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Tips for starting a new Scouts Section or Group

Starting a new Scouts Section or Unit can be a difficult process. We’ve rounded up the main things to consider before setting one up.

04th October 2019
Starting a new Scouts Section or Group can be incredibly daunting. Especially if there’s already one in your area that you might want to live up to, or you live in an area where there isn’t one at all.

We’ve rounded up a few things you need to consider before starting up your own Section, Unit or Group.

Things to consider:

  • Does a Section or Group in your local area have a waiting list of members that could join the new Section or Group now, instead of waiting for a space to open up?
  • Is there a space in your local community such as church hall, community centre or sports facility that you could use for your meetings?
  • Are there any existing leaders that could mentor you as the Section or Group launches?
  • Do you know any local parents that would be willing to help out, even if it’s on a rota basis whilst you look for more permanent volunteers? They could even act as a person to spread the word at the school gates.
  • Have you set up a website and social media pages for your Group? Take a look at why you need a website for your Scouts Group here.

After you’ve thought about the above, you’ll be in a position to start planning the practical aspects of the launch of your new Scouts Section or Group.

Top tip: use social media pages for advice and inspiration from fellow volunteers

Take a look at our following three tips to help launch your Group or Section:

Get your finances in order

Although Scouting is formed on the basis of volunteers running Sections, you’ll have to calculate how much to charge each Scout as their subscriptions (subs) and how often to charge. You’ll need to factor in the running costs of your meeting place, how much families will be able to afford in your area, along with the cost of equipment and tools to carry out activities.

Get in touch with your District and other Groups in your area for advice and guidance. Both The Scouts offer grants to help with the setting up of a new Section or Group and are easy to apply for online.

Plan your programme

Firstly, you should plan an exciting taster session for your local youngsters. Make sure you plan fun activities but also encourage them to learn the fundamentals of Scouting so they’ll want to return the following week.

As your members grow more familiar with you, they’ll eventually let you know what they’d like to take part in. But until then, offer a variety of activities that will allow your Scouts to work towards badges as well skill-led sessions that will prepare them for their camps, as this will often be the first time they’ll be away from home.

Take a look at our blog on 5 useful planning tools for your weekly meetings.

Take advantage of online resources

There are plenty of online resources available to give you important guidance along with offering inspiration for starting your new Section or Group.

Use social media groups and pages such as 1st Facebook Scout Group for firsthand advice from fellow leaders and volunteers. Along with word-of-mouth tips, The Scouts have published hugely useful resources on their websites for you to follow:

Take a look at The Scouts’ guide here.

Find out more about Scout Group websites here