Scouting in the United Kingdom comes under the umbrella of The Scout Association. There are other branches around, but I don't know any. They often meet in church halls, so go down and have a look!

The movement has recently undergone a programme review, including new uniforms and age group changes. The second-to-top age group is the 14-18 group (which I am in) called Explorer Scouts. Above is the Scout Network, supposedly found at universities etc. Below us (in descending order) come Scouts, Cubs and Beavers.

Depending on the levels within the movement, you generally work towards badges and certificates. Badges are sewn on your uniform, which is generally worn to meetings, depending on the attitude of your Scout Group

Different levels within the movement (i.e. Explorers/Cubs etc) are managed at different levels, such as county/district level. This can be a pain, as my Explorer Scout unit has people from all over the district, and still only has about 6 regular members.

Activities generally have an outdoors theme, which can be great for geeks like me to go and meet people and get some fresh air. Camping is arranged pretty regularly, some involving a hike to the campsite. Camping IS fun, it only becomes not fun when you moan, and don’t enjoy yourself. Admittedly this is dependant on the weather: I had a weeks camp in Suffolk that was really fun because we had good sunshine, and a weekend in Hertfordshire where one group woke up and found themselves floating in their sleeping bags.

Baden-Powell was a great believer in teamwork, and this is illustrated in his yarns, which he originally released in magazine format, and were used to set up the first Scout Groups. This is implemented in the form of Patrols (Scouts), and Sixes (Cubs), and Lodges (Beavers), and often these groups work as team in games, stay in one tent, and compete against other teams.

The original motto was "Be Prepared", but I don’t know if this is still the case. This was meant in two ways, physically (i.e. carrying the necessary equipment), and mentally (i.e. knowing how to use it).

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