Frequently Asked Questions about joining Scouts

When can I start Scouting?

As long as you’re over 6 years old you can start Scouting in the appropriate section and work through: Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, Explorers, Network. As an adult you can start as a Leader, a helper or a member of the Scouting Active Support.

How is Scouting organised?

Each Scout Group consists of a number of sections: Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and possibly Explorers. Explorers can exist as a self-contained unit. Sections can organise their own events and activities. Sections can join together for Groups events. Sections are led by a Group Scout Leader and an Executive Committee.

Our 24 Scout Groups are organised in 2 Districts, East Wight and West Wight. Districts organise events at Section levels. Districts are led by a District Commissioner, their Assistants and a District Executive Committee.

Our 2 Districts form a Scout County, in our case The Isle of Wight is a County. The County Team organise Warrants and training for Leaders, Island-wide events, and PR. Our Shooting, Archery, International and Wight Rovers Media Teams are all organised at County Level. The County is led by a County Commissioner, various Assistant Commissioners, specialists, managers and the training team. The County Executive Committee oversees all County Activity. The County is responsible for maintenance and operation of Corf Camp Site.

Network Scouts are organised on an ad hoc basis, and can call on the resources of any Group.

How much does it cost to be a Scout?

As a registered charity we try to keep our costs and overheads down, but Scouting involves lots of activities and that carries a cost! Funding for our activities comes from several sources.

  • Week to week section activities are funded by “subs” which are payable by term or by week.
  • Each January we make an annual “Membership” charge for overheads and insurance cover.
  • Events and Camps are self-funding: these are separate costs.
  • We do a lot of fundraising at all levels.
  • Our Jamboree and other International teams run major fundraising activities to cover costs of going to these events.
  • Scouts of all sections are required to wear the correct uniform. This can be bought locally at the Sports and model shop in Shanklin, on line at www.shop.scouts.org.uk. Most groups have a second-hand uniform recycling arrangement.
Who are our Leaders and Helpers?

Our Scout sections are all run by trained, warranted Leaders and Assistants. For every activity we run there is a required minimum number of Leaders and helpers, and we rely on parents helping us. Quite simply, the more parents help, the more activities we can run for more Scouts. And many parents find that they can have fun Scouting too – that’s how many of our Leaders started in Scouting! And for the record, none of our Island Scouts are paid for the time they volunteer.

The joke goes that when you become a leader you are assured that it’s only 2 hours a week. But then you add preparation, weekend activities, camps, training, District and County Events……… and suddenly being a leader takes a lot of your time. Many people cannot make that level of commitment. That’s where our Flexible volunteering scheme comes in. Talk to us about becoming a helper or member of the Scouting Active Support and helping us when you are able to.

Is Scouting inclusive?

Every Scout is the same. Unique! So we’re always working to make Scouting more inclusive: we really do try our best to accommodate Scouts with different requirements or abilities.

  • Most of our Scout Groups own their own headquarters buildings: where we can, we’ve made these buildings accessible for people with mobility requirements.
  • All Scouts make a Promise. Normally that Promise relates to God and the Queen, however we have alternative promises for Members of different religions or nationalities.
  • We are also sensitive to LGBTQ issues.

Ring our contact number or email us to discuss any of these issues.

Are our activities safe?

We take every aspect of safety seriously. Starting with Child Protection we insist that all adults who come into contact with our Young People are given a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check. Scout HQ at Gilwell produces a comprehensive Policy, Organisation and Rules (POR) document which tells us how to run our activities to ensure that our Young People, our Leaders and our Reputation are protected. Our District and County management and training teams support leaders understanding and making Risk Analysis of all new activities. Almost all of our Leaders have current First Aid qualifications. By doing this we comply with our POR and Insurance requirements.

What about taking Photographs of Scout activities?

Proud parents love to take photos of their offspring having fun, and that includes at Scout meetings and events. We also take photos of our Scouts for PR. Whether it’s for a Group or County Facebook page, a Newsletter, one of our Facebook page, our website or a Press Release, our Media Team are at many of our events taking photos and recording video. When Young People join Scouts we ask their parents to sign a photographic release form. We cannot guarantee that photos will not be taken at any time, although if we are asked by parents WE WILL MAKE EVERY EFFORT to not use any photographs of specific Young People for our PR.


As one of the 20 or so Scouts in a section (Beaver Colony, Cub Pack, Scout section – Explorers and Network are slightly different) you’re a member of the 50 to 100 members in a Group. You’re also one of 1,700 Island Scouts, 560,000 UK Scouts and 32 MILLION Scouts spread across almost every country in the world. All of our Scouts learn about our world-wide Scouting family: how they live, what they eat and how they Scout. Island Scouts take part in UK and International camps, including every 4th year we send a contingent of our Young people and a leader to the World Scout Jamboree – in 2019 this will be in the USA.

How do I provide feedback or ask  more questions?

Every Scout has a voice, and we listen to those voices. Our Youth Commissioner and County Team organise events where Scouts can tell us what they like or don’t like about Scouts. For adults, our annual Isle Shape conference is a discussion and advice forum. Most years we run a conference for our younger Scouts too, in the guise of a Walkie Talkie event. If anyone has an opinion or idea for an event or activity, we’d love to hear about it.  Another discussion forum is our closed Facebook group at  www.facebook.com/xxxx  Any Scout over 13 years of age can join, and we welcome parents too. Alternatively, parents can help younger Scouts to mail questions or ideas to Sid the Scout at sidthescout@yahoo.com.


If you have any further questions regarding joining Scouts, please use the query form on our “Join” page.




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