16th Morecambe & Heysham Scouts

Providing information about the Troop and its Scouting Activities

Troop Information Pack

Welcome to the 16th Morecambe Scout Troop. This page provides details relating to all aspects of the Scout Troop and is intended to provide Scouts and their parents with everything they need to know on joining one of the most progressive, active and successful Scout Troops around. However, if you require further information on any matter do not hesitate to contact one of the leadership team on Friday evenings or phone the Scout Leader.

Scouting

Scouting is the largest worldwide youth organisation. The aim of the Scout Association is to develop young people into responsible citizens through a progressive programme of challenging, adventurous and fun activities.

The 16th Morecambe Scout Group has the following sections:

Beaver Colony
Cub Packs (2)
Scout Troop

Beaver Scouts are young people usually aged between six and eight years old. They belong to the first and youngest Section in the Scouting family. Young people can join Beaver Scouts in the three months leading up to their sixth birthday. They can move to the next Section, Cub Scouts, between eight and eight years six months.

The Scout Section is for young people, usually aged between 10½ and 14 years. A young person can come in to the Troop at 10 and may stay until they are 14½. The Scout Troop is the third and final Section in the Scout Group.

Membership of the 16th Morecambe Scout Group is open to males and females.

Explorer Scouts are young people, usually aged between 14 and 18 years old. They make up the fourth Section of the Scouting family. There are many types of Explorer Scout Units, some may be linked to local Scout Groups, as in our case, others may be based around different activities.

The Group's Leaders

Almost all adults in Scouting, including uniformed leaders, are volunteers, that is they give their time FREE. The Scout Leader has overall responsibility for the Scout Troop, and the activities which members take part in. The services of other authorised leaders/supporters may sometimes be sought for instruction in specialist activities such as climbing and canoeing. The Scout Leader delegates responsibilities to Assistant Leaders and to older Scouts themselves, when appropriate. Each section has its own team of Leaders and they are run independently, although links do exist between all the parts or the 16th Morecambe Group.

The Group Scout Leader provides support for all the Sections and is charged with the task of developing Scouting within the Group.

In addition to the uniformed leaders, there is a dedicated team of adults who are responsible for keeping the Group running and maintaining its equipment and building through fundraising activities e.g. Jumble Sales, Scouts Christmas Post etc. The efforts of these people are co-ordinated by the Group Chairman.

What is Scouting?

Scouts are encouraged to take part in a wide range of activities as part of their programme. "Participation" rather than meeting set standards is the key approach and for the Scout who wants to be recognised for his or her achievements there are a number of Challenges, Awards and Activity Badges.

Scouts take part in a balanced programme that helps them to find out about the world in which they live, encourages them to know their own abilities and the importance of keeping fit and helps develop their creative talents. It also provides opportunities to explore their own values and personal attitudes To gain a badge, Scouts must complete a series of tasks. These tasks are explained and laid out in each Scout's Record Book, which is provided for boys when they join the troop. The requirements may also be found in the Award literature held by the Scout Leader.

In the course of our weekly meetings, Scouts will undertake a number of badgework requirements automatically. However, by far the fastest way to gain badges is for boys to take part in camps and trips. Being outdoors is important and half the Programme is given over to taking part in both the traditional Scouting skills, such as camping, survival and cooking as well as the wide range of adventurous activities, anything from abseiling to yachting.

The international aspect gives Scouting a special appeal and many Scouts now travel abroad during their time in the Section. In 1998 2,000 Scouts from the UK attended the World Jamboree in Chile.  Scouting is about being with friends, as part of a team, participating fully in the adventure and opportunities of life. Promise and Law

The underlying values of Scouting are written into the Scout Promise and Law. Scouts are required to accept this as a list of values before they are invested as members of the Troop.

The Scout Promise is:

On My Honour, I promise that I will do my best To do my duty to God and to the Queen, To help other people And to keep the Scout Law

The Scout Law is:

1. A Scout is to be trusted.
2. A Scout is loyal.
3. A Scout is friendly and considerate.
4. A Scout belongs to the worldwide family of Scouts.
5. A Scout has courage in all difficulties.
6. A Scout makes good use of time and is careful of possessions and property. 7. A Scout has self-respect and respect for others.

The Patrol System

The Scouts in the Troop are organised into Patrols, consisting of between 4 - 8 members of varying ages. Each Patrol has a Patrol Leader (P.L.) who is chosen by the other members of that Patrol and the Scout Leader. P.L's then choose their assistants (A.P.L's), to help them with their Patrol. The P.L's & A.P.L's work with the Scout Leader and his Assistants to plan and carry out the activities for the Troop.

At camp, Patrols camp and cook as a team and take part in the camp activities as one unit. The wishes of new members to the Troop will be taken into account before being placed in a Patrol. If however your child is unhappy in his allotted Patrol, please speak to the Scout Leader.

Behaviour and Discipline

One of the ingredients of any good Scout Troop is underlying discipline. All members are expected to behave sensibly and appropriately. Inappropriate behaviour will not be accepted. Generally, minor infringements and incidents will be dealt with by a reprimand. More serious examples, such as bullying, will result in a member's parents being contacted, and the child possibly being asked not to attend Scouts for a period of time. These measures may seem obvious, but we feel that it is important that all Scouts are aware of what is expected of them. Patrol Leaders and other older Scouts in particular will be expected to set a good example to the younger members of the Troop.

Uniform

The Scout Troop is part of the Scout Association, which is a uniformed organisation. The uniform worn, with pride in this Scout Troop, comprises the teal green scout shirt, scout belt, scout activity trousers (navy blue) or school trousers (grey) and black shoes (not trainers please).

In the summer months, the Troop T-shirt worn with casual, smart, self-colour pants, and trainers, replaces the shirt. Scout shirts and belts can be purchased from the local Scout Shop. Profits from this shop are ploughed back into local scouting. Troop neckerchiefs are available via the Scout Leaders free of charge.

Commitment and Obligations

Members of 16th Morecambe Scouts are expected to take an active role in the activities of the Troop. The following should be considered the minimum commitment from a Scout:
• Attend all Scout meetings unless ill or away
• Take part in at least one overnight event each session
• Take part in St George's Day Parade in April

The Troop has an active programme. It is hoped that Scouts will want to take advantage of the opportunities on offer to them. If Scouts have to miss meetings due to schoolwork, sports commitments or illness, they should inform the Scout Leader as soon as possible. The policy is that Scouts who miss three meetings in any month will forfeit their place in the Troop unless they have contacted the Scout Leader.

When meetings take place at venues other than at H.Q. transport will usually be provided via the Group's own minibus. Assistance may sometimes be requested when numbers require this and this will be appreciated.

Scouts and parents will be sent copies of letters about camps and trips as and when arranged. These will usually be distributed at Scout meetings, please ask your son to give his letters to you to read. As well as information about Scout Camps and Trips, a Troop newsletter is produced as and when required. This contains a diary of events and also details of the Troop meetings taking place.

Parental Responsibilities

It is expected that parents of Scouts will want to support their child's Scout Group. There are many ways in which this support can be given:
• In prompt payment of Subscriptions, for Camps, Trips etc.
• By supporting the Group's fund-raising activities
• Attending the Group's AGM in May/June.
• By completing a GiftAid form
• Transport for your child to Camps & Events
• By buying their uniform

The quality of Scouting that is offered to members of the Group can be improved with assistance from parents at troop meetings and at camps and events. This help doesn't necessarily have to be by directly working with the Scouts, indeed, a great deal of work is done behind the scenes. If you have any time to give or would just like some more information on ways to help please contact the Scout Leader or Group Scout Leader.

In particular, help is needed from people with experience of outdoor pursuits such as walking and climbing. If you have anything to offer, only if it is just one day a year, please do get in touch.

Financial Matters

There is a subscription charge of £35, paid three times per year. Part of this subscription goes to the Scout Association nationally and provides insurance cover, part goes to the County Scout organisation, part to the Local Scout District, covering amongst other things, camping fees at the local campsites, and a contribution to the Jamboree fund and part goes towards running costs of Troop night activities and badges.

Reminders will be sent, where necessary, to all Scouts at the relevant time and prompt payment is appreciated.

On joining, a GiftAid form is given to the parents of all Scouts, by filling in this form the Group can claim back, from the Inland Revenue, the tax you have paid on your child's subscription. This is worth about £10 per Scout, or around £850 for the whole Group at the present time. Completing the form puts you under no obligation for your son to remain in Scouts, and personal information about salary is NOT required. We ask all parents to complete the form if at all possible - it really is money for old rope!

Sometimes, we ask for a contribution towards activities undertaken, over and above the 'normal' troop night events. This can be a fee for a term or for a particular event. We hope parents appreciate the need for us to ask for a little extra on occasions to help pay for the extensive range of activities undertaken.

Larger capital requirements e.g. tents, minibus insurance and tax and Headquarters maintenance costs have to be met solely from Group fundraising efforts. The Scout Association provides no funds in this respect.

Camps and Trips

Payments for camps/trips usually consist of a deposit when a Scout signs up for a camp/trip and then the balance closer to the event. Deposits are NOT refundable. They are often used to pay for buildings and transport many months in advance. It is sometimes possible to refund the balance for a camp if a child falls ill; however, this depends on the nature of the camp and the number of participants. Without a deposit being paid, unless arrangements have been made with the Scout Leader, a place will NOT be reserved on ANY activity.

Membership of the Troop

Membership is open to any child of the appropriate age (10 - 14½ years).

Activities and Supervision

Part of the appeal of Scouting is the provision of adventurous activities whether they are canoeing, climbing or a walk around a campsite in the dark. The Scout Association has strict rules regulating such activities and when appropriate trained Instructors are used for activities.

As members get older, they are encouraged to take a leadership role in the Scout Troop. This is always done under the overall supervision of the Scout Leader; again following nationally set guidelines. Generally, camps and events run for the whole Troop are organised by the Leaders in liaison with the older Scouts, whereas smaller Patrol events are organised more by the members themselves. In the documentation circulated to parents about particular events, the level of supervision will always be made clear.

From time to time, training will be arranged in some outdoor sports, such as canoeing, to allow Scouts to gain their own qualifications. On all Scout events, a first aid kit is carried and all Leaders are trained in basic first aid.

Equipment for Camping

The Scout Group has most of the major items of camping equipment, such as tents and stoves. However, Scouts are expected to provide some items for themselves. A full kit list is issued for camps and trips.

The equipment listed below has been split into 3 categories.

Essential items: - Sleeping bag. Sleeping mat. Strong boots or shoes. Waterproof cagoule-type coat. Plastic Mug I Plate I Bowl. Knife I Fork I Spoon.

Desirable items. - Good quality torch Waterproof overtrousers Small day rucksack

Nice to have but not too important Warm sleeping bag (3/4 season)

Equipment for Hiking

Some of the most popular activities in Scouts are Hiking and Mountaineering. The following list provides details of the kind of equipment Scouts should own or have access to for taking part in these activities. The equipment listed should be considered the minimum; there are other things, which are useful, that the Scouts will learn about with experience.

For all hikes and mountain activities: - Leather/Fabric hiking boots. Thick socks (2 pairs) Waterproof cagoule Fleece jacket Small day rucksack Strong 1 litre water bottle Whistle Plastic Survival Bag For lightweight camping when tents are carried: Larger rucksack, around 40-60 litres capacity Fairly small sleeping bag For winter hiking: Waterproof overtrousers Unbreakable thermos flask

Also nice, but not essential: 'Silva' type compass Gaiters

Cheques should be made payable to:
For camps and trips: 16th Morecambe Scout TROOP
For Subs: 16th Morecambe Scout GROUP

The Balanced Programme

The philosophy underpinning the programme is that every Scout should participate in a Balanced Programme over a period of time - usually one year. In Scouting, "programme" has the widest possible interpretation. Programme is not just all the activities that Scouts can take part in. It includes almost anything from archery to youth hostelling. It is also how we do those activities, known as the method, and why we do them, known as the purpose. This means that when Leaders plan an activity for their Scouts, they need to consider how the activity will be done, why they are doing it and how it fits into the Balanced Programme.

The second word to consider is "balanced". The Programme is designed to help young people to grow and develop so at it's heart are six "personal development areas”. Body, Mind, Faith and Beliefs, Relationships, Community, Surroundings For Scouting to achieve its purpose, Scouts need to grow and develop in each of these areas, through a Balanced Programme that offers the widest variety of activities and methods.

Programme Zones

Programme Zones split the whole programme into manageable areas. Each Zone represents a different development area in a young person's life.

There are six Programme Zones in the Scout Section. They are: Scoutcraft and Adventure, Global, Community, Fit for Life, Exploring Beliefs and Attitudes, Creative Expression These Zones are delivered using 10 methods, which give the programme variety and range. Sometimes one method will be more suitable than another. On occasions the troop may use a number of methods within the same activity. Giving Scouts opportunities to take part in: Activities outdoors, Games, Design and creativity, Visits and visitors, Service, Technology and new skills, Team-building activities, Activities with others, Themes, Prayer, worship and reflection.

If a Scout has not quite completed the requirements for the top award before they move on to the Explorer Scout Unit, they may complete it in their early weeks in the Explorer Scout Unit.

Badges and Awards

Membership and Participation Awards

The Membership and Participation Awards signify that a Scout has made their promise and has participated in the programme for a period of time.
• The Moving on Award (Cub Scout to Scout)
• The Scout Membership Award
• Participation Awards
• The Moving on Award (Scout to Explorer Scout)

Challenges

The Challenges complement the balanced programme. These have been developed to extend Scouts' skills and experience. The Challenges are optional and continue throughout the Sections providing continuity from age 6 to 25.
• The Outdoor Challenge
• The Outdoor Plus Challenge
• The Creative Challenge
• The Fitness Challenge
• The Global Challenge
• The Community Challenge
• The Adventure Challenge
• The Expedition Challenge
• The Promise Challenge

Chief Scout’s Gold Award

This badge is the highest award available in the Scout Section. It is gained by completing: The Promise Challenge, The Community Challenge, The Fitness Challenge, The Creative Challenge, The Global Challenge, The Outdoor Challenge and two of the following: The Outdoor Plus Challenge, The Adventure Challenge, The Expedition Challenge

Activity Badges

There are 69 Activity badges specially designed for the Scout section, along with the four Staged badges

Partnership Awards

Additionally there are three awards to be completed in association with other sections of the Group.
• The International Award
• The Faith Award
• The Environment Award

The Internet - Troop Website

Check the programme for the forthcoming session and follow all our activities by visiting the Troop website at:- http://www.16thmorecambescouts.org.uk/