Our Joining/Waiting List Policy
How we allocate spaces within the Group


The Groups primary catchment area includes Horsford, Horsham St Faith and the surrounding area.

All of our leaders work full time and are unpaid volunteers; we try to run all sections at or near maximum capacity – which is entirely dependent on the size of our HQ and the number of adults we have available to lead a meeting.

Scouting in our area is very popular, and we sometimes have a substantial waiting list, which unfortunately means we can’t always offer a space to potential members as soon as we would like.

We try to be transparent and open, and therefore we define and share the criteria of how we choose young people off our list.

We operate within the equal opportunities policy of The Scout Association and are open to all Young People, aged from 6 to 14 years, subject to spaces being available, and the Section having sufficient adults to run.

The safety and well-being of all Young People is of utmost importance and if a member has special needs then their membership will be dependent on us being able to provide them the ongoing support which they need in order to enjoy Scouting fully and to be safe.

Single joining/waiting list

We operate a single list for the entire Group. This means that if someone is unlucky not to get a space in Beavers, they will move straight onto the Cubs waiting list.

Minimum and maximum ages

We are happy to accept young people under 6 years old on the waiting list – in fact leaving it until they are 6 can often mean a space is not available.
Similarly, we don’t usually add people aged over 12 years old on the waiting list. The reality is that we normally have enough demand from the Cubs section that we rarely have spaces for over-12's.

Getting onto the waiting list:

To be added to our list, the following information should be sent to membership@hsfscouts.org.

Adult’s full name:
email: - we conduct the majority of our correspondence via email
Contact phone number: - landline and mobile
About the applicant: - anything we would need to know about the young person
Young person's name:
Date of birth:
Postal address:
Any other details that might be useful: - including any way that you are prepared to help the Group.

Please note that siblings of members must register on the waiting list. We have no idea how many brothers and sisters people have, so it doesn’t happen automatically.

Catchment area: We don’t have a fixed catchment area, but generally we think it’s fairest on everyone if we give priority to brand new members who live in the surrounding area of Horsford and St Faith - this is especially true if a potential member is closer to another Group. There may be other good reasons why we are the most appropriate Group (which nights are available for instance), so we are prepared to discuss if there are special circumstances.

Selection criteria:

1. Families who help run the Group: Ultimately the Group does not exist without volunteers, and we feel it’s reasonable that someone who is willing to invest time in helping to support the Scout Group should be able to include their child (or children) in that experience. So, Young People whose parents/guardians are prepared to become Section Leaders, Section Assistants, or take another formal role in supporting the Group will take priority.
2. Existing members of the Group: Young People who are already a member of the Group, moving up to the next Section, i.e. Beavers to Cubs, Cubs to Scouts.
3. Siblings: We do appreciate that siblings watching their brother or sister enjoying Scouting with us may have a twinge of jealousy - so we do give some priority to older or younger siblings of Young People who are Members of the Group, but assuming they have been on the waiting list for at least 6 months. (i.e. it would be unfair to give a place to a younger sibling whose name has been on the list one week compared to a new joiner on the list for three years). Siblings must register on the waiting list just like everyone else.
4. Length of time on the joining/waiting list.
5. Age and time left with Section. Newcomers will not usually be invited to a Section if their age means they cannot spend at least 9 months with that Section – however they will be given priority to the next Section up where possible.


If a place is offered to a Young Person on the waiting list and declined (or not acknowledged within one month), or the Young Person leaves the group and subsequently asks to return they will re-join the waiting list at the bottom.

If a Young Person fails to meet the standards required by their Section (in particular regularly attending meetings and events, but also other factors such as behaviour and paying membership fees) then their place may be withdrawn and be offered to someone on the waiting list.

Our current guidelines are - if a young person misses four consecutive weeks and no explanation or reason is given, then we reserve the right to decide that the young person concerned has left the Group and offer the place to someone on our waiting list.


We do accept transfer requests from people who have been members in other parts of the Country, and who have moved into our area - however, we do not guarantee instant spaces. We will make reasonable efforts to accommodate newcomers, but our priorities are to our own existing residents, and we will not squeeze someone in when there is no space available or when it threatens a space already allocated.

Transfer requests from inside the District are generally not allowed, and people should not expect any transfers to be approved – however this not a hard and fast rule, each case being considered on its own merits. If it is because there is insufficient space elsewhere in the District (e.g. A Cub reaching 11 years old in a Group which has no spaces in Scouts), then applicants should complete the Joining email, making it clear in the “Any other details” where the young person is transferring from and the reasons. In these cases, we will need to verify the situation with the existing Group first. Allowing this is at our discretion only.

If someone has a space in another Local Scout Group and they are moving to a new Section (i.e. Beavers to Cubs or Cubs to Scouts) but the new Section does not meet on an available night, and only if other arrangements cannot be made, then the Joining email should be completed - making it clear in the “Any other details” where the young person is transferring from and the reasons. In this case, we will need to verify the situation with the existing Group first.

This provision is explicitly not to allow for any sort of fast-track mechanism, and is expected to be used fairly with consideration to other people on the waiting list, and it will be at the Group’s discretion.

Except in exceptional circumstances, all other requests for transfers within the District will join the waiting list with no special priority. While we would like to be able to welcome any newcomers, we feel this is the fairest option for everyone else who is on the Group waiting list – otherwise it seems unfair that someone who already has a local space in Scouting should queue-jump all the people who are waiting for any opportunity to join Scouting, unless there is an exceptional reason.

Second opinion

Anyone who considers their application has not been treated fairly are welcome to contact the Group Scout Leader – gsl@hsfscouts.org - who makes the ultimate decision about Group Membership.

Last update - January 2017