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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

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Supporting our young people

Discover what you can do locally to ensure Scouting stays affordable

Scout Groups/Units

Updated Thursday 20 October 2022

Membership fees/subs

  • Talk and communicate with the families/carers of your young people to make them aware of the financial support available if they need it
  • Some Groups/Units offer a discount to those who have more than one young person in Scouting to support the payment of multiple fees
  • Does your Group/Unit, District, County/Area/Region have reserves or funds available to cover membership fees for young people who are not able to afford it?
  • As a team, think about ways to cover the rising costs of running Scouts now and in the future to reduce the impact on your young person’s membership fee (subs)

Prioritise running low cost activities

  • You can filter activities on Activity Finder by cost, to help find lower cost programme ideas for you and your young people
  • If you're planning in taking part in a more costly activity (like a camp, or using an external provider) consider how much the Group/Unit/District can subsidise this activity for your young people
  • Sharing your programme with parents/carers in advance, and notifying them of any possible additional costs will help financial planning and increase the chances of participation
  • Talking about finances with families/carers can be challenging. While this guidance is not for financial conversation, you can read more about preparing for difficult conversations which may help your planning and approach.

In any communication with families about activities for Scouts, you may want to include a few words to remind people to get in touch if they are worried about costs. Here's an example of some wording you could use:

Scouting is about everyone being able to learn skills for life and have fun. At [insert name of Scout Group/Unit] we would never want a young person to miss out due to the cost. If you're at all concerned about covering the cost of our membership fee or any activities, please speak to [one of the leaders/or insert specific name] in confidence. There are many ways we can support you.

Planning and monitoring your Group/Unit’s income and expenses

The Executive Committee and others member of the Group and District will have ideas on how to raise money. A budget will map out everyone’s plans, and help ensure that the accounts balance and can be monitored through the year.

Typical sources of income will be:

  • Membership subscriptions which could be paid weekly, termly or annually
  • Fundraising
  • Grants
  • Donations
  • Sponsorship
  • Interest on investments
  • Gift Aid
  • Hiring/leasing property

Typical expenses will be:

  • Annual membership subscription payment to the District
  • Activity expenses for the sections
  • Subsidy of major events
  • Expenses to leaders and supporters
  • Training fees
  • Insurance
  • Purchases of equipment
  • Meeting arrangements and their associated costs (ie AGM costs)
  • Rent, if you use other people’s premises, or the costs of running your own Headquarters, which might include:
    • rates
    • insurance
    • gas, electricity and water
    • repairs and/or improvements
    • cleaning
    • ground rent

More advice on managing your local finances can be found in A Guide for the Group Treasurer.

Specific advice and support for Scouts in Scotland is available via Scottish Headquarters.


  • Many Districts have uniform recycling systems set up to offer uniform items at low cost. Check parents/carers are aware of these options.
  • It may be appropriate not to enforce the wearing of uniform for certain events if you know there are young people who will struggle to cover the costs.
  • Do encourage parents/carers to explore second-hand uniform options via local online parent communities or second-hand retailers.