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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

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Scouting and alcohol

The Green card sets out our policy on alcohol for all adults involved in Scouting

Scouting and alcohol

Drinking alcohol can put adults in a compromising position regarding their responsibilities for safeguarding and their duty of care.

As an adult in Scouts you are a role model for young people. When adults are responsible for young people, they must not drink alcohol.

During Scouts events attended by young people under the age of 18, the following rules apply:

• Under 18s must not drink alcohol under any circumstances.

• There must be the correct ratio of adults responsible for young people at all times.

• If you are responsible for young people, you must not drink alcohol.

• If you are not directly responsible for young people and you do drink alcohol, you should still follow the Yellow Card (our safeguarding code of practice).

• If you are drinking when ‘off duty’, you should consider how alcohol may affect your ability to carry out your Scouts duties when back on duty. 

• Young people must know who is responsible for them at all times.

Support and planning

• Carry out a risk assessment, relevant to the size and nature of the event.

• Consider drawing up a code of conduct before events where alcohol will be present.

• At longer events, consider how drinking alcohol might affect someone’s ability to carry out their Scouts duties or participation in activities over time. For example, if someone drinks excessively off duty, they may not be fit to carry out their duties or participate in activities the following morning.

• Brief all young people and adults on the standards of behaviour expected from them.
• Take care to be clear which adults are responsible for the young people when there is a mix of adults present who may or may not be drinking alcohol.

• Consider running alcohol-free events.

• Consider the cultural and religious observances or needs of those taking part in the event.

• Members of the Scout Network or a Scout Active Support Unit are expected to follow the same rules as adult leaders.

• Help young people and adults understand the issues associated with alcohol and how to find information and advice.

Green card

Scouting and Alcohol a Checklist for Adults.
This card sets out our policy on alcohol for all adults involved in Scouting. 

Download the Green Card >

Order a FREE copy from the Scouts store >

More information

If you would like more information, contact your line manager or the Scouts Support Centre.


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