FAQ

General Questions

What is Scouting?

Scouting first started with an experimental camp on Brownsea Island, Dorset, in 1907, where Robert Baden-Powell and a small party of boys, mostly from the Boys Brigade, put into practice his ideas for training young people for responsible citizenship. In August of the following year, the first proper Scout Camp was held at Humshaugh, near Hexham, Northumberland. Today, here are well over 25 million members in over 210 countries and the Movement is still growing!

Baden-Powell always intended Scouting to take place in a range of organisations.  Indeed, he specifially stated that Scouting was a Movement and not a single organisation.  Today Scouting in the UK is offered by a range of associations, including the Baden-Powell Scout's Association, The Scout Association, the Federation of European Scouts, Navigators and the British Boy and Girl Scouts.

The B-PSA are not in competition with any other Scouting Association.  We do not make claims to be superior, and we do not seek to influence the policies of other Scout Associations.  We have a policy of goodwill and co-operation with any Scouting organisation of like-minded intent.  (4th Scout Law).

Is the Baden-Powell Scout Association a part of the Scout Association or the World Organisation of the Scout Movement?

The Baden-Powell Scouts' Association (B-PSA) is a totally independent association and is not a member of the World Organisation of the Scout Movement (WOSM), as WOSM will only allow one association in each country to join them.  The B-PSA is, instead, proud to be a member of the World Federation of Independent Scouts (WFIS).

What is the World Federation of Independent Scouts?

WFIS  is an international organisation that supports and recognises a number of associations who think that Baden-Powell's ideas for Scouting do not need to be constantly changed to meet current trends.  Formed in 1996, by 2014 WFIS had grown to have 2,619,483 members worldwide!

Are your leaders trained or insured by The Scout Association?

Not necessarily, as the Baden-Powell Scouts' Association has its own training and insurance schemes - in exactly the same way as other youth groups like the The Guide Association or the Cadets do!

How do I know that my child is safe at a B-PSA Group?

All adults who have contact with the young people are required to complete a DBS disclosure (formerly the CRB disclosure) before being allowed to work unsupervised with the Group. The Disclosure includes a check on local police records, where additional information relevant to their appointment may be released by the Chief Officer for inclusion within the Enhanced Disclosure. The Government created the DBS to provide a central service for undertaking police and identity checks. 

All leaders are required to complete a child protection course at regular intervals as part of their ongoing training.

What is "Traditional Scouting"?

Traditional Scouting  refers to the original principles set down in "Scouting for Boys", written by Lord Robert Baden-Powell, Chief Scout of the World. 

Groups in the B-PSA believe that the original Scouting programme is exciting, fun, challenging and personally demanding.  The traditional programme develops a sense of duty, personal discipline and honour. We see these aspects of Scouting as central to the whole game.  Our Scouts enjoy the traditional Scouting skills; lighting fire by friction, navigating by means other than a compass and backwoods cooking.

Of course we also enjoy expeditions, computer activities and games of all types.  In fact there are many award badges that members can complete.  Why not have a look at the section pages for more details?

Have you always accepted Girls?

Right from the start, girls wanted to enjoy the game of Scouting.  At the time that B-P wrote "Scouting for Boys" British society was not willing to accept girls taking part in such adventurous activities.  Despite this, in 1909, a group of Girl Scouts turned up at the first ever meeting of the Boy Scouts.  In order to satisfy Edwardian society the Girl Guide movement was set up one year later to enable girls to have their own Association. 

Britain has evolved since 1910, and B-PSA Groups have been open to both boys and girls since the Association was founded in 1970.

What is an Air Scout Group?

Scouts have been involved in aviation since the very early days of flying, with a photograph of Scouts helping at an air show in 1911 having survived as evidence!  Air Scouts do all the activities enjoyed by regular Scouts, but give an increased percentage of their time to air activities - including visits to airfields, museums and flying activities.  They also wear a slightly different uniform to other scouts.

Fakenham Lancaster hope to be able to offer every interested Scout a chance to fly an aircraft at least once during their time at Scouts. 

How is it different to Air Cadets?

Air Cadets are designed to provide basic training for joining the RAF, while we are more focused on the outdoors, adventure and civil aviation.

As a civilian organisation we don't operate in quite the same way as Air Cadets - especially in relation to drill.  Scouts do use ceremonies on certain occasions such as opening and closing a meeting or a camp and annual parades (where, for example, we walk rather than march). However, while Scouting teaches the importance of working together as a unit excessive drill has always been discouraged.

This is what Lieutenant General Baden-Powell wrote about drill: "Military drill gives a feeble, unimaginative officer something with which to occupy his boys. ... Military drill tends to destroy individuality, whereas we want, in Scouts, to develop individual character; ... Our aim is to make young backwoodsmen of them, not imitation soldiers."

How often do you go camping?

We aim to  go camping each year. Our Group has access to a local camp site and own own training field, and the B-PSA hold district camps and there are also international camps and events arranged by the World Federation of Independent Scouts - which our Scouts are able to attend should they so desire.  Our Patrols are also allowed to request their own camps, with leaders providing remote support.  

In 2008, just 4 months after our Group was formed, some of our members attended a Jamboree camp in Northumberland celebrating the centenary of the first ever Scout Camp.

Do Leaders get paid?

Our Group Leaders are 100% volunteers, and, in fact, there are no paid Leaders or executives anywhere in the whole of the B-PSA! All our staff do what they do because they enjoy Traditional Scouting.

What will I get to do at Scouts?

Outdoor activities, hikes, orienteering, sleeping in a shelter you have built yourself, camping in all weathers, hill walking, boating, scuba diving, pioneering, learning to light a fire without using matches, flying aircraft - all this and more can be enjoyed through Scouting.

Scouting provides you with the opportunities to explore your limits, to test yourself, develop new skills and interests and to become the best that you can be!

Have you got spaces for new youth members?

The Fakenham Lancaster B-P Air Scout Group has grown rapidly since it was set up, and several of our sections are often full.  Although we never like to turn people away, sometimes we may have to ask you to join a waiting list until a space becomes available.

Can I join your Scouts if I'm in other clubs, or a Guide or Scout with another association?

Of course!  We do a wide range of activities in Scouts, and sometimes our Scouts decide that they want to develop a skill further and join specialist clubs and teams.  Activities done with many clubs and teams can also contribute towards your Scout training, so make sure that you let us know what you're up to!

Baden-Powell's Scout Law very clearly says that a Scout is a brother to all other Scouts.  As we believe in B-P's ideas, we welcome and are happy to work with members from all branches of the Scouting family, and have no problem with our Scouts also being members of other Associations - after all, it provides you with more opportunity to learn and practice skills, is a positive way to spend your time - and it's your free time anyway!

I'm an adult, how do I get involved as a Leader?

If you wish to become a warranted leader, you must be willing to start to work through our training course to get a leader's qualification (known as Wood Beads). For more information see the B-PSA Leadership Training page on their web site. Although the B-PSA offer their own training, they will also recognise training and awards issued by the Scout Association.

If you do not wish to complete Wood Beads, don't feel that you have the time to help on a regular basis or feel that you are unable to make the Scout Promise, you can become an Adult Assistant, working in the group alongside the leaders.  If you have trouble with any aspects of the Promise, ask us about the allowed variations, including the Outlander Promise which is allowed by the World Federation of Independent Scouts.

In all cases, before working unsupervised with young people you will also need to complete an "Enhanced Criminal Records Bureau Check".  Any person working with people under the age of 18 must be thoroughly checked to prevent unsuitable people from gaining access to children.  At the moment CRB checks are non-transferable, so you will need to complete a CRB with the B-PSA even if you already hold one with another organisation.  There is no cost to this requirement.

We are especially interested in hearing from people who would like to join our team working with the younger members of the Group.  Plenty of support, and cups of tea, will be offered! 

How can I start a B-PSA Group in my own community?

First of all the BPSA is not seeking to expand its organisation by taking groups from any other organisation. Each organisation has its own merits and styles. The BPSA follow the original teachings of Baden Powell and his love for the great outdoors.

However, if you feel that what we offer better meets the needs of your local area, then we would be pleased to help you, on an individual basis, make a decision on whether or not to join us.  Starting a Scout Group takes time and commitment, but it can be done - and is also a lot of fun!  Contact the B-PSA through the web site (http://traditionalscouting.co.uk ) for further information and an informal chat.

 

Members Questions

When do I need to pay subscriptions?

Half-termly subscription payments need to be made during the first two weeks of the half-term.   Failure to pay subscriptions on time will result in the young person being asked to leave the Group.  If a family has a specific problem making payments they must speak, in confidence, to the GSM (Guy) to make arrangements.

I need to miss a meeting, is that a problem?

Weekly meetings.  Sometimes things get in the way, and we all understand that.  It is important, however, that you phone us to say that you are not coming and that you remember that you need to pay subscrition fees for all meetings, including those ones that you miss.  Also, if you miss too many meetings you may find it hard to complete training for awards.

Event Cancellations & refunds.  If you have paid to attend a camp or other event but are no longer able to attend, let us know as soon as possible.  If we are able to find someone to take your place we will be able to offer you a refund.  We regret, however, that we cannot offer refunds for any events unless we have had the time to successfully find a replacement participant.  No refunds are given on half-termly subscriptions or for weekly meetings.

I forgot to phone / I was unable to phone...help!

Don't panic.  Although we prefer to be told in advance that you're not coming, unless you miss three meetings there will be no major problems. 

If, however, you miss three meetings without letting us know why we will  have to assume that you have left the Group, and your place will be offered to a person on the waiting list. 

I'm moving to you from a Scout Association group, what about my award badges?

We recognise the hard work that you have put into your Scouting, and you may keep the awards that you have earned through your former group.  Where possible we'll replace these with B-PSA awards.  Where there is no direct equivalent you may keep the SA award.

What do I do about uniform?

In most cases we are able to supply, on loan, most uniform items.  Generally this includes the shirt, necker and beret.  Other items may be available on an individual basis.  Loaned items remain the property of the Group and must be returned, in a clean condition, when no longer required for Group purposes.  We reserve the right to take legal action against defaulters.

Alternatively you may wish to buy your own uniform.  RAF shirts and berets are often available from military surplus stores.  Suitable blue "combat trousers" are sold on Fakenham Market.  Neckers and badges may be purchased from the Group itself.  Generally speaking, an entire B-PSA Air Scout uniform can often be bought for the price of a uniform shirt from other associations.

How does the waiting list work?

In order to ensure that everyone gets the most out of being a member of our Group, we have a maximum number of places available for each section.  When a section is full you may apply to join the waiting list.  Members of sections are always guaranteed a place in the following section.

In order to ensure fair access to the Group for young people already involved in Scouting we operate an order of priority for applicants in addition to the usual "first-come" system. Priority is given to applications in the following order:

  • Scouting members transferring from another B-PSA Group.
  • Scouting members transferring from other non-B-PSA Groups. 
  • Young people from Fakenham, Pudding Norton and Hempton.
  • Young people from the surrounding villages.

Children of adults who offer their time on a regular basis as leaders or helpers will be allowed to become members without joining the waiting list (as their attendance allows us to increase the adult:child ratio).  Please note that these places are offered subject to the continued involvement of the adult.

What is the behaviour policy?

Scouting is a pretty easy-going Movement based on mutual respect.  We ask only that you respect the other members, the Group's equipment and buildings. The rules are, essentially, the Scout Law that all members Promise to uphold when joining the Group.  Most cases of behavioural concerns  are dealt with by the Patrol Leader, or at the Patrol Leader's Council where the young people decide appropriate sanctions for their peers.

In more serious cases, and in accordance with P.A.R (the Main Association rule book), members of the group will be given warnings about their behaviour/attitude at meetings from the Section Leaders. The first formal warning will be verbal and will last three weeks before resetting.  If a 2nd is required it will be written and sent to the parents and will last one half term before it is cleared. If a 3rd warning is required the member will subject to the ruling of the Group Scout Master and the Group Council which could result in the member being expelled from the Group.

We do reserve the right to refuse attendance at events to members who we feel would endanger themselves or others.

What equipment might I need?

Scouting is an outdoors activity, and we will be out in all types of weather.  The following table shows the type of equipment you may want in order to make the most of your time in Scouting.  Please note that you don't need to buy it all at once, and we can help with the loan of some items!

Item Beavers Wolf Cubs Air Scouts Senior Scouts/Rovers

Wellingtons

Yes

Yes

Unlikely

Unlikely

Old Trainers/Gym Shoes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Gaiters

No

No

Maybe

Yes

Camp cutlery(K,F,S)

Possible

Yes

Yes

Yes

Bowl (Plastic)

Possible

Yes

Yes

Yes

Plate (Plastic)

Possible

Yes

Yes

Yes

Mug (Plastic)

Possible

Yes

Yes

Yes

1st Aid Kit (personal)

No

No

Yes

Yes

Whistle

Definite No

Definite No

Yes

Yes

Compass

No

No

Preferred

Yes

Pen Knife 

Definite No

Definite No

Yes


Yes


Sleeping bag (Mummy-type)

Possible


Yes

Yes

Yes

Roll Mat

Possible

Preferred

Yes

Yes

Water Bottle

No

Possible

Yes

Yes

Rucksack

No

Up to 35 Litre

45 - 65 litre

As suits needs

Walking Boots/Shoes

No

Preferred

Yes

Yes

Walking socks

No

No

Yes

Yes

Lightweight Waterproof Jacket

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Lightweight Waterproof Trousers

Preferred

Preferred

Yes

Yes

Fleece Jacket

Preferred

Preferred

Yes

Yes

Thermals

No

No

No

No

Woollen/ Fleece Hat

Preferred

Yes

Yes

Yes

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