Frequently Asked Questions

Camps & activities

How often do you go camping?

As often as possible!  We try to make sure that everyone has the option to attend at least one "nights away" event per year, and we aim to run more events if we can.  As you move up through the sections you will get the chance to go on more and longer camps!


How much do camps cost?

The cost of camp varies as it it depends on where we're going and what we’re doing.  In general, a weekend camp at one of our local campsites will cost around £30 - £45.

If you'd like to come on camp but you're concerned about the cost, then please speak to your leader in confidence - we don't want the cost of activities to be barrier to people taking part.


Where do you go for camps & activities?

We go to a number of different places for camps and activities, unfortunately most places are only accessible by car.  If needed we'll provide directions as part of the activity information.  Directions to some of the sites we use frequently are available by clicking on the links below:


I've lost my camp forms and information - how can I get another set?

You can access copies of emails that we've sent on OSM.  You might also be able to download forms and other attachments from the event page on OSM.  Otherwise, contact your section leader and they'll be able to provide you with another set.


What kit do I need to bring for camp & activities?

This'll depend on what we're doing, and when and where we’re doing it!  We'll let you know what you need for a specific camp or activity in plenty of time before we go. If you're looking for a general guide to what you'll need our Gear Guide contains generic kit lists for different activities.

Don’t bring your latest designer clothes and shoes for camps or activities, your parents won’t appreciate them coming back covered in mud or full of holes from the camp fire!

If you’re a Scout who likes getting wet and muddy (or just has a natural ability for finding a bog in a desert even if you didn’t mean to) then please bring extra changes of clothes on top of what's on the kit list!


Do I really need everything on the kit list?

Short answer – yes!  Our kit lists are based on many years of experience of running activities and camps. We know that warm, dry Scouts tend to be happy Scouts who’ll enjoy their activities and get the most out of their adventure, and our kit lists are based on this! 

If you have questions about specific items of kit or the amount of kit required in general, then please speak to the leader in charge of the activity.


What about safety or specialist equipment?

Generally we will provide any specialist or safety equipment needed for an activity (for example buoyancy aids or helmets for water activities). If you need to bring anything other than personal clothing - we'll tell you.


I'm thinking of buying some new kit - can you give me some advice?

If you’re thinking about buying new kit, have a look at our Gear Guide which has information to help you choose (and look after) the most important bits of kit that you'll need as a Scout. 

If you're still unsure about what you need, please speak to your leaders - we’re always happy to give you advice based on our experiences (and we'd much rather you asked than buy something that isn't going to do the job).


Where can I get kit?  Does anyone do discounts for Scouts?

Any good outdoors shop should be able to help kit you out, we've listed a few suggestions in our Gear Guide.  Make sure you ask the staff for help and advice, particularly with buying things like boots.

It's worth asking about discounts for Scouts wherever you go.


Is my kit insured?

Unfortunately not - The Scouts do not provide insurance for personal effects, equipment or clothing.


Can I bring electronic gadgets?

In general we don't allow electronic gadgets at Scouting activities - and you'll be too busy having fun to want to use them! (Plus, wet/muddy Scouting activities tend to be bad news for expensive technology and we don't provide insurance for personal items.)

That said, if you want to bring a camera to capture some of the excitement that's normally OK - but please don't bring a top of the range DSLR!


Can I bring a knife?

If you're a Beaver or a Cub then we're sorry but the answer's no!  (But we might bring knives for you to use under supervision if it's appropriate.)

For Scouts, this will depend on the camp.  If it's appropriate for you to bring a knife to camp we'll include it on the kit list as an optional item (we'll always bring knives if they're needed so you don't need to have your own). 

Your knife should be packed in your main kit bag for travelling and it should stay in your kit bag unless you've been told you can use it.  


What about food?

We will tell you what food you need to bring - if any.

For a one-day activity you will normally need to bring a packed lunch, drink, and possibly some snacks.  On camp, we normally provide all of your meals, although we might ask you to bring a packed lunch or tea so you've got something to eat on the first day whilst we're travelling or setting up.

Camp food is good, it might not be Michelin Star cooking but its normally pretty tasty and there's plenty of it.  The menu varies from camp to camp but a typical menu for a weekend camp might look like this:

Hot dogs &
hot chocolate
Sausage, eggy bread
& baked beans
Sandwiches & soup
Fruit, crisps &
chocolate biscuit
Sweet & sour chicken
with rice
Cake & custard
Camp doughnuts
& hot chocolate
Bacon butties
Fruit, crisps &
chocolate biscuit


If you have particular dietary requirements (allergies, vegetarians, religious requirements) - please talk to your leader.  In some cases we might ask your parents to help us identify products that you can eat or, potentially, to provide an alternative meal.

If you're sometimes a slightly fussy eater - don't panic - a lot of our Scouts have found that the magic of camp cooking turns food they thought they didn't like into something they really enjoy!  You'll also come across some things on our menus that you might not have had before (e.g. eggy bread or camp doughnuts) - give them a go, you'll probably find you like them!  However, if there is something that you know you really, really, really can't/won't eat - please ask your parents to talk to your leader beforehand.


Why can't I bring sweets & snacks on camp?

There're three main reasons for this rule (it isn't because we're trying to be mean):

Firstly, we promise we'll feed you! So by the time you go to bed you shouldn't be hungry, and once you're in bed we want you to go to sleep so you're ready for the next day - not stay up and make yourself sick eating sweets and crisps.

Secondly, accidents happen - food and drink gets split (or people can eat too much and ...) and it's not nice if it's your sleeping bag that gets soaked in sticky coke at bed time. (Plus left-over food and drink might attract animals or insects.)

Finally - we try to look after our equipment so it's in good condition ready for our next camp, in the past we've had to throw tents away because spilt sweets and crisps weren't cleaned up and the tent became irrecoverably mouldy.


I've got a medical condition, will that stop me from coming on camp or doing activities?

We'll have to discuss this with you and your parents, but in general we can work with most medical conditions.  There may be some higher risk activities where you might be limited in what you can do, but we'll try to make sure that you can do as much as possible.


I have to take regular medication, is that going to be a problem?

No!  We're used to managing regular medication on camps and at activities. From insulin injections to antibiotics, and from pain killers to inhalers we've seen most things, but please talk to us before camp about your medication and what we need to do. We can deal with medication that has to be stored cold.

When you come on camp, please make sure your medication has your name on it and is handed to a leader at the start of camp with instructions for administration (when, how and how much).


I'm worried about feeling homesick

Don't worry - you're not alone, however we generally find that once you get to camp there's so much going on that you won't have time to be homesick!

Occasionally some young people do get homesick (and they're in good company, some of our leaders were homesick when they were Scouts), normally keeping busy and then a good night's sleep is all you need and you'll be rearing to go the next morning.

We try to discourage phoning home as this normally makes the homesickness worse.  For similar reasons, parents, please don't try to ring the camp or drop-in unless it's a real emergency - enjoy the peace and quiet while it lasts!

Parents, although we know it's intended as reassurance, telling your young person that if they have any problems all they have to do is tell a leader and you'll come to get them can actually be counter productive.  It embeds the idea that they might get homesick, and by setting the expectation that they can come home it makes it harder for us to encourage them to try and stay at camp.  We will call home and ask parents to collect people from camp if we need to, but most young people who stay on camp find that they can cope with home sickness, and our leaders will encourage and support them in doing so. 

If concerns about feeling homesick get raised in the lead up to camp, reassure your young person that they'll be too busy having fun to get homesick, and if they are feeling a bit homesick that they should talk to a leader (but without setting an expectation about what we'll then do).  If you or your young person are still  concerned, please talk to your leaders before camp so we can offer some direct reassurance too. 


I'm worried about bed-wetting

This can be a concern but it doesn't mean that you can't come on camp.  Please speak to your leader before camp; if necessary we can make sure there's somewhere private you can get changed if there is an accident, and we can look after a spare sleeping bag for you.  We'd also recommend packing some extra pyjamas or changes of clothes.


I want to help at camp, can I?

Yes!  We'd love you to come and help. 

However, all adults present at an overnight event must have completed a Disclosure and Barring Service check for Scouting - please look at the Safety & safeguarding FAQ page for more information.

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