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Practical scouting skills

What are Scouting skills?

In 1907, when Baden-Powell ran his first Scout camp, he ran a session on practical 'Scouting skills', teaching young people to undertake a range of tasks that would equip them for outdoor living. Since then, Scouting skills have grown in scope and include a whole range of fun, exciting and useful skills for life.

Scouting skills include (but are not limited to):

  • Map reading and navigation
  • Pioneering
  • Knots and lashings
  • Fire lighting
  • First aid
  • Tent pitching
  • Field hygiene
  • Backwoods cooking
  • Shelter building

There are also a number of Scouting Skills that you may need to master in order to run your weekly section meetings. These include:

  • Flag breaks
  • Opening ceremonies
  • Investing young people
  • Badge presentation    

Learning and mastering scouting skills enables you to run exciting outdoor programmes for your members. Such skills are essential when undertaking activities such as hiking, climbing, camping, or going on expeditions both abroad and in the UK and high adventure activities in remote environments.

There are lots of things you can do to learn new skills and develop existing ones. Some examples are:

  1. Download learning resources from the Scout Adventure website
  2. Observing experienced leaders delivering scouting skills
  3. Asking other adults to mentor you and demonstrate scouting skills to you 
  4. Attending locally delivered scouting skills days 
  5. Completing adult training modules 16, 18 and 38

Other resources available:

  1. Outdoor Adventure Manual (Haynes Publishing, ISBN 9780857332820)
  2. Nights Away book
  3. Programmes Online (POL)


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