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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

Renewing your promise

Renew your promise with your group and think about what the Scout promise means

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Before you begin

  • Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Additional help to carry out your risk assessment, including examples can be found here. Don’t forget to make sure all young people and adults involved in the activity know how to take part safely.
  • Make sure you’ll have enough adult helpers. You may need some parents and carers to help if you’re short on helpers.

Guests: You’ll need to decide whether you want to have a Promise renewal for just your section, for your group or for your wider Scout area. Take a look at our event safety and planning advice. 

Other activities: You’ll need to decide if you’ll be running anything alongside the Promise renewal. Will you have crafts to make, do some baking or host a party? You could run some activities and games, do some community impact work, host a campfire or have a party. Decide whether you’ll do some activities to reflect on the Promise as part of your event. Beavers could try Promise hands, while Cubs could give A fable for your promise a go. 

Hosting an online event: You could decide to hold your event online, so more people can get involved, or to link up with another group somewhere else in the country. Take a look at our online games. 

Music and video: We all know music and videos can really make an event come to life. If your event’s likely to feature live or recorded music (even if it’s background music) or video, you may need various licences. Remember to check what you’ll need in advance, so you’ll have everything sorted. 

Decorations: You might want to decorate your venue or have a theme using the certain colours.

Food and drinks: Decide whether you want to serve snacks, drinks or any food. Make sure to consider allergies and dietary requirements, so everyone can be included. Take a look at our guidance on food safety. 

What to wear: It’s up to you whether you want to keep it formal or whether you’d rather make it informal and relaxed. Let people know what they should wear, whether it’s full uniform or something they’re comfortable in and their Necker.  

Photos: Try to take some photos and videos of your celebrations, so you can treasure the day in your memories. Make sure you’ve consent forms and permission to take someone’s photograph first. You may want to put up posters to let people know that photography and filming will be taking place at your event. You’ll need to add on who people can speak to if they wish to opt out and you might ask people to wear wristbands if they don’t want to have their photo taken, so the photographer will know who to avoid. 

Creating copies of the Promise: Share the different versions of the Scout Promise and remind everyone that they can choose which version they use. You could print these out, including large print versions, or have them on a screen. Alternatively, you may want to write them out for people to use or you could share the Promise posters for each section. 

Scouts is open to people of all faiths and of none. That’s why we have different variations of our Promise, so that everyone’s included and can say a set of words that means something to them.  

It’s up to the person making the Promise which version they say. They should be able to look at all the options and consider their choice carefully. Depending on the age of the young person, they may want to chat to their parents or carers as they make their decision. 

When you invite someone to make or renew their Promise, just ask them to do it ‘in their own words’. It’s especially important to remember this when lots of people are saying their Promise together.  

  • Why not invite someone from each section to lead each section’s Promise renewal? It could be an adult volunteer, a Young Leader or a young person. 
  • People will probably say different versions of the Promise, but the different versions of the Promise can be said together at the same time. 
  • Share the different versions of the Scout Promise and remind everyone that they can choose which version they use.  
  • You could print out copies of the different versions of the Promise for people to read from, including large print versions, or have them on a screen. Alternatively, you may want to write them out for people to use or you could share the Promise posters for each section. 
  • Remember, some people may sign the Promise using BSL or Makaton. Will you need an interpreter or to have copies of BSL and Makaton versions of the Promise? 
  • You could make sure that people of all faiths and of none are represented by the people leading the Promise renewals. For example, someone could lead the Humanist version of the Beaver Scout Promise, then someone else could lead the Muslim version of the Cub Scout Promise, and so on. However, different versions of the promise can be said together at the same time. 

We want everyone to be able to enjoy and take part in the celebrations, so making sure your event’s accessible for everyone is key. Think about access and make sure any activities and games you run are suitable for all ages, ability and backgrounds.

You may want to advertise the inclusivity elements of your event when advertising or ask people to RSVP with dietary requirements and access needs. 

Some things to consider may be: 

  • Making sure dietary requirements and allergies are catered for (if food, drinks or snacks are provided) 
  • Making sure games and activities are accessible to everyone and a wide range of inclusive activities are offered 
  • Having disabled access, include ramps, parking, lifts and disabled toilets 
  • Having a hearing loop system and interpreter 
  • Make sure the venue is well-lit, with clear signage  
  • Any printed text also being available in braille or in large print  
  • Make sure slides and presentations are accessible 
  • Having baby changing facilities, storage space for pushchairs or prams, and a quiet, comfortable space for breastfeeding 
  • Having car parking, including accessible parking 
  • Having preferred pronouns on name badges 
  • Being accessible by public transport 
  • Having seating available for anyone who needs it 
  • Having a prayer room 
  • Handing out sticky labels for people to write their names on. Remember, ask people to include their preferred pronouns on these badges, too. 
  • Having a quiet, calming space for relaxing or taking a sensory break 
  • Have an emergency exit plan that includes everyone 
  • Making sure floor plan layouts to facilitate wheelchair and mobility scooter circulation 
  • Making sure there are warnings for any flash photography, loud music, strobe lights or flashing images 
  • Avoid using acronyms and Scouts jargon as much as possible 
  • Take a look at the National Autism Society’s advice on creating events that are accessible to autistic people or those with sensory differences 

Renewing your Promise 

  1. Gather everyone together and welcome everyone to the event. Remind everyone that they’ll be making their Promise together and that everyone should use the version they’re most comfortable with. Check that anyone who needs them has the words ready to go. 
  2. If you’re running the event alongside other activities, you could plan to do your Promise renewal at the start, end or during the event. You could plan a schedule and share it with everyone and let everyone know what other activities will be happening.  
  3. When you’re ready to start renewing your Promise, explain to everyone that you’re all renewing your Promise to help remember your Scouts values and connect with other Scouts.  
  4. Remind everyone that the Promise is a simple way to help young people and adults celebrate their shared Scout values. Every Scout promises to stick by these values when they become a member. 
  5. Have a chat with everyone about what each part of the Promise means why it’s important to Scouts. You could take a moment to reflect on what the Scouts values are and why the Scouts Promise connects us with Scouts in our wider Scouts community and around the world. Our Promise helps remind us to uphold our Scout values, to do our best, to look after our environment and help other people.  
  6. Everyone should think about their Promise and one way that they’ve lived by it recently. This could be doing their best, keeping their Scout values, being kind or helping people. They might want to think about how they’ve helped others, such as helping at home or helping their community through Scouts.  
  7. People could take it in turns to share their ideas of they’ve kept their promise. Alternatively, they could write them down on sticky notes and add them to a display, write ideas on strips of paper and turn it into a giant paper chain of kept Promises, or add ideas to labels and hang them to an indoor tree.  
  8. Some people from each section could take it in turns to share some news. What have they been up to? Has anything exciting happened recently? 
  9. When ready, introduce the Promise renewal. Everyone should make the Scout with their hand. 
  10. Everyone should renew their Promise using the version that’s right for them. Remember, some versions of the Promise take slightly longer to say than others – make sure there’s enough time for everyone to finish. 
  11. Remember, younger age groups (or new members) might need some extra reminders or a bit of extra time. It doesn’t matter if it’s not perfect – it really is the taking part that counts. If anyone is signing their Promise, they can make the Scout sign at the beginning and end of their Promise. 
  12. Everyone should repeat steps six and seven for each of the sections. Scouts, Explorers and adult members have the same options for the Promise, so they could say theirs together. 
  13. The person leading the event should finish by challenging everyone to think about one way they can continue to live by their Promise over the next year. Everyone should make a note of what they’ll do to help them remember – they could write it down, say it aloud or draw it, whatever works best for them.  


This activity gave everyone the opportunity to reflect on  and renew your promise. How did it make you feel renewing your promise? How did it feel hearing all the different versions of the promises?

Having the time to reflect on the Scout values and the Promise, can you think how you've upheld your Scout values recently? What could you do this week to help someone else or the environment?


All activities must be safely managed. You must complete a thorough risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Always get approval for the activity, and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.

You could do this as a whole section or individual sections. You could also do this online if needed, too. By making it an online event, you could connect with another Scout group based somewhere else in the country, or you could make it a wider, more accessible event for your local areas? 

Chat to anyone who’s likely to find silence difficult – how can you make it accessible for them? Maybe they’d like to focus on something like a poem or get stuck into a craft to keep their hands (and perhaps their mind) busy. Different people reflect in different ways, so chat to people (and their parents and carers) to find something that will work for them. 

Think about the space you’ll be in and the equipment you’re using in advance to make sure it’s accessible to everyone in the group. Remember to check for allergies or dietary requirements and adjust the recipe as needed. 

Anyone who struggles with reading be paired with a more confident reader or you could do it as a repeat-after-me as they say they’re Promise.  

People should share in whatever way works for them, whether that’s writing, drawing, speaking, or something else. Not everyone has to share how they’ve kept they’re Promise. If people aren’t comfortable sharing with the group, people could get into pairs or small groups to chat about what they’ve learned instead. 

All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.