FAQ & Glossary
Formerly known as a Leader, an adult Scouter assists, supports, facilitates and motivates the youth members of Scouting.
One of the nine adventure skills. This one is about how to find safe shelter, heat, and food in the wild.
Scouts earn badges through acquiring skills and having adventures. They can show their progress by displaying badges such as investiture, adventure skills, special interests, Chief Scout awards and many more.
Beaver Scouts (ages 6, 7, 8)
A large group of Beaver Scouts is a Colony, their small teams are Lodges led by Lodge Leader and Assistant Lodge Leader. They are Kind and Honest. When they talk in a circle that’s a Log Chew. Find out more about Beavers here.
The Crean Challenge expedition is a National event for Scouts. Up to twenty Scouts take part over the course of six months, culminating in a trekking expedition in Iceland.
Cub Scouts (ages 9, 10, 11)
A large group of Cub Scouts is a Pack, their small teams are Sixes led by the Sixer and Seconder with a Scribe taking notes. They are Kind, Honest, Friendly and Trusted. Find out more about Cubs here.
One of the nine adventure skills. This one is about first aid & general knowledge like how and when to call 999 or 112 and how to handle emergencies during outdoor Scouting activities.
Just like a national school is composed of various classes, your local Scout Group is composed of various Sections. All those Sections come together to form the Group. Some events will be done at Section level and others will be done at Group level. A Group Camp, for example, might include Beavers, Cubs, and Scouts all working together.
The Group Leader heads the Group Council for your local Group. This council, composed of Adult Scouters and representatives from Scouts and Ventures, manage the Group. The Group Leader also tends to be in charge of recruiting and training needs of new Adult Scouters.
A ceremony where new youth members, or Adult Scouters, make their Scouting Promise and are welcomed by existing Scouts and Scouters. This happens only once in their Scouting journey. Typically their receive their necker and woggle at this event.
JamÓige is a national Scouting camp that takes place every three years for Beavers and Cubs with around 5,000 in attendance for one, two, or three nights of camping and activities.
A large gathering of Scouts and Ventures at National or International level. Typically a week-long camping based event.
The Scout Law is a code of living for each Scout, and the Group, based on Scouting’s core principles such as trust, loyalty, helpfulness, courage, respect for self, others, and nature.
A National ScoutCraft competition now run as the Phoenix Patrol Challenge.
A moot is a gathering of Rovers and young adult Scouters. Scouting Ireland will host the World Moot in 2021.
The Scouting Motto is “Be Prepared”.
Mountain Pursuit Challenges are a series of provincal weekend events for teams of four Scouts (plus an Adult Scouter). There are also County Pursuit Challenges run more locally and aimed at younger Scouts. See more info at the MPC team website.
A necker (or neckerchief) is the triangular scarf worn by all members of Scouting worldwide. Generally you wear the one representing your local Group but certain National events like Jamborees, Sionnachs, etc also have associated neckers so it’s possible to build up quite a collection.
See entry for Spices
One of the nine adventure skills. This one is about canoeing rather than dipping your toes in the sea.
Patrol Expedition Adventure Kamp is a National weeklong training adventure for Scouts run over Easter and teaching them hiking and teamwork skills. Scouts have to apply to take part and places are limited. Read more here.
The Phoenix Patrol Challenge is a National ScoutCraft competition held annually. Patrols of eight Scouts qualify through County level to take part in the four day event which runs with a different theme each year. The tasks for the teams vary and encompass many Scouting skills. There are separate prizes and an overall winner’s trophy.
One of the nine adventure skills. This one is about building structures using wood and bindings such as a tripod to support a pot over a campfire, a camp table, or a bridge over a stream.
The Scouting Promise is a pledge to do one’s best to live according to Scouting values. The Promise is made at investiture before the other Scouts and Scouters in their Section.
Rover Scouts (18-25)
All members of a Rover Crew are equal and work together, taking turns at leadership. They are Kind, Honest, Friendly, Trusted, Respectful, Brave, Loyal, and Seek Justice. You can find out more here.
Scouts (age 12, 13, 14, 15)
Large group is a Troop, small teams are Patrols led by the Patrol Leader and Assistant Patrol Leader. They are Kind, Honest, Friendly, Trusted, Respectful and Brave. You can find out more here.
Right from the start of Scouting there has been Sea Scouts where the land-based Scouting activities like camping and hillwalking are combined with maritime activities like rowing and sailing. The terms used will all have a nautical flavour and the Group name will include the word Port e.g. Malahide 9th Port Sea Scouts. Adult Scouters are Sea Scouters, small teams are called Watches and are led by Watch Leaders, the Den is the Ship and may include a Deck (main hall), Galley (kitchen), Ward Room (meeting room) etc.
Each local Scout Group is divided into Sections by age – Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, Ventures, Rovers.
This Adult Scouter co-ordinates the efforts of all the Adult Scouters in their Section to plan and facilitate meetings and events for the Youth Members in their Section.
The Sionnach Adventures are National mountaineering events run three times during the year for patrols of about four Scouts (plus an Adult Scouter). Read more here
The Aim of Scouting Ireland is to encourage the physical, intellectual, character, emotional, social and spiritual development of young people so that they may achieve their full potential and, as responsible citizens, to improve society. We use the acronym SPICES to refer to those six areas of development – Social, Physical, Intellectual, Character, Emotional, and Spiritual.
Collectively this is known as the ONE Programme, which was devised during the merger of Scouting Association of Ireland (SAI) and CBSI (Catholic Boy Scouts of Ireland) to form Scouting Ireland (in 2004).
The One Programme and the Spices were launched in 2010.
Venture Scouts (age 15, 16, 17)
A group of Ventures is called a Venture Unit, their small teams are a Crew led by the Crew Leader. They are Kind, Honest, Friendly, Trusted, Respectful, Brave, and Loyal. Read more here.
The woggle was invented in the 1920s as a device to hold the ends of your Necker together. They come in a variety of designs. Some hold special signifiance and must be earned by a youth member or Scouter.
If you’re a real glutton for detail, here’s a great list of Scouting Acronyms.
A list of the Acronyms used in Scouting Ireland
PL - Patrol Leader
APL - Assistant Patrol Leader
WL - Watch Leader
AWL - Assistant Watch Leader
SL - Section Leader
GL - Group Leader
DGL/AGL - Deputy/Assistant Group Leader
GC - Group Council
CC - County Commissioner
ACC - Assistant County Commissioner
CPC - County Programme Coordinator
CTC - County Training Coordinator
PC - Provincial Commissioner
GSF - Group Support Facilitator
PSO - Provincial Support Officer
PMST- Provincial Management Support Team
PTC - Provincial Training Coordinator
NMC - National Management Committee
NTPIC - National Team for Policy Implementation and Co-ordination
NYPC - National Youth Programme Committee
NARC - The National Adult Resources Committee
NSRAP - The National Spiritual/Religious Advisory Panel
NC - National Council
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you need to contact Scouting Ireland? We are delighted to help with any query you may have.
This online form can be used for submitting questions or giving us feedback. We are currently developing a central knowledge base. As you type the subject of your query, you may be prompted to visit this knowledge base. This is a very efficient way for us to answer questions that are raised on a regular basis. The knowledge base is a new tool for us and it will take time to populate. If the question that you submit is not featured within the knowledge base, our National Office team will endeavour to respond to it as soon as possible.
The whole of Scouts.ie is filled with answers to common queries but if your family is new to Scouting you may have some basic questions before signing up your children/teens. Have a look at some of the most commonly asked questions below.
What are the different levels in Scouting- the ages and the differences between them?
There are five Sections in Scouting;
As Youth Members progress in age and experience, the planning and support role of the Adult Scouters reduces, but essentially every Youth Member of Scouting Ireland takes the same Scouting Promise and engages in similar activties, tailored for their ability and age. A seven year old Beaver will enjoy the adventure of camping for two nights at Larch Hill campsite as much as a 15 year old Scout will enjoy wild camping on a mountainside during a Mountain Pursuit Challenge. Scouting will grow with them.
How does our local Group interact with Scouting Ireland?
Scouting Ireland is the national organisation for Scouting in Ireland. Run mostly by volunteers (with a handful of fulltime staff) they provide training, support and fundraising help for Adult Scouters countrywide.
They work with other national Scouting organisations worldwide. They operate National campsites at Larch Hill, Lough Dan, Mount Melleray, Castle Saunderson, Killaloe. They design and produce the badges, uniform and publications that Scouts use in their activities.
They also organise national events which are attended by Scouts of all ages from across the country (Beaver Santa Days, JamÓige, Jamborees, Moots, Mountain Pursuit Challenges, Phoenix, and many more). Scouting Ireland is a registered charity operated for the benefit of the Youth Members and committee roles like Chief Scout, Treasurer, National Secretary are voted for by youth and adult members at National Council meetings.
What happens at weekly meetings?
Every Section and every Group is different and will be working on different challenges with the Youth Members.
It could be Beavers playing team games and learning how to put up a tent before they go on camp. It could be Cubs working in their Six to plan an event in their local community. It could be Scouts researching an overseas hostelling trip or practising their pioneering skills before a Phoenix. It could be Ventures checking gear before a wild camping expedition. The Rovers could be fundraising to work with a remote community and repair a medical clinic.
Every week is different but will usually feature team work, learning by doing, and plenty of fun and adventure, outdoors whenever possible.
What activities do they do outside of the weekly meetings?
Again, this will vary with age and from Group to Group. Examples include maintaining boats, practising for a regatta, a treasure hunt, hillwalk, slumberparty, zoo visit, litterpick, St. Patrick’s Day parading, orienteering, visiting an airport, shelter building in the woods, learning campcraft, taking part in mountain skills events, or trying out canoeing. The variety is huge but the common thread is that activities will be outdoors if possible and will be planned jointly – Youth members and Adult Scouters working together to invent fun challenges for their team to enjoy.
What about the uniform?
When will my child move up to the older section e.g. Cubs to Scouts?
When they reach the correct age. Your local Group may gather a few friends togther to move at the same time. They may chose a specific time of year (e.g. September) - check with your local Adult Scouter for details.
What equipment do they need (excluding uniform)?
Check with your local Adult Scouters. They will probably need raingear (Scouting events in Ireland can sometimes encounter the Irish weather) and hiking boots for hill walking, a sleeping bag, mat and rucksack for camping. Nautical adventures come with their own requirements but often your Scout Group will have some you can borrow.
Ask for a list and suggestions of local places you can buy the gear. Many outdoor stores give a discount to Scouting ireland and can have good sales if you buy out of season. Your Group may have a second-hand-box to help with costs. There’s much more detail about gear and how to buy well here.
How much does it cost? Is it expensive to be in Scouts?
Costs vary from Group to Group and depend on the activities provided, transport costs, and if the Group has a Den of their own or has to rent a hall. Check with your local Group for details. Adult Scouters give their time for free and are aware of the costs parents face. They do their best to run events as cheaply as possible so that Scouting is available to every child.
Typically there will be a small charge for the weekly meetings, the annual registration fee to Scouting Ireland (covering insurance, Scouter training, campsite maintenance and many other items), and additional fees for outings like camps, coach-hire, overnights.
Outdoor gear can be expensive but items like ruckracks and sleeping bags should last for years and be useful outside Scouts too. Gather it gradually, re-use anything you can from home (school back-packs for day hikes, Dad’s old flask, etc), share between siblings. The right outdoor equipment keeps your Scout warm, dry and happy on adventures.
Will there be camping trips?
The younger Scouts go for shorter trips, the older ones go for longer ones or overseas.
My child has a medical condition – can they still join Scouts?
Scouting is open to all. Talk to your local Adult Scouters and explain the condition to them. There’s an Activities Consent Form that you’ll be asked to fill out so the Scouters know how to help your child. Many of the Adult Scouters are also trained first-aiders and/or parents themselves and will be happy to help. You could consider joining as an Adult Scouter and being on the spot to help your child.
How often do they meet?
This varies. Typically Beavers, Cubs, and Scouts meet every week. Ventures and Rovers meet less often and more informally. Some Groups do not meet over school holidays while others will as it gives them a chance to seek better weather or have longer adventures. Ask locally.
What skills do they learn?
Each Group, and Section, will pick and choose which skills they are learning depending on equipment, costs, Adult Scouter skills, interests of the Youth Members etc. There are nine Adventure Skills – Camping, Backwoods, Pioneering, Emergencies, Hillwalking, Air Activities, Paddling, Rowing, and Sailing.
Along the way they will also be exposed to teamwork, leadership, public speaking, planning, budgeting, packing, and many other confidence boosting skills without even noticing it.
How is Scouting Ireland funded? Where does the annual registration fee go?
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I want my child to join Scouting but I’ve been told there’s a waiting list – help!
Many Groups have waiting lists because demand for places out-strips the number of adult volunteers or the size of the hall. Contact your local Group to get more information about this and to sign up your child on the list. Also, consider becoming an adult volunteer yourself. You don’t have to have been a Scout when you were younger, you don’t need to be the next Bear Grylls. Full training is provided and enthusiasm goes a long way. Your child will probably love sharing Scouting with you.
How do I sign up my child for Scouting?
Sign-up is handled locally. Use our Group Locator to find your nearest Group.
Are the Leaders Garda vetted and trained?
Yes. We are committed to Scouting Safely.
If your child is already involved in Scouting, ask one of your local Adult Scouters. Otherwise, Contact Us.