Last Updated September 2017
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 2017 the number waiting to join was 944 at all ages 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 over 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.)
- In the past 3 years the District has opened one brand new scout group and one new Explorer Unit (for those aged 14-17) whilst existing groups have expanded their capacity by initiating 4 new Beaver Colonies; 3 new Cub Packs and 1 new Scout Troop.
- As at autumn 2017 one more scout troop and 2 new Explorer Units will open.
- Regrettably this will still mean that for some, joining a Waiting List at age 4 or 5 may not result in a place becoming available in scouting until age 8 or later. The current pressure areas are Bishopston; Cotham; Henleaze; Westbury Park; Stoke Bishop and Westbury on Trym.
- 1st Bishopston’s Waiting List has regrettably been closed as it now exceeds 100. No new names will be accepted until there is a realistic prospect that anyone added will be offered a place.
- 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.