Census 2017 | Scouting Continues to Grow in Scotland

Census 2017 | Scouting Continues to Grow in Scotland

We are really proud to announce that Scouting in Scotland has grown for the 11th year in a row!

The figures are in from this year’s census, and our total membership in Scotland now stands at 50,081, including 38,636 youth members and 11,445 adult volunteers.

More adult volunteers have been recorded than ever before in our 110 year history, which includes a 9.1% increase in Leaders who work directly with young people.

Alison from Aberfeldy told us why she loves being a volunteer:

“Volunteering with Scouts is one of the best things I have ever done. It’s been a really rewarding experience, being part of such a supportive team, and I get as much out of it as the young people I work with.

“For me, I get a huge amount of satisfaction from giving young people opportunities and life skills that they don’t get anywhere else. There have been new experiences for me too. I’ve learned to camp, navigate and cook outside, things that I would not have the chance to do on my own or at work.”

Increase in youth members

Youth membership in Scotland has grown faster than the rest of the UK this year. 

The Cub Scouts are our most popular section with 13,000 members, growing by an amazing 2.4% during the year of centenary celebrations.  Explorer Scouts grew the fastest in the past year, with numbers increasing by 4.5%, showing that more young people are recognising the value of the skills for life that Scouting provides.

More young people want to join

However, as Scouting continues to grow in popularity, so do our waiting lists. Over 3,400 young people are now waiting to join, a figure larger than ever before and 9.4% higher than last year.

Although we have an incredible number of adult volunteers supporting Scouting across Scotland, the number of young people waiting to join means that we now need even more volunteers to lead groups and provide life changing opportunities for more young people.

Graham Haddock, Chief Commissioner of Scotland said:

“It's great to see our membership exceed 50,000 for the first time this century. It is also astonishing to reflect on 11 consecutive years of growth in our youth membership. So many new young people want to join not just because we give them amazing experiences and opportunities, but Scouting also gives them the confidence and skills to achieve great things.”

“Scouting relies totally on the dedication and commitment of our adult leaders and volunteers who work with young people every single week. Sadly, we still have a long list of young people waiting to join and benefit from what we offer, but we need more volunteers. Over the years, I have seen the tremendous benefit that Scouting has on many thousands of young people across Scotland, so I would really encourage people to consider if they can help us to improve lives. We have many different roles that people can fill regardless of how little or how much time they think they can offer.”

Thank you to everyone that has helped Scouting to grow and develop over the last year - you are making a massive difference to the lives of young people across Scotland.

Find out more

Check out our information and support on how to recruit more adult volunteers and grow your section.

Or find out more about joining Scouting as a volunteer or youth member.