Scout District and whilst the Unit is run by the Explorer Scout Leader they are overseen by a District Explorer Scout Commissioner rather than the Group Scout Leader.
Is Scouting a Religious Organisation
Scouting is open to those of any faith, or no faith at all. During your son or daughter’s time in Scouting they will be encouraged to explore their own beliefs, and to learn about world faiths. Various versions of the Scout Promise are available, and your son/daughter will be encouraged to make their own choice as to which they would like to make. Whilst we encourage young people to explore their faith, Scouting is not itself a religious organisation.
However we are supported by Headingley Methodist Church in whose halls we meet and about once a term, the Group and Unit take part in a Church Parade Service in the Church. We try to get as many of us there as possible and do invite members and their families of all faiths or none join us for the parade service, which are child friendly.