Parents FAQ

Activities

I haven’t paid for an event and I’ve lost the permission form. What do I do?

We use MyScout to invite young people to events and very much prefer parents to use this to accept and pay. It really makes a lot of difference to the time our leaders and treasurer have to give. We prefer to not receive money via cheque.

If you’ve lost the permission form, you will need to get the details from someone else but you can download this form and fill it out to give your permission for your child to do a Night’s Away. It has no kit list on, so again you need to find that out. But if you need that form right now, download this.

I’m packing for camp, what’s the shirt in a sock trick?

shirtsocktrick

What’s this thing people have mentioned called MyScout and what do I do if I have trouble accessing it?

MyScout is a piece of internet software we use to collect subs, inform parents of the programme of meetings and invite young people to events, collecting payment if required. Parents can also see the contact details we store about their child and the progress they are making with badges. This feature is fully secure so parents are sent a personal invite once their child has committed to becoming an enrolled member of the Group. You receive nearly all information from MyScout from email and you just click a link to carry out the actions. Parents have told us how useful they find it as all the info is on one place and easily accessible, rather than being lost in the kitchen somewhere – yep, we’ve all experienced that one!

What it does mean it that nearly ALL communication with parents is via MyScout so you need to get involved or you will miss events or be the only one in the wrong place etc.

If you have any problems, please contact Andy on myscout@bransgorescouts.org.uk who will support you to use this useful software.

Where do I go to get my child to the event?

There are several places we use regularly. Here are maps to find them.

Christchurch Scouts Centre (also known as CSC)

Christchurch for St Georges Day; Quomps (B) and Priory Gardens (C)

Christchurch for Remembrance Parade (Royal British Legion building)

Grange School for Sports Day

Wilverley Plain

Guss Common

Braggers Wood camp-site

Harry’s Island camp-site

Lymington Ferry Terminal

Buddens camp-site (there are many ways to get here and its largely dependent on the traffic as to which way is best)

Burbush

Ferny Crofts camp-site

Burley Street

Shorefield Holiday Park (zoom in on the map, ideally flip into satelite image, and you will see where the pool and the nearest car-park is – the site is a bit of a maze but there are signs)

BIC, Bournemouth (ice-skating has its own entrance round the back – this map shows the closest you can get by car, switch to satelitte to see the entrance just to the east with its porch over a patio’d area)

Go-Ape at Itchen Country Park

Splashdown Swim centre, Tower Park, Poole

Cricket Scout Camp, Itchen

Anderwood forest car-park, for cub hike

Liberty’s Raptor Centre

Oakdene Forest Park

Badges

Are there badges my child can do as well as at meetings?

Each section has its own activity badges that each young person can get. Then there’s the staged badges which are stages 1 to 5 of an activity such as Music, they start at stage 1 and the badges getting increasingly challenging. They sort of work out as what a beaver, cub, scout, explorer, network scout might be capable of but every young person is different. They might be stage 4 swimming by the time they’re a cub and later take up drums when they’re 15 years old and get stage1 music then.

Use the links below to browse the Scout Association pages for your child. You will also see the Challenge Badges which normally they do at meetings and events. However, there is the odd element that can be done as an individual, community service is one of them.

Beaver Activity Badges

Cub Activity Badges

Scouts Activity Badges

Staged Activity Badges

Where do I put the badges on the uniform?

Use these diagrams to see where to put all the badges.

We also encourage everyone to keep a camp blanket. Many of them were given one when we celebrated a group event back in 2009. Any blanket or large square of fabric will do or you can buy one from the scout shop. Sew on badges from previous uniforms as they move up the sections and collect scouting badges from trips, events and occasions. If you’re not sure ask to see one of the leaders’.

Meetings

What should cubs bring to weekly meetings?

They need to arrive in their uniform unless the programme says otherwise.

  • Uniform (scout trousers, sweatshirt and necker) should ideally be worn with black school shoes. Trainers are not allowed.

They need to bring a ‘kit’ bag with them with:

  •  their inspection kit; pen, notebook, hankie and their Cubs book (Power Pack given to them at investiture)
  • a t-shirt  either under their uniform shirt or in their bag, one you and they don’t mind if it gets messy. The i.Scout one is good although it is not something we expect scouts to have but many like to have one to wear under their uniform at meetings or to wear at events. The Group usually have a few for sale, subsidised a little at £5. Ask a leader. Alternatively, anyone can order direct from the Scout Shop online.
  • something warm in autumn and winter for going outside, coats, hoodies or similar.
  • a good torch. They all need a torch, even if we don’t have an outdoor activity, they may have to cross to the other hall and for most months its dark. Hand-helds are ok but head torches better. Wind-ups are brilliant if checking batteries isn’t easy. LEDs give a better light but cubs should know not to shine them in others’ eyes. Also, many now have the silver wind-ups that are popular and they all look the same. Please label them. One or two cubs have personalised them with stickers etc and this really helps when they go to grab their stuff.
What should scouts bring to weekly meetings? And can they/should they have a penknife?

They need to arrive in their uniform unless the programme says otherwise.

  • Uniform (scout trousers, belt, shirt and necker) should ideally be worn with walking BOOTS. They need good footwear as we do lots of outdoor activities and it’s on uneven ground, often wet ground. Ideally they need ankle support, strong soles and a degree of water-proofness. For doing axe work, it is a scout association safety rule that they must be wearing boots. You could consider second-hand boots (see FAQ on recyling kit). If they don’t have boots, they should wear black school shoes. Trainers are not allowed.

They need to bring a ‘kit’ bag with them with

  • their inspection kit (they should know)
  • a t-shirt  either under their uniform shirt or in their bag, one you and they don’t mind if it gets messy. The i.Scout one is good although it is not something we expect scouts to have but many like to have one to wear under their uniform at meetings or to wear at events. The Group usually have a few for sale, subsidised a little at £5. Ask a leader when at HQ. Alternatively, anyone can order direct from the Scout Shop online.
  • something warm in autumn and winter. At times scouts don’t have a jumper or coat and they get cold outside. For particular events like camp-fires, hats and gloves would be good.
  • A good torch. They all need a torch, even if we don’t have an outdoor activity, they may have to cross to the other hall and for most months its dark. Hand-helds are ok but head torches better. Wind-ups are brilliant if checking batteries isn’t easy. LEDs give a better light but scouts should know not to shine them in others’ eyes. Also, many now have the silver wind-ups that are popular and they all look the same. Please label them. One or two scouts have personalised them with stickers etc and this really helps when they go to grab their stuff.
  • They should NOT bring penknives or lighters to any meetings unless specifically given notice to do so. This is to comply with knife law and scout association safety guidance. If you are considering allowing them a penknife, please read this first.
  • They should NOT bring phones or similiar to any meetings, activities or camps. If seen, they will be held by the leader until the end. The scout leaders cannot be responsible for any electronic kit. If you have concerns about being reachable, please talk to a leader.

Moving on

My child is almost 14 years old. How can his scouting adventure continue?

Parents Guide to moving on from Scouts

A young person can stay in scouts until they are 14 years old. Up to then they will have stayed within Bransgore Group and the only other scouting contact they might have had will have been with Christchurch District. But there’s two more stages at least in the scouting family; explorer scouts and network scouts, which have an ever-increasing wider contact.

Explorer scouts is for 14-18 year old young people and is run at a district level. Instead of a troop, they have units, many of which have a partnership with a Scout Group. We have a partnership with Braggers unit and whilst scouts can go to any unit that they wish, most of our scouts go to Braggers unit as they meet in our HQ and also they know the explorers there.

Network scouts is for 18-25 year olds and has a flexible set-up. As many young people will be away studying or training, or perhaps move away for jobs, they are a member of ‘network’ nationally. Generally they will be a regular member in their home place and perhaps at their university.

At 14 years old there are 3 options;

  • Be an explorer scout only
  • Be a young leader only
  • Be both

Different young people over the years have done different options. Some change their mind as they get older. Young leaders are still technically explorer scouts but they only get involved with either beavers, cubs or scouts.

Explorers is much more laid-back than scouts and they are allowed more independence and decisions. It’s assumed they’ve learnt many of the skills so it’s about using them. They do lots of activities, quasar and bowling come to mind. They often go to Gilwell camps which are national camps and offer fun and more unusual activities. And sometimes they come home having sat and chatted for 2 hours! Oh, and a lot of fires! They are also the age to apply to the World Jamboree which happens once every 4 years.

One advantage of staying with explorers is to do their Duke of Edinburgh. Many schools offer it but they have to work with other young people who’ve never camped and never hiked. Within scouts, they just refine their skills and they find it less boring. The training costs and camps can also be cheaper.

For those interested in becoming a young leader, they do have to be 14 years old and are not allowed to continue once they’ve reached 18. They have to wait for a place as there is a limit to how many a section can have. There’s also one other rule which is that they can’t be a young leader in scouts unless they have been gone for at least 6 months. There is the young leader scheme and the ultimate is the Young Leader belt award. This is achieved after training and demonstrating their skills in their section. It can take 2-3 years to do but can be a useful addition to a CV. However, this is optional and some young people come along each week and don’t do the award.

Why would you want your child to stay in scouting? There’s all sorts of reasons and one of them is the opportunities they are offered;

  • To take part in national events such as Gilwell 24. Check out the website but its 24 hours non-stop activities at Gilwell Park. Then there’s Gilwell Winter camp.
  • They get invited to county-run weekends such as hiking in Terrain 2 country, eg. Brecon Beacons.
  • The unit does a summer camp most years.
  • They continue to hone their skills and become more independent.
  • To be a young leader which can count as DofE service and can work towards a recognised award. How many job and university applicants will be able to say they’ve done weekly volunteer work for 4 years? They also have great fun especially on camps.
  • To do their Duke of Edinburgh awards, bronze, silver and gold are all run within Christchurch district. With a gold DofE award, they can work towards being a Queen’s Scout, the highest award as a scouting young person and highly prized and valued. On the way they’ll do their Diamond and Platinum Chief Scouts Award to follow on from their Gold.
  • World Jamboree – every young person gets a chance to apply once in their scouting time. A chance to go on a camp of around 40,000 people with young people from over 180 countries of the world. Usually it starts with a small UK contingent camp (if 4000 people is small) in another country, then HoHo afterwards in yet another country. HoHo is Home from Home where they get to stay in pairs or more with another scouting family. Next one is USA 2019.
  • As soon as they’re close to 18, they can do the assessments for activity permits. Perhaps they have an interest in climbing and get their climbing permit. Very useful for gap years, summer jobs, staying around scouting, demonstrating skills and character on a CV.
  • As soon as they’re 18 they can apply to be part of International Support Teams (IST) at national camps, anywhere. For not much money, they can get to see some of the world, meet loads of people from all sorts of countries, ok  work hard but also have much fun.
My child is now a member of scouting. When or how would that end?

Whilst a beaver, cub or scout, all young people are members of both Bransgore Scout Group and the Scout Association. The Group arranges the subscription to be paid to the Scout Association which is collected by Group subs. Membership continues until either the young person leaves scouting or when they forfeit their place. This can occur if they do not attend for 3 weeks in succession without prior arrangement. One aspect of Scouting is about developing character and a commitment is considered part of this. Also we have many young people on our waiting list who would love the place. The full rules and explanations of membership and subscription to our Group can be seen here.

What happens when my child moves up to the next section?

Cubs  use the same necker as they were given in beavers but are given a new cub woggle when they are invested. Once they have swum up, please move the following badges;

  • Name-tape, District, County and Group badges (all on right arm)
  • Bronze Chief Scouts Award if they gained it (top right breast)
  • The highest Participation badge (usually 1 year but occasionally 2 years, top left breast)
  • Any Staged badges, eg. IT stage 1 (on left arm)

All other beaver badges can be put on their camp blanket if they have one.

Scouts will be given a new necker and woggle when they are invested.  We issue new neckers as the old one has often faded and then the old one becomes useful as a backup. For their first week if possible, or by their investiture, please move the following badges;

  • Name-tape, District, County and Group badges (all on right arm)
  • Silver Chief Scouts Award if they gained it
  • The highest Participation badge (usually 4 year)
  • Any Staged badges, eg. Swimming stage 2

All other Cub badges can be put on their camp blanket if they have one.

Uniform

What uniform does my child need?

Beavers need a Beaver sweatshirt and scouting Activity Trousers.  They might also like a Beaver polo shirt but this is optional. This should be worn with black school shoes.

Cubs need a Cubs sweatshirt and the same scouting Activity Trousers. This should be worn with black school shoes.

Scouts need a Scout Shirt, and the same scouting Activity Trousers and a scout belt. This should be worn with boots or black school shoes.

All young people are given a necker and a woggle by the Group when they are invested.

Where can I get the uniform?

There is info about online and local Scout shops on the Christchurch district website. As a group, we would encourage you to use these as the profits go back into scouting.

If you are interested in recycled uniform, the Group holds a small stock. Ask a leader when you’re next at HQ.

There is a commercial shop in New Milton – PMG Schoolwear.

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