What’s it all about?

Scouting today

Scouting in the UK is the largest mixed volunteer-led Movement for young people in the UK, with some 460,000 participants between the ages of 4 and 25.

Scouting exists to make young people’s lives better, helping them realise their full potential and take their place in society.

Young people in the Scouts take part in an exciting programme of activities from kayaking to coding. They develop character skills like resilience, initiative and tenacity; employability skills such as leadership, teamwork and problem solving; and practical skills like cooking and first aid. And research proves it really works. The 2017 Impact Report says Scouts are 17% more likely to show leadership skills and work well in teams. They’re a third more likely to support their communities too.

Our heritage

Robert Baden-Powell held a camp on Brownsea Island in 1907 to try out his ideas of a training programme for young boys – bringing together 20 boys from diverse backgrounds.

The training programme was based on his experiences in the Army, working with young people teaching them Scouting skills. The camp enabled him to write Scouting for Boys which was published in six fortnightly parts. The handbook was intended as an aid for already established organisations, but it fired the imagination of young people to form themselves into Scout troops. By 1910, some 100,000 young people were already involved.

Find out more about the history of global Scouting here and explore our history and heritage here.


Key age groups:

Squirrels: 4-6 years

Squirrels can achieve anything they set their minds to – and they have lots of fun along the way

Beavers: 6-8 years

Make friends and try new indoor and outdoor activities

Cubs: 8-10 ½ years

Learn practical skills while having adventures with friends

Scouts: 10½ - 14 years

Build confidence, resilience and a sense of adventure

Explorers: 14-18 years

Take the lead, work together, and embrace new experiences

Network: 18-25 years

Using those skills learned and aiming for the top awards.

Put your phone down and what are you left with? Just teamwork, courage and the skills to succeed.’
Bear Grylls, Chief Scout Bear Grylls