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The Scouting Programme

The word ‘Programme’ in Scouting refers to the range of activities, challenges and experiences that young people experience in Scouting.
The Scouting Programme provides a structure of badges and awards, which are progressive through the sections, and based on a number of objectives. The objectives are based on Scouting’s Purpose to ‘actively engage and support young people in their personal development, empowering them to make a positive contribution to society’.

The Scouting Programme for all five sections is based around three main themes: outdoor and adventure, world and skills. This programme of activities is planned by the leadership team in partnership with young people, and should incorporates elements from each theme, to offer young people the most interesting and diverse experience.

There is flexibility within Scouting which means that all young people, regardless of their abilities, can enjoy and achieve. The Programme should be flexible and have room to adapt and accommodate the needs of the individuals in the section, with the focus being on personal development. For more information, see our flexibility statement.

For more information about the Scouting Programme, watch the video below or download the Scouting Programme Leaflet.

Quality Programme

A Quality Programme is Challenging, Relevant and Rewarding for every young person.

What we mean by Challenging

What we mean by Relevant

What we mean by Rewarding

Information and resources to help sections review their programme can be found here.

The Programme Methods

The Scout Method states in general terms the key ways that Scouting is delivered. The programme methods build on this with specific examples of types of activities that young people should experience or take part in while they are in Scouting. Overall the methods are designed to offer a framework of ways that Scouting can be delivered to make sure that young people have a positive and well rounded experience.

Scout Method

Programme methods

Scouting takes place when young people, in partnership with adults, work together based on the values of Scouting and:

This means that young people get to experience or take part in the following things as part of the programme:

• Enjoy what they are doing and have fun

• Having fun

• Meeting new people, making friends and developing relationships

• Take part in activities indoors and outdoors

• Undertake new and challenging activities


• Spending time outdoors

• Games – physical and adventurous activities

• Design and creativity

• Visits and visitors

• Camps, sleepovers, international trips and other residential experiences

• Learn by doing

• Take responsibility and make choices


• Working in small teams

• Trying new things, and learning new skills

• Teambuilding and leadership activities

• Taking responsibility, giving ideas and opinions, making choices and decisions

• Share in spiritual reflection

• Make and live by their Promise


• Spiritual reflection

• Finding out about themselves

• Community action

• Keeping the Promise

Programme Objectives

In order to make sure that the programme meets Scouting’s fundamental purpose, a number of programme objectives set out what young people of different ages should gain from taking part in Scouting. The programme objectives underpin the requirements of the badges, awards and other programme elements. This means that if you are running a quality programme and young people have the opportunity to achieve Chief Scout’s Awards and the Queen’s Scout Award, they will be meeting the programme objectives.

The objectives are based on Scouting’s Purpose: ‘Scouting exists to
actively engage and support young people in their personal development,
empowering them to make a positive contribution to society’.

Personal development in this context is about meeting the needs of young
people in terms of holistic self development. Scouting addresses many
needs of young people including: having fun, building and maintaining
relationships, personal development, self-respect, discernment and
empowerment. Personal development includes social, physical, intellectual,
emotional and spiritual development.

The programme objectives are broken down into these five areas of personal
development. Detailed objectives relate more specifically to the needs of
young people.

Physical - There are two objectives in this area of development – health and fitness – which include the impact of diet, illness and exercise, as well as how to take action in an emergency.

Intellectual - There are three objectives in this area – learning skills, creativity and judgement. These are about young people developing skills and talents, expressing themselves creatively, problem solving and making choices.

Emotional - There are two objectives in this area – self-identity and emotional expression. Young people in Scouting explore their own identity and personality, learn how to deal with and express their emotions, and learn to respond to others’ emotions.

Social - There are three objectives in this area – relationships, teamwork and community – all of which are about how we live and work with others as part of our local, national and international community.

Spiritual - There is one objective in this area, which focuses on exploring faiths, beliefs and attitudes that are meaningful to young people individually, and to others around them.

In total there are 11 objectives for each section, which are what a young person should be able to do by the time they leave that section. To view the Programme Objectives, click here.

Reviewed: 14/08/2018


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