IX. General Rules




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Explaination of Abbreviations
I. General Principles
II. General Organization
III. Warrants
IV. County Organisation
V. District Organisation
VI. Group Organization
VII. Uniform
VIII. Badges of Rank
IX. General Rules
X. Decorations & Awards
XI. Miscellaneous
XII. Proficiency Badges
Appendix A.
Appendix B.

Scout Books

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326.    (i)           Bands, where such exist, must be so conducted as to avoid nuisance to the public and, in particular, must not play when passing churches, hospitals, or any house where illness is known to be.  They must not play after 9:00 PM in the streets, and bugle practice must not be carried out in open places within 600 yards of houses.

            (ii)         Bands are not permitted for Cubs.


327.      No Scouter or other person in charge for the time being shall allow any Scout to take part in boating without first considering carefully all of the conditions, and in particular having satisfied himself:--

(1)        That the Scout can swim 50 yards in shirt, shorts, and stockings.  This precaution is unnecessary in the case of lakes and streams where it is known that there is no danger and the the depth of the water nowhere exceeds three and a half feet.

(2)        That, in addition, if sailing, the boat is under the charge of a professional sailor or other experienced person.

Sea Scouts

328.      The following rules, in addition to those in Rule 327, apply to Sea Scouts and Rover Sea Scouts, and where boating is part of their training, to Scouts and Rovers:--

(1)        No boat shall be taken over for use until the "Charge Certificate" issued for this purpose has been completed.   Boat certificates must be renewed each year.

(2)        No boat shall be used for training unless properly manned and in charge of a person possessing the "Charge Certificate" issued for the purpose or otherwise authorised by the Sea Scout Committee of the L.A.   Charge Certificate forms can be obtained from I.H.Q.

Examiners for "Charge Certificates" must be nominated by the Sea Scout Committee and approved by the L.A. and D.C.

(3)        No Sea Scout or Rover Sea Scout shall form part of the crew of any rowing boat until he can swim 50 yards with clothes on (shirt, shorts, and stockings, as a minimum), or form part of the crew of a sailing boat until he has also passed for the Oarsman badge.

Scouts bathing

329.    (i)           No Scout shall be allowed to bathe except under the personal supervision of the Scouter in charge of the party or some responsible adult appointed by him for the purpose.  The safety of the place must have been previously ascertained and all reasonable precautions must be taken, including the provision of a life line.

(ii)         A picket of two good swimmers, preferably those with the Rescuer badge, must be on duty (undressed) with great coats on, in a boat or on shore as the circumstances may demand, ready to help any boy in distress.  The picket itself may not bathe until the others have left the water.

(iii)        This rule does not apply to bathing in properly supervised swimming baths.  The precautions set out in this rule may also be modified to a reasonable extent where the Scouter in charge has previously ascertained that the the whole of the water is shallow, and that no possible danger exists or can exist.


330.      Rovers must exercise all reasonable precautions in both boating and bathing, and where a number of Rovers are bathing together the above precautions must be taken.


331.      Cubs may boat or bathe, subject to the precautions set out above in Rules 327 and 329.


                        Scouters are recommended to read "Camping Standards," price 3d. from I.H.Q. (Equipment Dept.)

                        C.Ms. are also recommended to read "Camping for Cubs," price1/- from I.H.Q. (Equipment Dept.).

332.      (i)         No Scouts may camp without the previous permission of their D.C.

(ii)         Only in exceptional circumstances, and with the previous permission of their D.C., may Cubs be allowed to camp with Scouts.


333.      When Scouts propose to camp outside their own District, at least 21 day's notice of the summer camp or 14 days' notice of other camps must be given (Forms P.C. 1 and PC. 2 being used) by the Scouter in charge to his D.C., who will inform the Secretary of the County to be visited, who in turn, will inform the D.C. concerned.  The D.C. of any District in which a camp takes place has control under Rule 125 (8).

Permits - hiking

334.      Parties of Scouts or Rovers trekking or hiking through one or more Counties should give similar notice, stating approximate dates.  If Scouts or Rovers intend to visit a site frequently at week ends, a general notice should be given at the beginning of the season.

Notification - addressing

335.      If, in any case, the name and address of the County Secretary are not known, the D.C. can address the notice:--

The County Secretary for………………….,

Imperial Headquarters

Whence it will be forwarded by next post.

Permit cards

336.      To facilitate the holding of week end Patrol camps, and the arranging of treks and hikes, when the use of Forms P.C.1 and P.C.2 is impossible, appropriate permit cards can be used, and these cards can be obtained free by D.Cs. from I.H.Q.

337.      Short-camp permit cards which are issued free to D.Cs. are only available for camps of not more than two night's duration, but D.Cs. can authorise their use at Easter, Whitsun, and August Bank Holidays for four nights.  D.Cs. must only issue these cards to G.S.Ms. of Groups whose of camping capabilities they are completely satisfied and G.S.Ms. must use the same discretion in issuing the cards to Patrol Leaders.  The D.C. is not relieved of his responsibility as to these camps.

A Rover hike permit card can be used in the same way.

Foreign visits

338.      (i)         Scouts proposing to camp or travel abroad in uniform must first obtain the sanction of I.H.Q.; the application must be accompanied by by a recommendation from the D.C.

(ii)         Sanction will not be given to Cubs to camp abroad or, save in exceptional circumstances, to travel abroad.

(iii)        Invitations to foreign Scouts to visit or camp in the British Isles must not be issued until sanction has been obtained from I.H.Q.


339.      Enough sleeping bags or blankets must be provided to enable each Scout to make a separate bed.


340.      Camp raiding is strictly prohibited.


341.      The following rules, additional to those in Rules 332-333. 335 and 338-340, apply in the case of camps for Cubs:--

(1)        Some form of clean, permanent shelter, or a weatherproof marquee, large enough to accommodate all the Cubs in camp in case of wet weather, must be available.

(2)        In normal circumstances there should be at least one adult for every six Cubs in camp.  In no circumstances should a camp be held with less than two adults.

(3)        In the case of a C.M. or A.C.M. wishing to take Cubs to camp for the first time, or after an adverse report has been received on a previous camp, the preliminary permission of the D.C. should be sought at least three months before the proposed commencement of the camp and before any intimation of the camp has been given to either Cubs or parents.

Old Scouts

341A.    Old Scouts camping in uniform must comply with Rules 332-340.


Approval required

342.      No emblem may be worn on uniform unless it has been approved by I.H.Q. in accordance with the following rules.

Types approved

343.      The following may be approved:--

(1)        National.           In special cases.

(2)        County.

(3)        LA.

(4)        Group.

(5)        Rover.               To be worn on special scarves under Rule 290.

Conditions of approval

344.      Approval will only be given subject to the following conditions:--

(1)        Application must be submitted through the normal channels of communication and not direct to I.H.Q.

(2)        A drawing or specimen of the design (which will not be returned) must be submitted, together with a statement of the approval of the C.C.

(3)        In the case of Rover emblems and Group emblems the approval of the L.A. and D.C. is also necessary.

(4)        The design must be emblematic in character, e.g., the title of a Group or the name or initials of an individual are not admissible.

(5)        The design must not exceed two inches in length or breadth.

(6)        A specimen of the emblem when made must be sent to I.H.Q. for record.

Method of wear

345.      An emblem, when approved, must be worn in one of the following places, as decided by the commissioner concerned;--

(1)        on the shoulder,

(2)        on the right breast,

(3)        on the point of the scarf,

by all members of the unit for which it is approved.



346.      Scouts can use any of the following:__

(1)        The National flag.  On land, the Union Flag, commonly called the Union Jack; at sea, the Red Ensign.

(2)        Scout flags.  Flags of any colour and design, bearing if desired, the Scout badge and the name of the Group.

(3)        Patrol flags.


347.      If flags are dedicated they must be treated with the greatest reverence at all times - for instance, it would not be correct to fly a dedicated Union Jack on a flagstaff in camp, or to move it uncased without an escort.  Groups are advised to consider this carefully before undertaking the charge of dedicated flags.

Method of carrying

348.      When large flags are carried, the flag-pole should be either sloped over the right shoulder, the flag gathered in, or, when marching past, held vertical in the carrier, the flag flying free.

Reference should be made to the leaflet, "Flag Carrying" obtainable from I.H.Q.


349.      (i)         The flags described in Rule 346 (1) and (2) will be lowered to the King or the Queen, members of the Royal Family entitled to the prefix "Royal Highness," representatives of His Majesty in Dominions and Colonies, foreign Monarchs and Presidents of Republics.

(ii)         Such flags will not be lowered during the playing of the National Anthem unless one of the persons mentioned in (i) is present.

(iii)        Scout flags only will be lowered to the Chief Scout.



350.      (I)         Parties of Scouts on the march must have responsible pickets at the head and rear.

(ii)         Such pickets at night must show a white light in front and a red light to the rear.


351.      Mourning for all members of the Association in uniform is a two-inch black crepe band worn round the left arm above the elbow.



352.      Salutes are given on the following occasions:--

(1)        As a greeting.  Scouts, Scouters, persons holding Non-executive or Honorary rank, and Old Scouts, meeting for the first time in the day, salute each other.  The first to see the other should be the first to salute, irrespective of rank.  Scouts and Guides salute each other when in uniform.

(2)        As a token of respect.  At the hoisting of the National Flag, at the playing of the National Anthem, to uncased colours, to Scout flags other than Patrol flags, and to funerals.

(3)        During the making or re-affirming of the Scout Promise.  In this case, all Cubs present salute as in Rule 353 (i), and all other ranks give the Scout Sign as in Rule 353 (5), even if in church or on parade.


353.      The following methods are the methods of saluting:--

(1)        Cubs salute as in figure 1.

(2)        All other ranks, except as in paragraph (3) salute as in figure 2, passing a stick or thumbstick into the left hand.

(3)        Scouts, when carrying staves, salute as in Figures 3 and 4.

(4)        If the hands are occupied, the salute is by turning the head and eyes to the right or left, as the case may be.

(5)        The Scout Sign (for use only in cases under Rule 352 (3) is given by raising the right hand level with the shoulder, palm to the front and fingers as in figure 2, but Scouts carrying staves use the left hand.  The Scout sign is not used by Cubs.

(6)        The above salutes are used irrespective of whether the head is bare or covered.

(7)        In church, the salute is always by standing at the alert, except in Rule 352 (3).

(8)        On all parades, other than in church, the leader calls the Scouts to the alert and he alone salutes except as in Rule 352 (3).



354.      G.S.Ms. must not allow members of their Groups to practise rifle shooting or shoot matches except on an officially approved range, and no shooting must ever take place except under the supervision of a competent adult who will be responsible that the range rules are strictly adhered to.

Firearms Certificate

355.      Under the Firearms Act, 1920, application must be made by the person responsible to the chief officer of police of the district for a Firearms Certificate in respect of all rifles and ammunition.


Appearance of Scouts


356.      Scouts or Old Scouts in uniform are not allowed to appear on the stages of theatres or music halls in public performances other than their own without the permission of I.H.Q., given through the D.C.


357.      A Pack is entitled to carry a Totem Pole.






Additional Information:

Peer- Level Topic Links:
Explaination of Abbreviations ] Definitions ] I. General Principles ] II. General Organization ] III. Warrants ] IV. County Organisation ] V. District Organisation ] VI. Group Organization ] VII. Uniform ] VIII. Badges of Rank ] [ IX. General Rules ] X. Decorations & Awards ] XI. Miscellaneous ] XII. Proficiency Badges ] Appendix A. ] Appendix B. ]

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Last modified: October 15, 2016.