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Planning an outing

Outings and visits are an important part of a quality programme. The leadership team is encouraged to offer at least one evening or day outing in each three to four month planning cycle and a variety of outings during the time a young person is in the section. Whether outings take place within the normal meeting hours or at other times, the key to a successful trip is excellent organisation and planning. And remember – enjoy it!

Where to go

Think about: your local community (parks, Scout campsite, library, historical buildings), theme parks, a museum, an activity day, the seaside and linking the trip to your programme.

Facilities and risk assessment

Think about: having a pre-visit to your chosen destination to familiarise yourself with the layout and facilities. Be sure to consider toilets, first aid, boundaries and any out of bounds areas. More information on risk assessments is available at scouts.org.uk/safety


Think about: distance to travel, the time, cost and safety. It is essential that parents/carers know exactly how their child is to be transported and are comfortable with the arrangements. When you are using parents/carers cars, by law they must have at least third party insurance. For insurance purposes, Scouting is classed as a social, domestic or pleasure activity so parents will not need extra motor insurance.


Think about: accurately calculating costs and group/advanced booking discounts. It is important to plan an outing that is accessible to all young people, and that support with the costs is available for those families who need it.

The Group Executive Committee may agree to pay for that young person or come to some other agreement. Support may also be available through the District, County or equivalent.  You can also apply to the Scout Grants Committee for grants to support young people or adults in financial hardship to take part in Scouting.  For more information, visit scouts.org.uk/grants

Adult help

Think about: the ratio of adults to young people, asking other leaders in the Group, Scout Active Support and parents/carers (let the young people know who is attending). The recommended minimum ratio for Beaver Scouts and Cub Scouts can be found in Policy, Organisation and Rules, Chapter 3. Refer to POR rule 3.26 to see who must have a personal enquiry carried out. More information on the process can be obtained from the Scout Information Centre.


A personal accident and medical expenses insurance policy is provided by the Association to cover all members. Non members such as parents/carers or supporters are not provided with the same automatic basic cover. In some cases it may be wise to consult with your Group Scout Leader to consider expanding cover. More information is available from Unity (Scout Insurance Services).

Who to inform

Inform your Group Scout Leader, who should in turn inform the District Commissioner. Parents/carers should be fully briefed on what activities are planned and what arrangements have been made. The Activity Information Form (FS120081) can be used to send parents the necessary details.


It is a requirement that an InTouch system is in place to ensure that everyone involved is aware of how communication will take place between leaders, participants and those not on the trip, a register of who is present is created should anything go wrong, and there is a system in place in the event of an emergency.


During the outing or activity, remember to perform regular headcounts of the young people in your care. A headcount is an effective method of ensuring the group is together and complete. You can organise the young people into their lodges/sixes/patrols or ask them to have a buddy to make headcounts easier and more efficient.

More safety information.

After the outing

The leader of the outing should ensure that outstanding bills are paid, a visit account is prepared for the Group Treasurer and notes are kept of the arrangements for future reference.


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Charity Numbers 306101 (England and Wales) and SC038437 (Scotland).
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