The Scout Section is for young people, usually aged between 10½ and 14 years. A young person can come into the Troop at 10 and may stay until they are 14½ years old. The Scout Troop is the third section in the Scout Group, above Beavers and Cubs.
Scouts are encouraged to take part in a wide range of activities as part of their programme. Participation rather than meeting set standards is the key approach, and for the Scout who wants to be recognised for his or her achievements there are a number of Challenges awards and activity badges.
Scouts take part in a Balanced Programme that helps them to find out about the world in which they live, encourages them to know their own abilities and the importance of keeping fit, and helps develop their creative talents. It also provides opportunities to explore their own values and personal attitudes.
Being outdoors is important, and half the programme is given over to taking part in traditional Scouting skills, such as camping, survival and cooking, as well as a wider spectrum of adventurous activities, from abseiling to zorbing.
Its international aspect gives Scouting a special appeal, and many Scouts now travel abroad during their time in the section. In 2007, 40,000 Scouts from around the world attended the World Jamboree in the UK, and Scouts regularly participate in international camps and experiences both on home soil and abroad, each of them a unique experience in its own right.
A Scout Troop is divided into small groups called Patrols, each headed up by an older Scout called a Patrol Leader, and often with an Assistant Patrol Leader.
Scouting is about being with friends, as part of a team, and participating fully in the adventure and opportunities of life.
Air and Sea Scouting are different ways of delivering the programme, and are not separate organisations. They are based on the same fundamental Scouting Aims & Methods. Sea and Air Scouts follow the core balanced programme for their section but usually add a nautical or aeronautical twist to the programme and activities.
Many Troops and Explorer Units meet more than once a week in the summer period and the additional meetings are used to develop nautical or aeronautical skills and seamanship or flight training. It is not training for the Navy, the Merchant Navy or the RAF, although such training can be very useful for young people who are interested in these careers.