Which section is best for your young person?
Beavers (6–8 years)
Beavers are our youngest members, and generally meet for an hour per week. They enjoy all that Scouting has to offer; being introduced to outdoor activities, having the opportunity to be creative, explore their local community and experience the excitement of a Beaver Scout sleepover with their friends. The Beaver Colony is the first and youngest section of the Scout Group. Beaver Scouts are young people aged between 6 and 8 years old.
A Beaver Colony may be organised into smaller groups called Lodges. Lodges can be used in a number of ways to facilitate the organisation of the Beaver Scout Colony. They may provide a ‘home’ area for Beaver Scouts to gather at points at the start, during or at the end of the Colony meeting.
During their time in the Colony, Beaver Scouts will get a chance to try a wide range of different activities as well as going on trips, days out, and on sleepovers. Participation, rather than meeting set standards, is the key approach, and there are a range of badges and challenge awards that Beaver Scouts can gain to recognise their achievements.
Cubs (8-10½ years)
For Cubs, excitement and adventure are key. Their programme offers a huge variety of activities surrounding areas of fitness, global and beliefs; whilst allowing them to be creative and get involved in their local communities. Cubs are introduced to exciting outdoor skills and take part in adventurous activities, as well as camps and residential experiences. The Cub Pack is the second section of the Scout Group following on from Beavers. Cub Scouts are young people aged between 8 and 10 ½.
A Cub Pack is usually organised into small groups called Sixes, each headed up by an older Cub called a Sixer, and often with a Seconder as well. Sixes can be used in a number of ways to facilitate the organisation of the Cub Scout Pack. They may provide a ‘home’ area for Cub Scouts to gather at points at the start, during or at the end of the Pack meeting.
During their time in the Pack, Cub Scouts will get a chance to try a wide range of different activities as well as going on trips, days out, and on camps. Participation and personal development, rather than meeting set standards, is the key approach, and there are a range of badges and challenge awards that Cub Scouts can gain to recognise their achievements.
Scouts (10½–14 years)
Scouts aims to build and develop young people’s confidence, sense of adventure and outdoor skills, as well as encouraging them to explore their beliefs and attitudes and be creative. It offers them the independence to put these skills into practice at camps and even on international trips. Scouts are encouraged to work together and take the lead on all sorts of projects, from community based work to planning games and activities for their meetings. The Scout Troop is the third section in the Scout Group, above Beavers and Cubs. The Scout Section is for young people aged between 10½ and 14 years.
A Scout Troop is divided into small groups called Patrols, each headed up by an older Scout called a Patrol Leader, and often with an Assistant Patrol Leader.
Scouts are encouraged to take part in a wide range of activities as part of their programme including traditional Scouting skills, such as camping, survival and cooking, as well as a wider spectrum of adventurous activities, from abseiling to zorbing. Participation rather than meeting set standards is the key approach, and there are a number of badges and awards that Scouts can gain to recognise their achievements.
Explorer Scouts (14–18 years)
With the support, direction and guidance of Unit leaders, Explorer Scouts are encouraged to lead themselves, design their own programme and work towards the top awards that Scouting offers. With exciting prospects like being a part of camps and expeditions both home and abroad; adventurous activities such as mountaineering, parascending and off shore sailing; Explorers offers fun and adventure for all. Explorers also have the opportunity to be a part of The Explorer Scout Young Leaders’ Scheme which develops their leadership skills and sense of responsibility, by helping to run meetings for younger sections. Explorer Units are the fourth Section of the Scouting family after Beavers, Cubs and Scouts. Explorer Scouts are young people aged between 14 and 18 years old.
The key to running a successful Explorer Unit is flexibility. Due to the other commitments that crop up in a teenager’s life, such as exams, it is important that the programme reflects this. For example, Units may not every week, or carry out the majority of activities at weekends.
Explorer Scouts are encouraged to take part in a wide range of activities as part of their programme including traditional Scouting skills, such as camping, survival and cooking, as well as a wider spectrum of adventurous activities, from abseiling to zorbing. The Explorer programme should be supplemented and complemented by events and activities delivered across the District, allowing them the opportunity to socialise and work with other local Explorer Units. In addition, there are a number of activity badges and ambitious top awards that Explorer Scouts can gain to recognise their achievements.
Scout Network (18-25 years)
Scout Network members take part in a variety of activities, which they undertake and organise themselves under the leadership of a District Scout Network Commissioner and sometimes with the support of a Programme Coordinator.
The Programme is divided into three Programme Areas: Community, International and Adventure. Launched in April 2016, the Scout Network website is a place for Network members to create projects, events and connect with like minded members from across the UK. Take a look: https://www.ukscoutnetwork.org.uk
If you're moving away from home, for study or for work, you can carry on Scouting through Scout Network (or as an adult volunteer) by informing your District Scout Network Commissioner that you are relocating. They will be able to put you in contact with the District Scout Network Commissioner for the area you are moving to and pass them your details. Over time, you will be able to manage ‘moving’ to another District via the UK Scout Network website.