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Local structure

Scout Groups, Districts, Counties (Areas/Scottish Regions)   

The basic unit of organisation is the Scout Group. This is based in a local community and usually consists of Beaver Scouts, Cub Scouts and Scouts.

Some Groups are larger or smaller depending on where they are located. One Group may contain one or two Beaver Scout Colonies, one or two Cub Scout Packs and a Scout Troop. Another may consist only of one section.

A number of Groups in a certain locality constitute a Scout District. A number of Districts make up a County (or Area in Wales and Northern Ireland and a Region in Scotland).

All of these Scout units (Groups, Districts, Counties/Areas/Regions) are governed by the Policy, Organisation and Rules of The Scout Association which provides the framework in which all Scout units operate.

The Scout Group

Within a Scout Group, there will be a number of adult leaders, who give their time voluntarily to help the development of young people. The Group is led by the Group Scout Leader, whose job is to co-ordinate the Group’s activities and to ensure continuity and development.

A Group Scout Council meets at least once a year usually for an Annual General Meeting. The Council consists of all the adult Members of the Group, as well as the children’s parents. For more day-to-day matters, the Council has a Group Executive Committee which meets regularly.

The Executive Committee consists of the Group Scout Leader, the Section Leaders and members elected by the Group Council. The Executive Committee may set up sub-committees to perform particular tasks such as fundraising.

The Scout District

A number of Scout Groups are grouped together to form a Scout District.

The District is led by the District Commissioner who is supported by Assistant District Commissioners, District Leaders, Advisers and Administrators. These volunteers provide guidance and support to Scout Groups and their sections.

The District also has a District Scout Council, comparable in many ways to the Group Council, and a District Executive Committee.

The County (Welsh Area or Scottish Region)

A number of Scout Districts are grouped together to form a Scout County (Area in Wales or Region in Scotland). The County is led by a County Commissioner who is supported by Deputy and Assistant County Commissioners, Advisers and Administrators.

The County Scout Council is run in a similar way to the Group and District Scout Council. Some Counties employ staff, such as a County Secretary or a Development Officer. Many Counties and Areas manage Scout campsites and may also employ a warden or campsite manager.

In Scotland, Scouting is organised into Districts and Regions and there is no direct equivalent to County. Some 'County' functions are the responsibility of Scottish Regions, whist others lie with Scottish Districts. For more information about the structure of Scouting in Scotland, please visit the Scouts Scotland website.


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Registered address: The Scout Association, Gilwell Park, Chingford, London, England E4 7QW