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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

Forming a District Scout Network

It's a requirement of POR that every District has one District Scout Network only. Exceptions to this model will be considered. Nevertheless, some aspects should be considered in the early stages of forming or renewing a District Scout Network:

1. Number of members: There is no fixed minimum number of members for the establishment of a District Scout Network.

2. Effective leadership: The District Commissioner will appoint a District Scout Network Commissioner who may in turn appoint Programme Coordinators.

3. Trustee Board support: When a District Scout Network is established, the District Trustee Board must be aware of the responsibilities that they are taking on. This could be achieved by running an information evening for Trustees.

4. Set-up costs and funding: When a District Scout Network is established, the District Trustee Board needs to bear reasonable set-up and implementation costs until such time as the District Scout Network achieves self-funding.

5. Appropriate meeting venues The District Scout Network should be offered one or more suitable venues in which to hold meetings. All parties should agree the level of any charges that will be incurred by the District Scout Network. It may be beneficial to produce and sign a hosting agreement to ensure that all parties understand the framework for use of a venue.

6. A plan for developing the Scout Network: A plan should be agreed for the development of the Scout Network in consultation with the District Scout Network Commissioner, District Commissioner, District Trustees and Scout Network Members.

District Scout Network can apply for a start-up grant like other Sections. The District Scout Network can make grant applications through the Scout District. Learn more about funding.

There are many issues surrounding equipment, and before a decision is made to purchase property the District Trustee Board will need to address the following:

  • Should the equipment be purchased for the Scout Network only or for the District generally? 
  • Who is able to use the equipment? 
  • Where will it be stored? 
  •  Who is responsible for the upkeep? 
  •  Who is responsible for replacement? 

All of the above are simple questions that may prove difficult to answer. 
Good practice indicates that equipment should be purchased for as wide a use as possible but responsibility for booking, checking and maintaining it will need to be clear.  Additionally consideration should be given to the District Scout Network borrowing existing equipment from Scout Groups where this is possible. 

  • The District Trustee Board has a responsibility to ensure that all persons and property are adequately insured. 
    The District Treasurer will be able to advise you on what needs to be done in your case.  
  • The District Scout Network can operate their own bank account but this must be audited the District. Learn more about banking.
  • Legacy accounts: Depending on how Scout Network is currently organised where you are, funds and property may be currently held at District or County. Funds and property form part of the overall assets of the District or County, with overall responsibility sitting with the relevant Trustee Board. It's strongly recommended that where funds have currently been raised or are held for those of Scout Network age, that they are distributed appropriately to give the best opportunities of success for the new District Scout Networks. This is a good opportunity to ensure that finances and assets are being appropriately managed. 
  • For District Trustee Boards: Where Network is already managed as part of the District, ensure that any existing Network finances are being appropriately managed and will continue to be so. This includes ensuring Network finances are reported as part of the overall financial position of the District.

Scout Network members involved in supporting local activity centres should be members of a District Scout Network. Their volunteering with local activity centres should be done through projects associated with the programme.

There should be agreement between the District Scout Network Commissioners, with one of the District Scout Networks taking primary responsibility – being the ‘host’.

Applying a District fee to members of the District Scout Network

Whilst you can apply a fee, the 'free to join' model requires Districts to think carefully about applying a fee, especially as many of the Scout Network members will also be giving service to Scouting and district as adult volunteers.  

Compass can't distinguish between these roles and therefore can't automatically give a person a role in Network, as they won't have taken their promise or agreed to wear their uniform. If the member would like to become a member of Scout Network then this roll will be added separately.