Menu Close

Join Scouts

We are Christchurch, Dorset, England. Please don’t confuse us with New Zealand, Christ Church in Wales, Norfolk, Epsom or anywhere there is a church with a name like this.

We provide scouting for young people who live in the BH23 postcode area only. If you live outside BH23, you can search here for your local groups.

We currently have no immediate places free in any of our beaver scout sections (6-8 years old) and cub scout sections (8-10.5 year old). There are a few spaces in some of our scout sections (10.5-14 years old). There are places in our explorer scout sections (14-18 years old) and our network scout section (18-25 years old). We currently have three Squirrel sections (4-6 year olds) which already have a waiting list and we have plans for one more, in early 2023. Others may follow but the plans are not in place yet. This does mean places will be limited.


We run a waiting list for Christchurch District which covers our 8 locations/groups. This means your child will be considered for a place at any one of our locations/groups. We record which group they are closest to and any family preference but offers may come from any group.

You can register your child to go onto our waiting list after you have read the following points:

  • You register your child online with us. (Enquiring on The Scout Association website does not do this.)
  • As of Dec 2022, we will not accept any registrations for young people who do not live in the BH23 postcode area, unless someone is moving into the area when we will hold it for 6 months.
  • As of May 2021, we will not accept any registrations for young people less than 3 years old.
  • You will receive a confirmatory email which explains how we keep your data secure, what you need to do to ensure you receive any future emails from us, how you can keep your details up-to-date with us, and how you can let us know if you have a preference for a location. If you do not receive this, please check your junk/spam boxes. This is your responsibility. Your child is not on the waiting list unless you receive this confirmatory email.
  • We note the closest group to an applicant (as the crow flies) and any preference for a group by their parents. We note if they have siblings in scouting and if anyone from their family volunteers. This is managed by the Waiting List Coordinator.
  • When places become available, these things are considered by the Managers. Priority is given to young people living in the BH23 postcode area, volunteers’ family and those with siblings already in scouting.
  • Offers are made from our waiting list software which sends you an email. It is your responsibility to ensure you will receive them and that you look out for them.
  • To comply with GDPR, we will occasionally ask for you to confirm that you are still interested in a space for your child so we continue to hold your data.
  • Now you can can go here to register your child to be considered for a place.

Where are your locations?
There are 8 locations around the district which you can see here.

How long is the list?
In 2022, we currently have 4 young people on the waiting list for every 10 young people who have places. This is large. Whilst we have largely recovered from the impact of the pandemic and our young people numbers have recovered, we are still preoccupied and we have yet to recover our adult numbers. In time, we would like to consider opening up more places but this is not easy as we have so many things to comply with to keep all our young people and volunteers safe. The main factor is increasing our adult volunteers, perhaps you may want to consider getting involved.

Can I check they are on the list?
Yes, go to your confirmatory email and follow the link there to access your child’s details on our list.

When might I be offered a place?
There are so many factors, this is pretty impossible to answer. We can’t answer questions like ‘what position is my child on the list’, or ‘do you think they’ll get a place’. We are aware some young people will be disappointed and not get places, please see the points below about volunteers. We would ask that you do not ask these questions as it takes volunteers time to explain to you that we don’t know.

What age are the sections and is this different to Guiding?
The sections run from 4 years to 25 years. There is a good description here. This is different to Guiding. If your child wants to swap organisations, they go on the waiting list like anyone else.

My child is already in Scouting and we are moving to your area, can they transfer?
We are not obliged to take someone transferring from outside BH23 according to The Scout Association rules. We will consider it but if our sections are full, your child will have to go on the waiting list too. Before your child leaves their section, ask about their badge record. If its on paper, ask for it and hand it to the new section once you have a place. If its on OSM, contact us on the address in the confirmatory email and we will arrange for it to be transferred to us and held ready.

Could I volunteer and support my child?
Our waiting list is currently large and we know some young people will be disappointed. Everything we do is done by volunteers, from managing the waiting list to the leader running an international camp for over 100 young people. We have volunteers who work with the young people, volunteers who do admin and governance, volunteers who manage, volunteers who cut grass and paint walls. It must be fun because we have 275 volunteers in our district, all doing their bit to make a fabulous team. Without more, we cannot keep up with demand for places. If you would like to get involved in any way, please email We do our best to ensure the children of our volunteers are given places although this is at the discretion of each Manager.