Last Updated June 2018
Please do read these notes carefully so as to avoid subsequent correspondence
Whilst the District’s Waiting List Policy provides the manner in which we will deal with requests to join, we also wanted to ensure that applicants fully understand what is the current situation, what the District have done to increase capacity and how new parents can positively contribute to the continued success of scouting in Cabot. From comments we have received we also wish to dispel a few myths.
- Scouting is a voluntary not mandatory youth provision.
- As such everyone involved in scouting at District level is a volunteer and has family responsibilities , a job etc just like everyone else.
- Girls are welcome to join scouting at all age levels.
- Some scout groups reach capacity quicker than others as they may not have the flexibility to offer new provision ie they are in rented accommodation. Even those who own their building may already have no spare nights of the week to offer.
- The birth rate spike; the withdrawal of other youth provision; scouting being seen as having a positive influence on young people have all meant that demand for places simply outstrips our capacity to supply.
- However the primary reason for Waiting Lists is a lack of adult volunteers.
- We are most fortunate that many students attending UWE or Bristol University wish to continue their scouting whilst in Bristol but their period of engagement is of course finite.
Twice a year the District undertakes a survey to establish the number of young people on Waiting Lists across the District. As at June 2018 the number waiting to join was 895 (up from 852 at January) at all ages up to 14 and includes almost 400 who are aged 4 and 5 (age 4 being the youngest we will register anyone to a Waiting List). Clearly this has implications for almost 500 young people who currently have nowhere to go in their locality. (Scouting is first and foremost a local community facility hence travelling out of area would only serve to potentially deny places for other young people in their local area.)
- The current pressure areas remain as Bishopston; Cotham; Henleaze; Westbury Park; Stoke Bishop and Westbury on Trym.
- Bishopston and surrounding area accounts for 36% of the total Waiting List covering the Groups: 1st Bishopston; 3rd Bristol (only open to Beavers at this time); 18th Bristol (Cotham); 62nd Horfield and 91st (Horfield Baptist Gloucester Road).
- Equally 36% of the total Waiting List are in the Westbury on Trym area covering the groups; 26th Bristol (Northcote); 43rd Bristol (Stoke Bishop); 90th Bristol (Methodist Church WoT);167th Bristol (Reedley Road Baptist Church) and 227th Bristol (Henleaze).
- 1st Bishopston’s Waiting List has regrettably been closed. No new names will be accepted until there is a realistic prospect that anyone added will be offered a place.
- 3rd Bristol are only operating a Beaver colony following the simultaneous loss of adult leaders at the cub and scout sections.
- However the most important thing is to get registered so that your child’s name can be recorded. Situations do change and some places when offered are not taken up as families have moved out of area or the young person has developed other interests.
- Equally new provision may be offered, most often by parents who want to ensure that their child is able to participate, taking the initiative to volunteer (with a few likeminded friends) to make it happen at their local group.
- Once on a Waiting List the child’s name automatically moves up to the next section level. There is no need to contact the District again but do keep in touch with your local Group.
There are a further 90 young people waiting to join an Explorer Unit (ages 14-18).
- Currently the District operates 6 Units based at Horfield; Bishopston; Brentry; Cotham and Westbury on Trym (2 Explorer Units).
- The process for moving on from a scout troop to Explorers is automatic. Parents do not need to re-register.
- Those who are new to scouting and wish to join a Unit should use the “Join” registration.