The Scout Group in General

Our Scout Group is made up of its members, which are automatically the parents or guardians of all of our young people, plus our leaders.

The Group is managed by the Group Scout Executive (GSE), a group of volunteers who meet once a term to oversee the operation of the group and co-ordinate its activities. The Group Scout Leader (GSL) is an ex officio member of the GSE, appointed by the District Commissioner. The Chairman of the GSE is appointed by the GSL, as are one leader representative from each of the Beaver, Cub and Scout sections. Other members of the GSE are elected at the Annual General Meeting of the Group. Members of the GSE have the following roles:

Lead Fundraiser

Quartermaster

Assistant Group Scout Leader

Clerk of Works

 

The Group is a registered charity, governed by trustees who are the ex officio post holders of the Group Scout Leader, Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer roles.

 

Discipline and Behaviour

In each of our sections, we expect a high standard of behaviour.  We are not a school - we recognise that Scouts, Cubs and Beavers come to enjoy themselves and have fun (so do we!).  Nor are we army cadets - we do not expect absolute obedience and discipline with draconian punishments.

However, in order to ensure everyone can enjoy themselves and are safe in potentially harmful activities a certain level of discipline is necessary. Some examples are being quiet during flagbreak and closing ceremony, listening when someone else is speaking, acting sensibly in taking part in activities and being careful of Scout possessions and property and others.   Many of our games and activities require everyone to play fairly if they are to work and be enjoyable.  With energetic fast moving young people it is important that we do not allow a few to disrupt things for everyone else in a potentially harmful way.

Some of our activities require special safety considerations, and our young people must obey relevant instructions from leaders, young leaders or adult helpers.

If we consider that a particular individual's behaviour is not acceptable, and this continues after they have been asked to stop, consideration will be given by the Scout Leader to approach parents to assist in behaviour issues. Any further action required will be a matter of discussion with the parent, Section Leadership team and Group Scout Leader, and may ultimately lead to a young person being asked to leave the Group.

 

Subscriptions

Subscriptions are set at £100 per year, payable by 30th September, or £35 per term, payable by 30th September, 31st January and 30th April respectively.

Scouting is for all.  In these uncertain times continuous employment can’t be guaranteed.  Families for whom meeting the cost of subscriptions, uniform, or other scout activities may approach the Group Scout Leader in confidence to enquire about available financial assistance.

Subscriptions go towards materials and equipment, building and vehicle maintenance, utility bills, and insurance. Funds are also used to meet the cost of some outings, in whole or in part. Part of the subscription is transferred to District, County and National level. All adult help with the Group is entirely voluntary.

 

Parental Involvement

Parent involvement is extremely important.

Without you the troop will not work, and you are expected to help out!  Our sections require occasional rota help for evenings when additional manpower is required, and we have a hut cleaning rota which comes round with a frequency between 6 months and a year, requiring an hour or so to clean the hut for the week concerned.

Fund raising is a high priority and parent help  and support is essential for this.  If you have access to charity fund matching through your company we would love to hear from you.  Help with manning checkpoints and challenge bases on incident hikes will definitely require parent assistance.  Parents are expected to participate in Scout hut work parties to maintain the hut and grounds at an acceptable standard.

All parents, leaders and helpers are expected to complete a CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) form, and the Scout Association’s Occasional Helper form. Scouting complies with all legislation relating to the care and safety of young persons.

We run a parent rota for section evenings where additional help is required.  We also encourage parents to help organise evenings - perhaps you have a skill or hobby you could share, or you could just help organise a pre-planned evening.

There are many ways you can help further, so every family should be able to find something that will fit with their skills and time commitments. The first area where help is needed is in the leadership team, directly involved with providing Scouting for young people; and secondly, help is needed in supporting roles - for example, fundraising, administration and maintenance of the hut.  Both areas are equally important - we couldn't operate without leaders, or without a hut to meet in!

Within the leadership team, the most direct way to help is to become involved with one of the sections and help regularly throughout the year at Cubs or Scouts.  You don't have to help in the same section that your child is in, if you feel you are more suited to a different age group, and no experience is required.  A regular commitment doesn't necessarily mean you have to turn up every week - if you feel you only have time to help out once a month, that is fine.  However, it will help the leaders running the section if they know in advance which weeks you can help.

Another possibility which also involves helping directly with a section is to help out on camp.  There is always a lot to do on camp, so extra pairs of hands are always appreciated - again, no previous experience is required.  If you can't come to the whole camp, you might be able to help by driving a lorry or minibus to/from the camp, or by helping with loading and unloading of equipment at the Group stores at the beginning or end of camp.

If you would rather assist behind the scenes, there are still many ways to help.  The Group Scout Executive, a committee, which is responsible for the Group's assets and finances, is always on the lookout for more volunteers - this might be to fill a specific named post, for example treasurer or secretary, or just to sit on the committee and help with organising and running fundraising events.

There are also specific roles which are not committee posts, for example, to be responsible for collection of subscriptions or maintenance of the Group's camping equipment.  In addition, help is often needed at fundraising events.

There is also a lot of maintenance work needed every so often at the hut, for example, small electrical or plumbing jobs, painting and decorating, or weekly cleaning.  If parents are willing to help with these tasks, that saves the Group from having to pay to have them done commercially.

 

Nights Away

Nights away from home are part of the adventure of scouting. We start with simple sleepovers at Beaver level and graduate to more extensive and frequent camping experiences at Cub and Scout level.

Before all camps, you will receive a 'Permission to Camp' form.  This gives us permission to take your child on camp or other overnight experience, and also provides a mechanism for you to tell us about any medical or dietary issues which might affect the camp.  This information is of course kept strictly confidential.

If the event includes any activities with special safety arrangements, such as air rifle shooting, you will receive an additional permission form for the activity concerned.  Under Scout Association rules, we must obtain explicit parental permission each time we undertake these activities - in other words, we must ask you to sign a separate form each time.

It makes life much easier for the leaders organising camps if forms and payments are returned on time - at section meetings or by email and bank transfer as advised from time to time. 

 

Communications

Our communication is exclusively by email. Parents are requested to keep us continually updated with contact details.

If there are any changes in circumstances which we should know about (e.g. medical conditions / allergies), you MUST notify this to the Scout Leader too.

The 2nd Harpenden Scout Group undertakes to adhere to generally accepted best practice with regard to confidentiality of personal data.

 

Uniform

Scouting is a uniformed organisation, and as such, Scouts are expected to wear full uniform at all Scouting events and evenings unless specifically directed otherwise by the Leaders e.g. canoeing, sailing etc.  New Scouts are NOT expected to buy uniform until they are to be invested into the movement.

Full scout uniform consists of:

  • Scout Activity Trousers with Scout Belt and Buckle
  • Scout Shirt
  • 2nd  Harpenden Scarf
  • Scout leather woggle
  • Black clean school shoes (Not Trainers)

Full cub uniform consists of:

  • Cub Activity Trousers with Cub Belt and Buckle
  • Cub Sweatshirt
  • 2nd Harpenden Scarf
  • Scout woggle (Colour of Six issued by AKELA on joining)
  • Black clean school shoes (Not Trainers)

Beaver Scouts wear a turquoise sweatshirt with a Group scarf (often called a necker) and a maroon woggle or one of another colour which identifies their Lodge or team.

All these items must be official uniform - the trousers, belt buckle and shirt all have the 'Scouts' logo on them.

Uniform ( and loads of other Scouts / camping / books and other stuff) is available from: