Weclome to Scouting

Now that your child is becoming a Cub Scout you will want to know a little more about the Scout movement and how you can help them to get the most out of it. This page tells you more about it and also how our group fits in.

The worldwide family of Scouts is some 16 million strong and has been going from strength to strength ever since Lord Baden-Powell founded it in 1907. The Cub Scout section was formed in 1916. In the UK alone there are over 600,000 members of the Scout Association, half of whom are Cub Scouts. Now your child is joining a Cub Scout Pack. The Cub Scout Leader runs the Pack with a team of assistants. The Cubs usually call the leader Akela (pronounced ar-kay-la) and the assistant leaders by other names based on the Jungle Book. In 2nd Bracknell we have a Baloo (bar-loo), M
ang, Chil, Hathi, Raksha and Kali. The Cub Pack is broken into smaller groups called Sixes – each led by an older Cub Scout called a Sixer.

The Cub Scout Pack is part of a Scout Group. The Group is made up of:

  • a Beaver Scout Colony for young people aged 6-8 years,
  • a Cub Scout Pack for young people aged 8-10½ years,
  • a Scout Troop for young people aged 10½ years to 14 years,
  • an Explorer Scout unit for young people aged 14 to 18 years,
  • a Group Executive Committee of parents and friends of the young people in the Colony, Pack, Troop and Unit.

Each section is led by trained adult leaders, watched over by a Group Scout Leader (GSL) who co-ordinates the work of all the sections. Together, several groups make up a District, led by the District Commissioner (DC) and a team of Assistant District Commissioners (ADC). A number of districts in turn make up a County, with a County Commissioner (CC) and a team of Assistant County Commissioners (ACC).

Our Group, District & County
How does this national picture fit in to the structure of 2nd Bracknell? Find out 
more about our group.
Our District is called South East Berks and covers Ascot, Binfield, Bullbrook, Forest Park, Harmanswater, Priestwood, and Sunningdale. (The other estates in Bracknell – Birch Hill, Easthampstead, Great Hollands and Wildridings are in the South Berks District). Together with other Districts from Slough in the east to Newbury in the west, we form the County of Royal Berkshire. If you are interested in Scouting outside South East Berks you can get more information via the Berkshire Scouts website.

Girls in Scouting
National policy is that girls may join any section subject to the approval of its leaders. 
We accept girls into all our sections.

What are we trying to do?
The Cub Scout Programme encourages a Cub:

  • to grow up to be fit and able to look after themselves,
  • to discover new skills and interests,
  • to think positively about themselves and other people, and
  • to acquire an ability to meet and overcome challenges.

All our activities are based on the Cub Scout Promise and Law. Your Cub will be asked to formally make their promise at their investiture ceremony which you will be invited to attend.

The Training Programme
The method of training in Scouting is ‘learning by doing’ through participation in the Balanced Programme – so the programme will include games, handicrafts, challenges, competitions, camps, expeditions and outings.

  • The joining-in award is a special award given at yearly intervals to Cubs as recognition for their participation in the balanced programme. The anniversary date is the date they were invested – either into the pack or, if they have come to Cubs from Beavers, into the colony.
  • Challenge badges can be earned as a result of taking part in the programme. They cover five areas – outdoor, global, fitness, promise, community and creative.
  • The Chief Scout’s Silver Award is the highest award in the Cub Scout section. To complete it a Cub must gain all six of the challenge badges.
  • In addition, Cub Scouts can work towards a series of activity badges which cover a particular activity or interest.

Most activities are designed to be done within the Pack but some may be done at home where parents can help the Cub complete the activities. The more they do for themselves the better, but some help and encouragement from you will be useful. We don’t put badge requirements on our site but they can easily be obtained by clicking on the “Badges and Awards” link which is included on every page on this website.

The Scout Association is a registered charity and similarly 2nd Bracknell Scout Group is also registered (Charity number 300485). With the exception of some staff at Headquarters (in London) all the leaders are volunteers and receive no financial reward for their time. Inevitably there are costs that have to be met (e.g. insurance, hall upkeep, gas and electricity bills). There is also the Membership Fee that is paid to Scout Headquarters in London each year by every member of the Association. It is used to pay for Scout Insurance and the headquarters organisation. Our District and County keep part of the fee for their expenses. In 2012 the Membership Fee was just over £32 for every member. Typically we have to raise some £7000 each year to meet these expenses.

Group Subscription (Subs)
The day to day running of the Pack is funded using your weekly Subs. They are currently £30 a term. Envelopes are generally sent out in the first week of a new term as a reminder that Subs are due. Please try to pay them as soon as you can. In addition to the running costs mentioned above, this money is used to pay for badges and the resource material needed to run the pack. The national Membership Fee is paid from group funds – you do not have to pay it separately. If you register for Gift Aid we can claim back tax on your Subs. 
Thanks to around 75% of the group that have registered their Subs payments for Gift Aid we claimed £1751 in 2011/12. Our Group Treasurer has prepared a simple form to allow you to register. If you have any questions about the scheme please contact him.

Fund Raising
The fund raising activities are co-ordinated by the Group Executive Committee. Don’t forget to visit our web site – http://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/2ndbracknellscouts/ when you are shopping online. From train tickets to insurance, holidays to stationery, there are over 2000 retailers in our online shop. You won’t be able to remember them all but the “Find&Remind” toolbar will, It will alert you when you visit a retailer that offers us commission. Do one thing – download the “Find&Remind” toolbar and you’ll earn us 50p – no purchase necessary! For more information please visit our fund raising page.

Saturday Activities
We are a fairly active group and each term organise several trips, expeditions and camps. The dates are all shown on the 
programme for the term, which also gives details of the activities that will take place at Pack Meetings. For major trips and camps an additional note giving more details is normally sent home nearer the time. The group has its own minibus but for major events we may also have to rely on parent’s cars. Any parents who can offer transport help (and who do not mind having a car full of Cubs) for a particular trip should inform the leaders. We try to offer a wide range of activities outside Pack Meetings and hope that every Cub will find that there is something on that they want to attend. Cubs that only come to Pack Meetings will not get the most out of their time with us.

Storage of Personal Information
The Scout Movement in the United Kingdom is a membership organisation. To enable it to operate and communicate with its members it is necessary to maintain records about them. This includes keeping details of name, address, date of birth and contact telephone numbers. We also keep records of progress through Scouting – badges gained etc. Information held in our group may be shared from time to time within Scouting, including the Headquarters of the Association.
New legislation came into force in March 2000 which covers the protection and processing of personal data. Adults and young people have the same rights under the Data Protection Act 1988 which covers paper-based as well as computer-based information. Information that we hold will only be used in connection with your child’s membership of the Scout Movement and will not be passed to third parties outside the Scout Movement without your consent. You may ask to see the information that we hold. If you have any concerns about this policy please talk to a leader or see our Data Protection statement.
It is important that we always have your correct address and telephone number for use in emergencies. If you do move house or change your number please tell us.

How can you help?
As well as encouraging your Cub with their activities and badges there may be other ways that you can help the leaders in the Pack. Specialist skills (especially those that can help with upkeep of the hall), help with transport or simply an extra pair of hands on a busy Pack night or outing are always welcome. As a parent of a Cub Scout you are a member of the Group Council which usually meets once a year for the Annual General Meeting (AGM). When your Cub has settled in, perhaps you might help on the Group Executive Committee, which is elected at the AGM. They normally meet at the hall after Cubs on the second Thursday of each month. The committee looks after fund raising and the administration of the group as a whole. You may feel that you are able to offer regular help with Scouting in the Group by becoming a leader. Remember that there is more to 
2nd Bracknell Scout Group than just the Cubs and all sections would be glad of extra help. For more information have a look at our “joining in” page, chat with one of the leaders or complete our enquiry form. When parents, young people and leaders all work together, the result is good Scouting for everyone.

Further Information
It is likely that you still have some questions. For example – what time does Cubs start, where do I get the uniform from? You will be pleased to hear that your 
questions have been answered on another page.
If you have any questions about Cub Scouts or our 
group in general, please feel free to contact any of the leaders who will be happy to help you. We hope that all our new members are made to feel welcome but we recognise that starting Cubs can be a bit of an ordeal. If you find that your child is not enjoying their Cub Scouting as much as you think that they should be, please try to find out what the problem is and then talk to the leaders. We will do all we can to help. Above all, do not just stop coming without saying a word to anybody, as that way the leaders will not know what the problem is.