Skip to main content

Guidance for under 18s on campsite service crews


Published May 2023

Who will this guidance help?

This guidance is for those who manage and operate any Scout campsite or activity centre that has a delivery or service team that includes members who are under 18.

This guidance, and your processes deriving from it, should be shared with your relevant Executive Committee and Commissioner. They must have oversight of the processes and teams who they are responsible for and be able to offer support.

Further support is available from specialists within Districts/Counties/Areas/Regions (Scotland) and from UK Headquarters.

First consider if accommodation is needed, some site service activities may be suitable to be done in a single day or with young people returning home overnight.

Where overnight stays are part of the planned activities for under 18’s Nights Away Permits apply, see details in POR.

Provide separate accommodation for those under 18 attending.

Remember our Safeguarding Code of Practice: Do have separate sleeping accommodation for young people, adults and Young Leaders working with a younger section.

There are a number of Scouts policies and rules which apply when having young people volunteer to support campsites and activity centres as with other scout activities. There are also some areas where you will need to put in place local procedures or systems.

  • Yellow Card
  • Orange Card
  • Alcohol & Drugs

In addition there will be some local systems you will need to have in place:

  • Code of conduct– based on our Scout Values to be clear on what’s expected and how everyone should behave
  • Use of accommodation areas
  • InTouch
  • Emergency procedures and incident reporting
  • Reporting concerns and issues
  • Reviews with site or team managers (to share any concerns)
  • Dress code – appropriate clothing
  • Knowing who is on site (effective signing in / out system)
  • Lone working
  • Health & Safety – including training
  • Monitoring safety and effective supervision

Make sure that policies and procedures are clearly communicated to those involved and also regularly reviewed (at least annually).

A code of conduct will help set expectations with young people regarding behaviour but in addition there must be appropriate supervision in place. Think about how you will supervise young people, this may be a different level depending on the activity being undertaken.

As well as behaviour it’s important to monitor the welfare of young people whilst in the case of the centre / site.

How do all staff/volunteers observe and report concerns about the following practices by under 18s and by other users of the site?

  • Alcohol & drugs behaviour
  • Young people’s welfare and safeguarding
  • Safe activities & camping
  • Supervision of young people during ‘free time’
  • Photos - inappropriate taking
  • Social media – inappropriate use and potential bullying

When was the latest Premises Audit carried out (or reviewed)?

Are the current premises Risk Assessments suitable and sufficient? How are they shared? Are they reviewed regularly (at least annually)? Have individuals’ needs and abilities been considered within the risk assessments?

What clear boundaries are in place for the staff areas? (Considerations for their welfare and safeguarding protection)

Management and governance

Is there a management committee appointed for the premises?

How often do they report to the relevant Trustees (Executive Committee)?

How are the Trustees (Executive Committee) aware of their responsibilities for the management of the premises?  Consider responsibilities or consequences for both actions and in-action (actions omitted).

Appointment of adults

Have appropriate vetting and disclosure checks been undertaken on those involved at the premises (whether they are staff or volunteers)?

Adapting to people’s needs

How do you collect information about member’s needs? What reasonable adjustments have been put in place to assist members with specific needs?

Remember that young people’s perception of risk will be different and needs to be taken into consideration

Make sure your volunteers have done the mandatory and relevant Scouts training as well as any local site / role induction and activity / task specific training. Here are some suggestions.

  • Induction training to include guidance on levels and types of tasks
  • Behaviour and conduct expectations
  • Safeguarding
  • Safety
  • First Aid
  • GDPR
  • Manual handling
  • Specific activity requirements
  • Specific maintenance tasks

Any Scouts training must be recorded on the national membership system, other training will need to be recorded locally and competency monitored.

Check out the example Crew Training Plan as a helpful starting point to put a system in place to check and record your safe procedures.

Young People First - Yellow Card

Young People First - Yellow Card

Further resources and support

Nights away resources

Nights Away Permit Scheme

Nights away permit scheme