Scouting 4 All

Diversity in scouting is what makes us different.

Building on session 3, the fourth session of the young leader training scheme gets hands on and tackles some of the key issues to scouting. The session explores some of the key problems faced by sections to making sure that scouting is accessible for everyone.

Scouting is as diverse as the communities in which we live.

What special needs could I find in my section?

Everyone has their own individual needs, even you! Some people's needs aren't under their own control and can be special needs. Special needs are needs which scouting caters for. These needs could be from young people or adults and may be simple or complex. The needs simply need to be catered for and young people/ adults should all feel the same amount of fun, challenge and adventure regardless of their needs. Below you will find some specific needs which you may come across in your section.

Needs in sections

Young people and adults in the section where you volunteer could have a range of different needs. For example, young people/ adults may:
Examples of special needs

At the end of the session, I should have...
Check you:
  • Recognise ways to make scouting diverse
  • Learn how to make scouting diverse
  • Understand diversity
  • Describe the role of a Young Leader in making Scouting diverse
  • Know how to help make scouting accessible
What is accessible scouting?

How many people do you know who are left-handed? Two, three - more? Most of us know someone who writes with their left hand at least. For left-handed people, using scissors designed for right handed people can be a problem. If you want to know how this feels try using a pair of normal scissors in your left hand – not easy is it?

Why are we talking about scissors and being left handed? Well being left-handed might be in some instances be regarded as having an additional needs, as without the right equipment it can pose some problems for those who are left-handed. The correct equipment makes life easier.

The same goes for the rest of Scouting, having the right equipment and knowledge to make additions, alterations and adaptations can help to make Scouting accessible. 

Did you know?
Scouting is the largest youth organisation in the UK for boys and girls. This is because scouting is 100% inclusive and accepting of everyone, no matter who they are. We’re free of prejudice and despite being a christian organisation, we welcome all faiths and backgrounds.

Adapt. Achieve. Win.

Perhaps when you think of making Scouting accessible you think of people with a visible disability or special need, people in a wheelchair, or having to use a walking stick or being visually impaired with the quick fix being to put in a ramp or a lift to help. Well, these are special needs, but so are many other things. Most of us have some sort of special need – it’s just that we don’t think of them as such.

No two people are alike and having a wide variety of young people in your Section makes life more interesting. By giving everyone equal involvement in your Section’s programme through a little thought and extra preparation you give everyone the satisfaction of having participated and taken advantage of everything Scouting has to offer. It also gives you the satisfaction of helping to make it possible.

Check out these examples of how you can adapt/ change something to make scouting accessible to all:

  • Adapt an activity so that someone in a wheelchair can take part
  • Changing the rules of a game so that everyone faces the same degree of difficulty
  • Check the meeting hall for hazards for someone with poor eyesight
  • Encourage teamwork to engage everyone and ensure nobody is 'left out'
Jack Fletcher,
5 Aug 2015, 03:10