Volunteering FAQ from the Scout Association
Why does Scouting need more help?
We have over 30,000 young people on waiting lists due to the lack of adult volunteers. If more adults helped out this would take the burden off our current volunteers and allow more young people to experience the adventure of Scouting. More adults would mean more young people could join Scouting, Groups could be smaller or new Groups could even open. We always welcome any help from adults. Find out more.
How can I help with Scouting?
There are many ways in which you can give your time to help Scouting whatever your gender, age, abilities and skills. Simply let us know your availability and how you would like to help and we will match this to roles within your local area.
I don’t have a background in Scouting, does this matter?
No previous Scouting experience is needed. Energy and enthusiasm are the qualities we are looking for.
My child is in Scouting, is there anything I could do to help?
The short answer is yes. Many of our helpers and Leaders are parents of our youth Members. This is for a number of reasons including being able to see first hand how Scouting benefits young people and wanting to give something back, being able to spend more time with their child and realising that volunteering for Scouting is enjoyable and teaches them new skills. Speak to your child’s Section Leader to discuss how you might become involved.
I will only be able to help out on a flexible basis is this ok?
Yes. There are many different ways to help in Scouting and many of these can be adapted to suit your needs. Whether you can help out once a fortnight, month or term or just at special events or camps, there is bound to be a role you can play. Learn more.
Will I get paid?
Unfortunately, as a voluntary organisation we are unable to pay volunteers for the time they give to Scouting. Out of pocket expenses are paid and many Leaders are offered opportunities to take part in activities and social activities.
What are the benefits of helping out?
There are a number of benefits you can gain from volunteering. Spending time with your child, learning new skills and contributing to your community are just a few of the reasons why our current Leaders choose to spend some of their spare time in Scouting.
I don’t have a specific skill but am keen to help out, what can I do?
Everyone will have a skill, attribute or ability that they can pass on to our young people. One of the best things about volunteering however, is the chance to learn new skills you may not have been able to otherwise.
Do I have to wear uniform?
No. Although Scouting is a uniformed organisation, adults in Scouting do not have to wear a uniform.
Are there any age restrictions on helping out?
As long as you are over 18 years of age, you can help out as an adult volunteer in Scouting. There is no upper age limit for adult volunteers. If you are aged between 14-18, there is the option of becoming a Young Leader. More information about the Young Leaders’ Scheme.
What is the process for joining?
There is an application form to fill out which someone in your Group will be able to help you with. For some roles you will be required to meet a small group of people outside of the Group to discuss the role you wish to take on. References are also required for some roles. An enhanced Criminal Records (or equivalent in Scotland or Northern Ireland) check is carried out on all volunteers.
Will I be insured?
Yes. All Members are covered under our Personal Accident and Medical Expenses Policy.
I am going to university away from home and would like to continue my Scouting, is this possible?
Yes. The best way of doing this if you are 18-25 is by joining the Scout Network. The Network has links with local Scouting and will be able to help you locate a Group close to your university. Alternatively, or if you are already a Member of the Network, you can contact the local volunteer, usually the District Commissioner, of the area where you will be studying. This volunteer can then put you in contact with a local Group based on your interests. You can find out these details by telephoning the Scout Information Centre on 0845 300 1818 or by filling out the online form .
A variety of links about Volunteering with Scouting: