The Scout Section has existed since Scouting began in 1907. Though the Section has gone through many changes it values and fundamental principles have remained unchanged. Today there are some 75,000 Scouts in 7,000 Troops across the UK.

Who is the Scout Section for?

Scouts is open to young people aged between ten and half and fourteen years old of all major denominations and faiths who can make the Scout Promise.

The Scout Promise

Scouting differs from many organisations in that it requires its Members to make a Promise. The Scout Promise is the same for Scouts, Explorer Scouts, Members of the Scout Network and adult Members of the Association. It is:

On my honour,
I promise that I will do my best
to do my duty to God and to The Queen,
to help other people
and to keep the Scout Law

Different wordings of the promise are available for those of different faiths who may prefer not to use the word “God” and for those with special needs and circumstances.

By making the Promise a young person becomes a Member of the worldwide Movement: they become a Scout.

The Scout Law

The Scout Law is a set of ‘rules’ that Scouts should do their best to live their life by. They are based on the Laws that Baden Powell came up with, but have evolved over time to reflect changing times. The Laws are:

  1. A Scout is to be trusted.
  2. A Scout is loyal.
  3. A Scout is friendly and considerate.
  4. A Scout belongs to the Worldwide family of Scouts.
  5. A Scout has courage in all difficulties.
  6. A Scout makes careful use of time and is careful of possessions and property.
  7. A Scout has self-respect and respect for others

The Motto

The Motto for all Members of the Movement is:

Be Prepared

The Scout Uniform

Scouts wear a teal colour shirt. They will also wear a scarf (sometimes called a “necker”), the colour of the scarf they wear varies from Scout Group to Scout Group. They will also have a leather woggle, to keep their scarf up. Activity trousers and a Scout belt are also parts of the Scout uniform and there are several optional items available as well!

How are scouts organised?

Scouts meet together as a Troop and work within a variety of small groups called Patrols. A Scout called a Patrol Leader leads the Patrol. The Patrol Leaders work with the Leadership Team to set the programme and make in decisions affecting the Troop.

The Patrol system is one of the important ways that young people can take responsibility for themselves and others. A volunteer leadership team made up of uniformed Leaders and other informal Assistants and Helpers will guide the Troop. Explorer Scouts who are Young Leaders might also assist the leadership team in the Troop.


Making the Promise is the most important act in Scouting, and has a special ceremony for this called Investiture or being invested. It is here that the new Scout makes the Promise, receives their Group Scarf, The Membership Award (for those coming into Scouting for the first time) or their Moving-On Award (if they have been in Cubs) and are welcomed as a new Member into the Scout Family.

What do Scouts do?

Scouts normally meet once a week for a couple of hours. It is an opportunity for them to catch up with friends, learn new skills and explore issues relevant to their age group. They will also have their chance to say what they want to do!

Scout Programme

Scouts are encouraged to take part in a wide range of activities as part of their programme. Participation rather than meeting set standards is the key approach. Scouts take part in a Balanced Programme that helps them to find out about the world in which they live, encourages them to know their own abilities and the importance of keeping fit and helps develop their creative talents. It also provides opportunities to explore their own values and personal attitudes and develop in all the Personal Development Areas.

Programme Zones

The following Programme Zones for Scouts, form part of the Balanced Programme. Scouts will take part in activities from all the Zones regularly. The Zones are:

  • Scoutcraft and Adventure
  • Global
  • Community
  • Fit for Life
  • Creative Expression
  • Beliefs and Attitudes


The Programme Zones are delivered using ten methods, which give the programme variety and range. The methods are:

  • Activities Outdoors
  • Games
  • Design and Creativity
  • Visits and Visitors
  • Service
  • Team-Building Activities
  • Activities with Others
  • Themes
  • Technology and New Skills
  • Prayer, Worship and Reflection

Underlying Ways of Working

Underpinning the programmes offered to Scouts are seven ways of working, which should be present in every programme. These are:

  • Activity
  • Fun
  • Teamwork
  • Leadership and Responsibility
  • Relationships
  • Commitment
  • Personal Development

Badges and Awards

While the emphasis is on a Balanced Programme of activities, there are still badges and awards for Scouts to aim for. Badges and awards are given in recognition of the effort made by each young person at their own level

The Membership Award

This award helps the young person understand the commitment they are making when they make the Promise and become a Member of the Movement, if they have not been a Scout. It covers the history, traditions and practices of Scouting.

Participation Awards

The Participation Awards recognise a commitment to Scouting. They celebrate Scouts participating in a Balanced Programme over a period of time. They are awarded on the anniversary of the young person joining Scouting.


The Challenges complement the Balanced Programme. These have been developed to extend Scouts’ skills and experience in a particular area. There are eight Challenges in the Scout Section:

  • Outdoor Challenge
  • Outdoor Plus Challenge
  • Expedition Challenge
  • Adventure Challenge
  • Global Challenge
  • Fitness Challenge
  • Creative Challenge
  • Community Challenge

Activity Badges

Activity Badges are optional, but they provide an opportunity to reward a young person who has taken part in an activity over a period of time. They should raise interest and extend a young person’s skills throughout their time in Scouting. There are 70 Scout Activity Badges.

Staged Activity Badges

In addition to the Scout Activity Badges, there are four Staged Activity Badges that run across the all Sections. These give a young person the opportunity to develop an area of interest throughout their time in Scouting from 6 –18. They are:

  • Information Technology
  • Nights Away
  • Musician
  • Swimmer

Group Awards

The Group Awards are designed so that all members of the Scout Group can take part in the Award, to encourage Sections to work together. There are three Group Awards:

Chief Scout’s Gold Award

This is the highest award available in the Scout Section. It is gained by completing:

  • the Promise Challenge,
  • the Community Challenge,
  • the Fitness Challenge,
  • the Creative Challenge,
  • the Global Challenge,
  • the Outdoor Challenge

and any two of the following:

  • the Outdoor Plus Challenge
  • the Adventure Challenge
  • the Expedition Challenge.

The Chief Scout’s Gold Award can be worn on the Explorer Scout Uniform once the Scout moves onto Explorer Scouts.

The Moving-On Award

This Award helps ease the transfer of a Scout to the Explorer Scout Unit. It also allows the Scout to be invested into the Unit immediately, recognising that they are already Members of the Scout Movement.

Scouting Outdoors

Scouting has a reputation as an outdoor organisation based on strong traditions of camping and other outdoor pursuits. Scouting offers a range of activities for Scouts away from their home throughout the year, lots of camps and when possible a longer camp in the summer. These are an important part of Troop life and everybody is encouraged to go.

Scouts… know your direction!

Scouts have the opportunity to make more and more decisions for themselves about they want to do and want to get out of Scouting. The opportunities will be there for them to take part in a wide range of activities and to gain a variety of skills and knowledge. They will get to learn more about themselves by not only taking responsibility for themselves, but for others as well.

Scouts on-line

Scouts have their own pages on The Scout Association’s website where they can find out lots of useful information, enter competitions and even read reviews of the latest films! Find out more at:

Resources for Scouts

Scouts have their own file called the Matrix. It’s full of useful information about the programme and Scouting. Scouts can also record their progress through the Programme in The Scout Record Book.