10½ to 14 years

Jump in and get muddy. Give back and get set. Scouts ignore the butterflies and go for it, and soon so will you.

"What Scouting says to people is: Every child has a right to have an adventure. Life is about grabbing opportunities" 

- Bear Grylls - Chief Scout

Who are Scouts?

Scouts are a go-getting group of young people aged 10 ½ to 14 who:

  • Master new skills and try new things
  • Make new friends
  • Have fun and go on adventures, at home and abroad
  • Explore the world around them
  • Help others and make a difference, in their own communities and beyond


Week in and week out, they gather in groups called Scout Troops to conquer the small task of changing the world.

What do Scouts get up to?

Discovering the world

Being a Scout is all about discovering the world on your own terms and making the most of what you have, wherever and whoever you are.

Alongside your new friends, you’ll master the skills that'll help you weather the storms of life, and try things you’d never get the chance to do at home or at school - working with trained volunteers to achieve whatever you set your mind to.

Starting small, thinking big

Scouts start small but think big. They stand up for what they believe in and make a difference on their doorstops, confident in the knowledge that their daily actions add up.

In a society that can often feel increasingly isolated and inward facing, Scouts build bridges and break barriers.

Throughout history, they’ve played all sorts of useful roles in society, and this legacy continues today.

Listening in, lending a hand

Scouts seek out the answers to the big questions, and to the smaller questions that don’t seem to matter but really should. Most importantly, they say yes more often than they say no - whether they’re taking part in their first ever camp away from home, writing their first line of code, or accepting the last of the toasted marshmallows.

Sound like fun? That’s because it is. All that’s missing is you.

Who leads Scouts?

Each Scout Troop is made up of young people aged 10½ to 14, led by trained adult volunteers who are on hand to share their skills and keep everyone safe. Traditionally, Scout leaders were nicknamed ‘Skip’ – an abbreviation of ‘Skipper’, which is a name given to a ship’s captain. In some Troops such as ours, the 37th Bournemouth, this name is still used. In others it's quite common for Scout leaders to just use their real names.

Within their Troop, Scouts are part of a Patrol - smaller groups of Scouts who look out for one another, and help each other grow. Scouts usually gather in their Patrols at the beginning and end of meetings. They might also stick together on expeditions or trips away, or during certain activities.

The bigger Scout family

Scouts are probably the most well-known members of the global Scout family.

Closer to home, they’re also part of their wider local Scout Group, alongside Squirrels (aged 4-5 - N.B - The 37th Bournemouth Scout Group does not yet operate an early years Squirrels programme), Beavers (aged 6-8) and Cubs (aged 8 to 10½). When they're older, they can also join Explorers (for young people aged 14 to 18) and Scout Network (for young people aged 18-25). Although both of these are closely associated with the younger sections, they are not part of our local Scout Group.

Promises and ceremonies

Every Scout is unique, but they find common ground in their shared Scout values, and make a promise to stick by them.

Making a promise when you join the Troop is a way of celebrating these values. Every time a new Scout decides to join, they chat through their promise with their leader before saying it out loud in front of their fellow Scouts.  

The process usually takes place once you’ve had a few weeks to settle in, and is known as being ‘invested’ into Scouts. Usually, the promise ceremony happens in a place you’ve chosen, or in a memorable place that means a lot to the group.

It could be held in your usual meeting place, or it could happen around the campfire, or it could happen on a boat sailing the seven seas. Regardless, it’s a big celebration for all involved, and it’s not uncommon for family and friends to join your fellow Scouts as they cheer you on.

Scouts choose the promise that best suits them.


The below promises are for Scouts, Explorer Scouts, the Scout Network and adults  (in Alphabetical order) 

   

The Scout Promise for members who are Atheist or of no faith background

On my honour, I promise that I will do my best
to uphold our Scout values, to do my duty to The King,
to help other people
and to keep the Scout Law.

The Scout Promise for members who are Buddhist

On my honour,
I promise that I will do my best
to seek refuge in the Triple Gem, to do my duty to The King,
to act with compassion towards all life
and to keep the Scout Law.

The Scout Promise for members who are Christian

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

The Scout Promise for members who are Hindu

On my honour,
I promise that I will do my best
to follow my dharma and do my duty to The King,
to act with compassion towards all life
and to keep the Scout Law.

The Scout Promise for members who are Humanist

On my honour,
I promise that I will do my best
to uphold our Scout values, to do my duty to The King
to help other people
and to keep the Scout Law.

The Scout Promise for members who are Jewish

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

The Scout Promise for members who are Muslim

In the name of Allah, the most beneficent and the most merciful,
I promise that I will do my best
to do my duty to Allah and then to The King,
to help other people
and to keep the Scout Law.

This information shows the Scout Promise written in Arabic, including the line 'Duty to God and The Queen'. An updated version referencing The King will be available soon. Download the Promise in Arabic.

The Scout Promise for members who are Sikh

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


Making the Promise using Makaton

Makaton is a language programme that uses symbols, signs, and speech to enable people to communicate, while encouraging language development. It’s especially used by people who find communication difficult, for example, some people with learning disabilities.

Please note that this resource still references her late Majesty The Queen. Updated versions referencing His Majesty The King will be available soon.


Find out more about Makaton
Download the Cub Scout Promise in Makaton


A similar ceremony – known as a Moving On ceremony – usually happens once you reach the end of your time at Scouts. It’s an opportunity to celebrate all you’ve achieved and conquered and enjoyed – including that time you moved mountains, and laughed so hard on camp you spurted lemonade out of your nose. It’s also a chance to properly say goodbye, and send you on your merry way.





How to join

The first step to becoming a Scout with the 37th Bournemouth is to contact us. We'll let you know if spaces are available or if you'll have to wait a short while. Getting in touch slightly before the prospective Scout reaches the age of 10 1/2 might be useful. We will be happy to tell you if spaces are available and where and when the group meets.

Scouts is for everyone. If you have any questions about accessibility, we can arrange a chat with your local leader. By being upfront about additional needs from the start, we can work together to make sure everyone can join in the fun on their own terms. The Scout Association publishes guides on supporting those with additional needs, and specific adjustments. You can read them here and here .


Is there a waiting list?

Lots of young people want to join Scouts and you might have to wait a short while for a space to become available. 



What should I wear?


Scouts usually wear a green shirt or blouse with their badges sewn on, which they pair with their Troop or Group scarf. They might wear blue uniform trousers or a skirt, or they might save their uniform bottoms for special occasions like awards ceremonies and public events – choosing to wear something more casual with their shirt during the week. Visit our Scouts uniform and badge placement page to find out more. If you’re not sure where to start, we will be happy to give you more information about what to buy and where to buy it.



How much does it cost?

The cost of going to Scouts at the 37th is currently £12.50 per calendar month. Trips, camps and activities that take place away from the usual meeting place are usually charged separately, but they are kept affordable.

Scouts is designed to be an accessible and affordable way for young people to learn lots of new skills through a single membership. Nobody should feel excluded from Scout activities because of money worries. If they’re concerned about costs, adults should speak to our local leader in confidence, to see what they can do to help. In most cases, support is available to make sure nobody misses out. 


If you would like a young person to join our Scout Troop, please visit the Contact page and fill in the form at the foot of the page and email it to us at info@37thscouts.org.

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