The best way for a young person to be welcomed to Scouting is by another youth member. So, we asked one of our Young Leaders and future Queen Scout, Harriet, to write a short welcome for every young person.
We’d love it if you could share this with your young person – the big details that we’re sure you’re keen to know more on can be found under the “Info for parents” link at the top of every page.
Hi, and welcome to Penistone Scouts. You’ve probably got a few questions about Scouting, and what’s involved. I’ve been in Scouts from Beavers, through Cubs, Scouts and now Explorers! I’ve loved my time, and I’m sure you’re going to as well.
What is scouting?
Scouting is a group of people who all believe in the same thing. That thing? Adventure. These people are big and small, young and old, quiet and loud. Where will you find them? Just look around; you probably know a few because they are everywhere 216 countries join the adventure, with over 31 million members. So welcome to the adventure.
Through your time in scouts, you will come across different uniforms. Beavers have blue jumpers; these are our youngest members. At the age of 8, beavers move up to cubs who have green jumpers. Scouts also have green uniforms; however, they wear a shirt instead of a jumper. Scouts are between the ages of 10 and 14. After scouts, you get explorers who wear pale brown shirts. You are likely to meet some during your meetings as they often help the leaders. They will most likely be referred to as young leaders rather than explorers, though. Leaders wear cream shirts, which are paler than the explorers. The last part of your uniform signifies which group you belong to; at Penistone, we have blue and yellow neckers, but every group has a different one. To make it easier to keep track of all the groups, they have been split into districts. Penistone is part of the Barnsley district. Some camps are ‘district wide’, which means every group gets to join in the fun.
What to expect
Meetings are held once a week. During which you will learn new skills, earn badges, play games, and make friends. Maybe you’ll learn to cook or build a fire. Some first aid, such as how to tie a sling or CPR. Or do circus skills sound more up your street?
Camps are held over the weekend. You get to sleep in a tent with your friends and spend all day outside doing things you’ve never done before. You’ll get to cook your food on a fire you built and climb up higher than the trees if you’d like (attached to a rope, of course). Zip wires are always fun, or building a raft to race across a lake or down a river. Whatever you end up doing, I can guarantee it’ll be lots of fun.
During your time in scouts, you will earn badges. There are different types of badges: activity badges, challenge badges, chief scout award, joining in badges, and district/group badges.
- Activity badges are awarded when you complete different activities and go on your left arm.
- Challenge badges are bigger and go on the right side of your uniform. They are harder to earn, but when you’ve earned all of them, you get to go to an award ceremony to be presented with your chief scout award -beavers earn their bronze scout award, cubs get their silver scout award, and scouts get their gold. Explorers, however, don’t get challenge badges but complete a collection of missions and expeditions to earn their platinum, diamond and queen scout awards.
- Badges on your right arm signify where you are from and which group you belong to. Badges on the left of your uniform are the moving on badges and joining in badges. As well as the scout emblem, which is a purple badge with the fleur-de-lis on and every scout wears this one.
- Other badges are often given out for special occasions, such as taking part in an activity or a prize. Most commonly, they are given out when you go on camps. I’ve got a pretty cool one that glows in the dark from one camp. These badges don’t have a particular place on your shirt, so most people sew them to a blanket that they take on camp to keep them warm when it gets dark.
Welcome to Penistone Scouts – I can’t wait to meet you!