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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

Scouting structure

Find out how it all fits together

Across the UK, we’re proud to be a single family of Scouts. But, to make sure everyone gets the support they need, we are arranged in different groups and units across our regions and nations. Each is looked after by a volunteer manager who supports other volunteers to help young people gain skills for life.

The basic unit of organisation is the Scout Group. This is based in a local community and usually consists of Squirrel Scouts, Beaver Scouts, Cub Scouts and Scouts.

Some Groups are larger or smaller depending on where they are located. One Group may contain one or two Squirrel Scout Dreys, one or two Beaver Scout Colonies, one or two Cub Scout Packs and a Scout Troop. Another may consist only of one section.

A number of Groups in a certain locality constitute a Scout District. A number of Districts make up a County (or Area in Wales and a Region in Scotland).

All of these Scout units (Groups, Districts, Counties/Areas/Regions) are governed by the Policy, Organisation and Rules of The Scout Association, which provides the framework in which all Scout units operate.

The Scout Group

Within a Scout Group, there will be a number of adult leaders, who give their time voluntarily to help the development of young people. The Group is led by the Group Scout Leader, whose job is to co-ordinate the Group’s activities and to ensure continuity and development.

A Group Scout Council meets at least once a year usually for an Annual General Meeting. The Council consists of all the adult Members of the Group, as well as the children’s parents.

The Group also has a Trustee Board, who make sure the charity is well managed, risks are assessed and mitigated, buildings and equipment are in good working order, and everyone follows legal requirements and Policy, Organisation and Rules (POR).

The Trustee Board consists of the Chair, Treasurer, Ex officio Trustees, Appointed Trustees, Co-opted Trustees and Secretary (if appointed as a Trustee).

The Scout District

A collection of Scout Groups form a Scout District. Within a Scout District there is also an Explorer Scout unit and Scout Network. 

The District is led by the District Commissioner who is supported by Assistant District Commissioners, District Leaders, Advisers and Administrators. These volunteers provide guidance and support to Scout Groups and their sections.

The District also has a District Scout Council, comparable in many ways to the Group Council, and a District Trustee Board.

The County (Welsh Area or Scottish Region)

A number of Scout Districts are grouped together to form a Scout County (Area in Wales or Region in Scotland). The County is led by a County Commissioner who is supported by Deputy and Assistant County Commissioners, Advisers and Administrators.

The County Scout Council is run in a similar way to the Group and District Scout Council. Some Counties employ staff, such as a County Secretary or a Development Officer. Many Counties and Areas manage Scout campsites and may also employ a warden or campsite manager.

The Scout Structure

Scouting structure diagram showing UK and British Overseas Territories structure in regions, counties and areas