So Thinking about Joining the Scouting Movement
What is it all about?
As they progress we start to offer them greater challenges and offer them the opportunity to move into specialist training such as kayaking, pioneering, climbing etc.
The Awards offered in the older sections are comparable to Duke of Edinburgh Awards, and in fact the DoE Awards can be piggybacked into the Scout training.
The highlight of many of our members' time in Scouting is taking part in an International adventure, sometimes with visiting foreign Scouts, sometimes going abroad with Scouts.
So what do you need to do now?
If you are on low income and your child is eligible for free school meals your child’s Scouting may be funded by Pupil Premium. If you wish to use this method then please ask your child’s school about Pupil Premium. They will be able to provide you with information and forms to apply.
You will need to provide a uniform. This consists of the sweatshirt or shirt appropriate for the section your child will join. You will not need to buy the Group necker or woggle as we will provide these when they join; however, if the first of either is lost, a replacement must be paid for.
We can benefit from Gift Aid. This involves us getting a tax rebate on tax you pay so long as you pay at least the minimum 10% tax rate. All it involves is for you to sign a Gift Aid Declaration and the rest is down to us to manage.
We also expect parents to support fundraising events, ensure that their child attends meetings, and that you will support us in developing your child though Scouting. That includes attending the Annual General Meeting, which as members of the Scout Council; you really should make an effort to attend.
Waiting list Policy
Obviously if we get more Leaders we can open more Sections and increase our available places. If you are able to become a Leader with us then please let us know – we don’t bite.
In general terms spaces will be allocated in to youth members in the following order. It does not strictly follow this as the age of a prospective member could make a large difference, e.g. a six year old starting Beavers will not affect the Cub numbers for 2 years whereas a 7½ year old joining Beavers would affect Cubs numbers within 6 months.
All things being equal places will be allocated dependant on time on the Waiting List.
- Children of Group Leaders (new or existing)
- Children moving up within the group (obviously not relevant to Beavers)
- Brothers or sisters of existing members
- New members.
We always make every effort to get as many young people in as possible but we cannot guarantee that the above order will apply in every case and reserve the right to select members as we see fit.
If a child leaves the Group for whatever reason and wishes to return, then they will be returned to the Waiting List and need to wait for a place to become available again.
Data Protection and GDPR
This data is kept by the Group in order to manage the day to day running and to provide the emergency contact details to the Leaders. All Section Leaders have undetaken GDPR training as detailed by the Scout Association
Our policy is that we will not discourage anyone from following their chosen religion, or not, as the case may be. However, we will, through our activities and our contact with each other and the environment encourage them to develop their own spiritual awareness.
We do cater for all religions amongst out youth membership and, for some; the taking of the promise creates a problem. However the Scout Association have a nmebr of adpated promised for young people to use. These are available on teh scout website or by talking to one of our leaders.
Child Protection Policy
The protection rules apply to the children as much as they do the adults and any child breaking the rules is as likely to be removed as any adult is.
There are grey areas though. Sometimes an upset child just needs a hand on a shoulder for re-assurance. Sometimes ensuring equipment is being worn properly, i.e. a climbing harness. These can require contact. It is our belief that so long as the contact is innocent and open there should be no problem. Of course physical contact is often a must when undertaking first aid – however, even in embarrassing situations there must always be more than one witness available.
Another area of concern is in discipline. We would never physically discipline a child, which remains the remit of the parents alone.
However, we have witnessed varying approaches to discipline from parents; from none at all through to punishment which some might consider verging on abuse. We have seen many styles of discipline/ group control having varying levels of success. What works for one will not always work for another. Indeed, what form of discipline works for one adult may not suit another. Within the Group we try to deal with issues appropriately and what works for Beavers may not work for older members. If you have any issues, then please ask a Leader. We try to set a standard of acceptable behaviour, we don't write it down because written rules get ignored. But certain actions are not permitted, fighting, bullying, and any activity which is inherently dangerous – waving burning sticks at people, messing about with campfires, misbehaving during an activity.
For instance we cannot tolerate bad behaviour when out climbing or kayaking. In general, the rule is that the offender will be asked to stop doing whatever they are doing, then told to stop, then asked to leave the activity. If that activity is "away" then it might result in everyone having to come home. In the event of continued poor behaviour, or in the event of behaviour likely to endanger life and limb, parents will be called and asked to remove the young person from the activity. If an activity has to be cancelled due to the behaviour of one or more young people, those young people will be asked to resign from the Group forthwith. Sometimes scenarios arise which create unpleasant situations for both adults and young people. This is particularly the case with teenage boys and girls setting out on the path of discovery leading to adulthood. Whilst it is accepted that relationships will develop between teenage boys and girls we must take care to ensure that neither party puts themselves or their peers at risk. In the event of such a situation arising the Leaders may find it necessary to intervene (often after complaints about such behaviour from other Scouts, or the parents of other Scouts).
This may sometimes seem unfair to the young people involved. However, the reputation of the Leaders and the rest of the Group is at risk – not to mention that of the young person him/ herself. Our policy here is that an embarrassed young person is much preferred to a damaged one. That a departure from the Group is preferred to a damaged reputation. All adults working in close contact with the young people (unsupervised) must undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. In addition to the DBS check and subsequent clearing, the District Appointments Advisory Committee must also approve all Leaders, Assistant Leaders, Section Assistants, Chairman, Treasurer and Secretary. The process for the DBS search is thorough, and irrespective of how long we may have known adults, they must bring us proof of identification, passport, birth certificate, proof of residency etc.
Every Scout Group must have a Chairman and a Treasurer, neither of whom can be a Leader in that Group. They need meet only once a year but we take a pragmatic approach and our meetings are bi-monthly during term time. The Group Executive consists of non-uniformed adults and the Group Scout Leader and any Section Leaders who opt to take part.
Our meetings run on the informal side and serve to ensure the steady running of the Group. They ensure that we have the support to operate fundraising events and that we have the support we need to keep the Group running.
There are some tasks which our uniformed Leaders simply don't have the time to do, or they make the extra effort to do but would welcome assistance in completing. Tasks which need support run from helping staff the kitchen at public events, to putting up posters and helping maintain the hall and grounds. Fundraising is a shared task and anyone with an interest in applying for funding on our behalf would be welcome to take some of the load.
Adult help on the Executive really can be as little as a couple of hours a month. It does not involve you taking charge of a section night. Go on, give it a try.
By fundraising we can ensure we have the funds in the coffers that we don't need to worry about emergencies.
We fundraise through one large event, the Bonfire Night, and by bag-packing. We hope that you will support both by helping and attending on the day. We sometimes also run other smaller events. By supporting these smaller events you are supporting your child and making it possible for us to offer them a better standard of Scouting.
You should note that we rarely use much funding raised within the group to buy equipment. We seek funding from outside to acquire capital equipment. In recent years that has included some £10,000 to buy tents, cooking equipment, and a trailer.