As your child grows and moves through the sections of Scouting, you may find that a Scout Group which was previously suitable is no longer providing a fun and enriching experience for your child. You may find that there has been a change in adult leadership, or that an older section may operate very differently to the way you and your child are used to. Moving Scout groups is a common experience driven by lots of reasons including moving to a new house, changing school or needing a meeting which is held on another night. Your child’s leaders should be able to help you with the transition process.
- Discuss with change with your child’s current section leader and Group Leader. It’s best to do this over the phone, or to start with an email –
- Identify a new Scout group. Your child’s current leaders may be able to recommend one which meets their needs. Alternatively, see the Choosing a Scout Group checklist.
- Contact any prospective new groups. The Group Leader should be able to respond to any queries or concerns you have. If your child has any particular needs, or if they faced particular challenges with their last group, be open about these – it will help your new group identify how to ensure your Scout has the best experience possible.
- Your child will need to attend several meetings at their new group. Some Scouts attend meetings at both their old and new groups to transition more gradually.
- Complete any paperwork required to formalise the change. In some places (Australia), you may need to obtain a transfer form from your child’s former Group Leader and provide it to their new Group Leader. Some Group Leaders will handle this themselves, and sometimes it can be done digitally.
Your child will keep the same Scout uniform and will wear the same badges. Any awards they have attained will be recognised in their new group. In some groups, your child may be given a new scarf or asked to reaffirm the Scout Promise, a process very similar to being invested.
Scouts who change groups may be anxious about a change in routine or in making new friends. You can remind them that:
- They already understand the core values of Scouting – the most important part to grasp – and these are shared by every Scout group.
- Some of the routines and activities will be familiar. Many Scout groups operate in a similar way as leader training is standardised nationally.
- Major events like Jamborees and large camps can provide your Scout with an opportunity to reconnect with friends from their old group.