About Scouting

Scouting in the UK is the largest mixed volunteer-led Movement for young people in the UK. Scouting exists to make young people’s lives better, helping them realise their full potential and take their place in society. It can help develop your child’s social skills and encourage self-sufficiency, and gives them access to activities and opportunities that may have been otherwise unavailable to them.

Watch this video to take a closer look at the difference Scouting is making to communities around the UK.

A brief history of Scouting


Robert Baden-Powell was born in 1857. On leaving school he joined the Army. As an army scout in Africa he learned and then taught survival skills. When he returned to England many boys looked on him as a hero, so he started writing articles in papers and magazines about Army scouting principles and how they could be adapted to everyday life. He organised a camp at Brownsea Island, near Poole in Dorset, where young people had a great time playing sports, cooking, tracking, camping out, using ropes and knots – things they had little chance to try before

After this successful camp, Baden-Powell put all his ideas into a book called “Scouting for Boys”. By August 1908 many thousands of boys were calling themselves Boy Scouts, so an official organisation was formed. By 1910 there were 100,000 boys in Scouting.

Such was the popularity of Scouting that in 1916, Cub Scouting was started to cater for boys aged 8 to 11. The programme for Cubs (originally Wolf Cubs) was designed to cater for the younger boys yet remain fully challenging. Cub packs quickly became, and remain, the largest Section within the Scouting family. Beaver Colonies, trialled in 1982, became a full part of the Scout Association in 1986. In 2002 the uniform and programme for the Beavers was fully revamped. Now Beavers can earn an array of badges for a range of activities. They can also camp out under certain conditions. There are now about half a million Scouts in the UK.

Scouting in Odiham District began in 1911. A number of Groups in the area can trace their lineage back to those early days. The 100th Elvetham Heath Scout Group was formed in 2007 and now consists of 8 sections. Find out more about our Group.