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Guidelines for Locally Organised National Events (LONE)

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[Guidelines Last updated: January 2022]

What's a 'Locally Organised National Event' (LONE)? 

Any UK-based Scouts event organised outside of UK Headquarters, which is promoted as ‘National’ or ‘UK’, needs to gain approval to be branded this way.

National approval comes from the Scouts' Events and Contingents Sub-Group, which has delegated authority from the Scouts' Strategy and Delivery Committee.

For example: Your local 'Scout Orienteering Day' may be so well organised that it attracts Scout Groups from other parts of the UK. You may therefore wish to rebrand the event as the 'National Scout Orienteering Day' and challenge each Scout District from across the country to send a team to the event. 

Organising a LONE event is usually managed by a Scout District or Scout County (or nations equivalent e.g. area, region).

The lead organiser should ordinarily have suitable experience organising scouting events at a district, county, or national level before attempting to plan a national event

An approved national event is on show to the whole country and represents the Scouts, so it is important that the highest standards of administration and operation are in evidence throughout. 

The Scout County (or nations equivalent e.g. Area or Region) who are supporting the event are responsible for ensuring that the event follows all Scouts policies, financial agreements and safety. The lead event organiser should keep the County Leadership informed of planning actions, decisions, risks and milestones.

The County/Area/Scottish Region organising the LONE event are responsible for underwriting the cost of the event. 
Most approved national events are planned on a “no profit/no loss” basis.  It is important to identify all the costs involved in the event, and to set a realistic fee to cover all those costs.  
Any sponsorship arrangements for the event (for example a marketing partnership with a commercial company) require prior approval of both the County and UK Headquarters, to ensure that the arrangement is compliant with scouts values and existing partnerships.

All events which are approved through this process should be providing value to our members and supporting the Scout Programme:

- Events for young people should be challenging, relevant and rewarding, and support young people to develop skills for life 

- Events for adult volunteers should help support the delivery of a quality programme

Any events which are open to members of the Scout Network can be advertised nationally through communications to Scout Network members and the volunteers supporting this section. 

All activities must be carried out in full compliance with the Association’s rules as outlined in the current edition of Policy, Organisation and Rules (POR). 
Advice relating to insurance can be provided by Unity Insurance Services. 
Any indemnity sought by a hosting club or authority must be referred to UKHQ via the Support Centre. 

Before you start planning, we recommend:

- contact the Scouts Support Centre to first check if your event would clash with another, similar national scouting event

- ask your local County Commissioner (or nations equivalent e.g. Region or Area Commissioner) for their approval to apply to run a national event

- submit a LONE application to UK Headquarters

When applying for a LONE:

- Aim (if possible) to submit your LONE application 9-18 months in advance of the event date

- Apply for one type of event at a time

- If you have run this event before, please submit a LONE Evaluation for the previous event (Evaluations will help the committee judge the risk of your event, which may speed up the approval process)

- If you intend to run a similar event regularly (e.g. once a year) you can apply and gain approval for up to 3 consecutive events, e.g. "National Scout Orienteering Days 2023, 2024, and 2025"

Completing the form will highlight key organisational challenges that need to be addressed whilst planning, such as size and location, whether there should be overnight accommodation, potential involvement of Girlguiding or other organisations, and so on. 

National approval may take some time, depending on the perceived risk level of your event. Where a similar event has occurred previously, LONE evaluation will be taken into account and this may speed up the process.

You can start planning your scouting event before you have obtained LONE approval, but you must have first gained LONE approval before you can market your scouting event as 'UK' or 'National' to potential attendees.

LONE approval may be withdrawn at any time - if this occurs you will receive advice from the committee on how to proceed.

After the event is completed, the lead organiser should submit a LONE evaluation to Scouts Headquarters. This evaluation will be important for any organisers wishing to run the same or a similar event in future.

The evaluation process helps the Events and Contingent Sub Group and Strategy and Delivery Committee to be confident that all LONE events are planned, managed and delivered appropriately, and give Scouts the best experiences.   

Support from UK Headquarters

The following support from UK Headquarters may be available for your event. Please contact us to find out more. 

  • Advice to the event organiser by relevant members of UKHQ teams 
  • Promotion via the Scouts website Events page, social media and other member communications, as appropriate 
  • Where possible, a visit from a member of UK Leadership Team to your event. You can complete the request form on the UK Leadership Team | Scouts. Please check with your County/Area/Region (Scotland) Commissioner first, and give plenty of notice. 
  • You can also create promotional materials including posters, social media posts, invitations and banners, on the Scout brand centre. 

We’re also keen to hear from you if you’re planning an event that focuses on making a positive impact on biodiversity or reducing climate change, as further support may be available. 

National SASU Events

If you're involved in leading a National Scout Active Support Unit (SASU), the process for approving a national event is similar to that for LONE events, except that the event is managed by the SASU rather than a Scout County.

To apply for approval to run a National SASU event, complete the National SASU Event or Contingent Brief form