What is scouting and what makes it different?

Every night more than 50,000 young people attend Beaver, Cub, Scout or Explorer meetings across the UK. Scouting is one of the great 'brands' of our age - familiar and trusted in households throughout the country.

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This is an incredible achievement for an organisation run by volunteers in their spare time. Scouting has been able to adapt and change throughout its history so that it retains a relevance to the needs and aspirations of young people. It does this without losing sight of its core values, enshrined in the Scout Law and Scout Promise. Scouting's appeal also has a very real resonance with more than 100,000 adults who actively support us across the country on a regular basis.

Through the adventure of Scouting, young people get to take risks in a safe environment. Our programme provides young people with the opportunities to learn new skills such as camp cooking and photography. Rock climbing, potholing, computer science, geocaching, local and national citizenship, team challenges, personal growth and international experiences are just some of the things they also get up to. We encourage our young people to feel the buzz of the challenge and then reflect on what that means.  Did they have fun?  Do they feel more confident?  Would they do it again? 

Outdoor adventure plays a major part in the Scouting Programme. The opportunity to meet and communicate with Scouts from across the globe adds another dimension to the appeal of Scouting.

Scouting exists to actively engage and support young people, empowering them to make a positive contribution to society. The fun of Scouting challenges young people to embark on exciting, new adventures.

Adventure does not have to be extravagant or expensive -there are adventures to be had everywhere. For a beaver it is an adventure to wake up after their first ever night away on a beaver residential experience, for a cub the sense of achievement after helping on a community project or for an explorer the camaraderie of spending the weekend hill walking with fellow explorers.

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...Our Values

As scouts we are guided by these values: 
Integrity  - We say what we mean and when we make a promise, we keep it. 
Respect - We listen to others, explore our differences and work to find common ground. 
Care - Scouts are friends to all and think of others before themselves. 
Belief - We believe passionately in improving the lives and life chances of young people and helping them explore and develop their beliefs and attitudes. 
Cooperation - Scouting is about teamwork. We believe that when we work together we achieve more than we can on our own. 

...what we stand for

We have a positive impact on individuals, volunteers and local communities by offering everyday adventure, fun and friendship.

…the world's largest youth movement

Scouting is an international movement with over 40 million members worldwide, spread across 216 countries and territories. The number of countries recognising the values of scouting and accepting it's principles is increasing and there are only four countries in the world who do not offer scouting to young people.

…with 550,000 members in the UK

There are over 550,000 members throughout the United Kingdom. This includes around 100,000 adults who have taken up appointments as volunteer leaders, helpers, administrators and supporters. Scouting across the UK is operated locally in 10,000 scout groups. 

…boys and girls from all faiths & backgrounds

The Scout Association in the UK accepts members of all faiths and offers equal opportunities for both boys and girls no matter what their social, religious or ethnic background may be.

…fun, challenge & adventure with a clear purpose?

Scouting in the UK is organised through The Scout Association and exists to actively engage and support young people in their personal development, empowering them to make a positive contribution to society.

Even if we can't solve all the problems in the world, we can help make it a better place by helping young people to develop as active members of their community who show self-reliance, care, responsibility and commitment.

…learning by doing from 6 to 25

Scouting works well when young people enjoy 'learning by doing' working in partnership with adults - taking part in activities and new experiences, exploring the outdoors, participating in teams and taking responsibility. 

Our method for giving young people the opportunity to 'learn by doing' is called the programme. The programme is a seamless progression of training, activities and awards that cover everything that young people should do in scouting from the ages of 6 to 25.

...kept safe by our volunteer leaders

All adults in Scouting have a responsibility to make sure that the programme is exciting and fun. We must also make sure it is safe. The Scout Association's policies, rules, code of behaviour and safety are there to help adults make sure that the young people in their care stay safe while they enjoy themselves and learn.

…following the Scout Promise

Scouting has a simple and positive promise that all members are required to make. The promise, together with the scout law, gives a distinctive ethos to the practices of the movement and acts as a bond with scouts in other countries.

Everyone in scouting expresses their membership and acceptance of our scouting values by making the scout promise and following the scout law. Beaver scouts and cub scouts have their own version of the promise and law, which is relevant for their age.