What Scouting costs
We don't ask for payments in advance of starting so for the first few meetings, your child can just turn up and enjoy themselves. The membership subscription covers the cost of the weekly meetings, equipment, running costs of our HQ, insurance and a contribution to Watford North, Hertfordshire and UK Scouts. Subscriptions (currently £38) are payable at the start of each term. All payments can be made online for Beavers, Cubs or Scouts to the same bank account or you can bring in cash or a cheque (payable to ‘6th North Watford Scout Group’). For online payments, please use the description field to tell us what the payment is for. New starters joining part way through a term will be asked to pay for the remainder of the term on a pro-rata basis before paying per term thereafter. Camps, sleepovers and certain day visit activities can be extra and you will be given notice of such events and details of additional payments required.
Gift Aid is a simple government initiative, which allows the group to increase the value of your subs and donations at no extra cost to you. For every pound given we can get an extra 25 pence from HM Revenue and Customs, helping your donations go further. Please sign the gift aid declaration on the membership form if you are a tax payer.
We appreciate money can be tight. If you need a bit of help or want to spread the payments, please discuss this in confidence with the section leader or the Group Scout Leader. We aim to be as flexible as possible and would rather know in advance if there are any concerns. We would never want to see a child excluded from an activity due to the cost involved. We have certain items of equipment available for our members to borrow free of charge eg sleeping bags, roll mats, rucksacks and walking boots in a wide range of sizes.
No responsibility for the personal equipment, clothing and effects can be accepted by the Group and the Group and The Scout Association do not provide insurance cover in respect of such items.
Each Beaver Scout belongs to a ‘lodge’ (ours are Elm, Fir, Ash and Oak) and one Beaver Scout is the lodge leader. The whole section is known as a Beaver Scout Colony. Our Beaver leaders are named after water birds. Beavers will usually move to cubs at the half term closest to their eighth birthday.
Each Cub Scout belongs to a ‘six’ (ours are Grey, White, Green and Brown), the Cub in charge of each is the ‘Sixer’ and their deputy is the ‘Seconder’. The whole section is known as a Cub Scout Pack. The leaders are named after characters from Rudyard Kipling’s ‘Jungle Book’ stories. Cubs move to Scouts at some point between their tenth and eleventh birthday.
Each Scout belongs to a 'patrol' (ours are Kestrels, Hawks, Cobras and Otters), the Scout in charge is the 'Patrol Leader' and their deputy is the 'Assistant Patrol Leader'. Once your Scout is close to the leaving age, we will provide details of the local Explorer Scout Units (Explorer Scouts is for young people aged 14-18).
To avoid disappointment, we strongly advise parents/carers to request we put their other children on our waiting list if you are considering they might wish to join in future. If your child misses three consecutive meetings and we have not heard from you, we will contact you to ask if your child has left. If we get no response, we will assume your child has left and may offer the space to someone on our waiting list.
Beavers, Cubs and Scouts are welcome to work on badges at home. Each week, we mainly work on requirements for the challenge badges (hexagonal, worn on chest) and occasionally on a specific activity badge (round, worn on the sleeve). However certain activity badges are more suited for working on as a group whereas others are more suited for members to work on individually eg animal friend or musician. Leaders can give guidance on what badge is appropriate for any individual hobby or activity your young person has- do ask. Badge requirements are available on the national Scout website. Beavers, Cubs and Scouts can then bring in items and chat to a leader about their hobby/interest.
Parents/carers who wish to camp at family camp or want to get more involved as part of our helper rotas are invited to complete a Scout DBS check. You will need a Scout one, we cannot use DBS checks you have had from another organisation like an employer, school or sports club. There is no charge for you to have this done. To do this, see our Group Scout Leader with three pieces of original valid ID. You need a minimum of one with a photo and one with your current address. Items that can be used include a passport, driving licence, birth certificate, marriage certificate, council tax statement, credit card bill, tax documents- for a full list see Documents you need for a criminal record check - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) Further details on the process are available on request.
If you observe bad behaviour, please do not ignore it- tell a leader.
Listen to the kids and let them do the activities, don’t take over! Encourage them to take part and to find solutions.
Ignore your own child, they will be fine! They manage without you every other week! The best thing to do is work with a lodge/ six that your child is not in.
Please treat your child the same as all the others. At Beavers/ Cubs you will be a helper and not mum or dad! Do not give your child extra help that you are not providing for all the other children.
Your other children may accompany you on your rota evening but they remain your responsibility.
Have fun and enjoy it!
We welcome those who have special skills in particular sports or hobbies. For example to ‘meet someone who does a useful job in the community’ e.g. a doctor, nurse etc. Fitness instructors, karate coaches and sign language teachers have been invaluable in bringing a range of new skills and experiences to our section meetings. Leaders are not experts in everything!
When you join the rota you will be given a copy of the Scout Association Young People First (child protection) policy. This is commonly known as the ‘yellow card’. Please read and understand this card.
If you cannot help on your scheduled week, please try to swap with another person on the rota or otherwise let us know with as much notice as possible.
If you are no longer able to be part of the rota, please let us know so we can ask another person to replace you.
Cub inspection kits (Cubs only)
Once invested, the following items are required for an inspection kit at cubs:
· Small notepad
· Pencil or pen
· One packet of tissues
· Unopened sterile wrapped plaster
· Torch (that fits in the inspection kit)
· Badge tracker (will be provided by the leaders)
These should be kept in a suitable container (eg plastic take away tub or pencil case) with the Cub’s name labelled on the outside and brought to meetings at our East Drive HQ.
Camping equipment advice
All our events are slightly different and a specific kit list for each is given on the letter for that specific camp. General advice is below.
Camping mat/roll mat
A camping mat is a foam mat to put between the ground and sleeping bag to give a bit of padding and insulation from the cold, damp ground. Essential for camping outdoors, useful for sleepovers for padding, not required if bunk beds are provided. Other kinds of mat may be suitable as padding for sleepovers but might not be recommended for camping in a tent. The Scout Group usually has one that can be borrowed if required. Cost- from about £5 upwards. We do not advise you buy an inflatable one (not worth it for Cubs/Scouts).
A full size standard pillow is generally too bulky to take to/from camp. A small camping pillow or inflatable pillow is a good buy and can be put on top of a jumper if extra height is needed.
For Beavers or Cubs we usually go either indoors, or outdoors only in summer time so generally any cheap sleeping bag will do. We have some second hand ones at the HQ which can be borrowed or bought for a donation. For Scouts, we camp all year round and a minimum ‘three season’ sleeping bag is required for some camps.
Sleeping bags are rated by either a ‘season’ rating or a temperature rating. ‘Season’ ratings often vary between manufacturers.
A “one season” sleeping bag is designed to keep someone warm in the average UK summer
A “two season” sleeping bag will keep the average person warm in a colder summer or early autumn
A “three season” sleeping bag should keep a person warm all year round down to around -5 ºC
A “four season” sleeping bag will cope with anything the UK climate can throw at you – but may prove too hot in summer
For the European temperature rating scale, the "EN13537" standard rating will quote the following temperatures which can enable a comparison between different bags:
Upper Limit - highest temperature for a comfortable nights sleep without sweating.
Comfort - lowest temperature for a comfortable nights sleep.
Lower Limit - lowest temperature which in a rolled up body posture would have a comfortable nights sleep.
Extreme - temperature below which you could expect strong sensation of cold and maybe actual physical injury from cold (e.g. frost bite or hypothermia).
For children, we recommend man made fillings rather than ‘down’ as it is cheaper and dries more easily.
Sleeping bags should be “stuffed” at random into their storage bags (called “stuff sacks” for a reason!). Try not to fold or roll sleeping bags.
Sleeping bags ideally should be stored at home opened out.
Sleeping bags can usually be washed but may completely fill a domestic washing machine.
Sleeping bag liners can be useful and can add extra warmth to a bag.
It is highly unlikely that you will manage to camp all year round with one sleeping bag.
Sleeping bag hood- a hood to reduce heat loss from your head. The temperature rating will assume it is being used.
Zip baffle- prevents lying on the cold zip.
Shoulder or neck baffle- insulated layer that can be closed tight around the neck and shoulders to reduce draughts and heat loss: this is mainly found on winter bags.
For Beavers and Cubs, wellington boots are good for standing around at camp. However they are uncomfortable to walk in for any distance and thus for hikes we would recommend old trainers or walking boots. When we stay in a building, we will ask your child to bring 'indoor shoes' to reduce the amount of mud brought indoors.
For Scouts, most camps will require hiking boots. These give support to ankles, more grip in mud and better protection from the weather and sharp objects. We do have second hand boots at the HQ available on loan in a large range of sizes. On borrowing or buying new boots, they should be worn as much as possible in the weeks BEFORE the camp, so they are worn in a bit prior to walking in them at camp. This will help reduce blisters.
Bags and rucksacks
For Beaver and Cub sleepovers or camps, any easily washed rucksack or holdall will usually do. It is likely to get wet or dirty with either dust or mud and therefore we advise against the use of suitcases/ flight bags.
For Scouts, the comments above about bags apply for all static camps although we do advise Scouts should be able to carry their kit from the campsite car park to their tent. The Scout Group rucksacks which are available to borrow on request. For expeditions where Scouts will carry their kit, a suitable rucksack will certainly be needed for the correct comfort and stability. This is one with both a chest strap and a hip strap so some of the weight of the bag is supported on the hips. Care should be taken for a Scout to have a bag of the correct size, length and adjustment of the hip belt. This is because adult bags on the market might not adjust tight enough to fit Scouts with slim hips. Further advice will be provided on overnight expeditions where Scouts will be carrying camping kit. To help protect kit getting wet, we recommend lining the rucksack with a heavy gauge plastic bag e.g. a builders rubble bag (not a bin bag- it will rip too easily).
In general we would recommend any cheap head torch (worn on the head so hands free). However, for smaller children it may be harder to get one with head straps small enough.
Clothes will get dirty so old clothes are ideal. A waterproof coat is essential for all camps. Waterproofs are also good as protection from the wind. A hat and gloves are essential for all camps except those in summer. Jeans are not recommended as they soak up water and take a long time to dry. Long johns are good for winter camps. In general, multiple layers give more warmth. Two pairs of socks are essential to be worn together on winter camps. Care should be taken to avoid highly flammable fabrics near open fires.
Buying camping equipment
If you go to any of the camping shops, remember to take your child’s Group scarf with you as some will give a discount for Scout membership. Specialist camping shop staff are often current or ex Scouts and who understand what you are looking for! For suggestions of local suppliers, do ask a leader.
Finally- ALL EQUIPMENT SHOULD BE LABELLED WITH YOUR CHILD’S NAME. For items that can easily be lost at camp sites like coats, torches and gloves, you may wish to label ‘6NW’ as well.
If you have any questions, please speak to your leader who will be happy to give further advice.