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Volunteering at Scouts is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing at Scouts. Read more

Discover what this means

Nights away

A night away doesn’t have to be spent in a tent.

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A night away doesn’t have to be spent in a tent. You could sleep in your meeting place or even in a local museum. Indoor nights away need volunteers to hold the lowest level of Nights Away Permit because they’re more straightforward to run. This means they can be a good choice for your first nights away from home.

Often, people theme their nights away. A theme ties the event together – you can apply it to activities, decorations, and even the clothes everyone wears. You could theme the camp around a badge (for example, a space themed camp to complete the Astronomer Activity Badge), or you could pick something random like a story everyone knows.

When everyone starts to arrive, most people will probably be excited and eager to explore. It’s often best to start off by asking everyone to decorate the space or play an energetic game to burn off some energy and settle in. It’s also useful to make sure the sleeping area is laid out before it’s time to go to bed (if you can), so this could be a good way for everyone to feel at home.

It’s also a good idea to think about when everyone will arrive – would it be easier to ask them to eat a meal before they come, to give you more time for activities? If everyone arrives just after they’ve eaten their evening meal, you could spend some time outside stargazing (or exploring with a short walk) before bedtime.

During the day, use outdoor space as much as you can. Try to keep activities and energy levels balanced, with some time to burn off energy and some time to calm down and rest. Avoid too much waiting time between the activities – you might want to have a few activities or games people can pick up at any time to fill in the gaps.

Some people choose to split activities into bases that everyone visits. This means that everyone has the chance to get stuck in to the activity, and helps people bond as a team.

On your last day, try not to finish too late. You should leave plenty of time for everyone to tidy up, pack away, go home, and rest!


You must always:
Be safe outdoors:
  • Check the weather forecast
Nights away:
Visits abroad:
This activity can be led by you or someone else in Scouts:
  • Acceptable instructor qualifications
    • Nights Away Permits - to the level appropriate to the location being used (except for adult only groups)

Nights Away Permit Scheme

Nights away with younger sections

Make it accessible

All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.