Scouting in South East England is about Scouting in the official region of South East England. The largest membership is represented by the Scout Association of the United Kingdom, while there is also a presence of traditional Scouting groups, such as the Baden-Powell Scouts' Association.
The Scout Association administers the region into 9 Scout Counties.
There are also three student associations at various universities in the region, each of which is affiliated to the Student Scout and Guide Organisation. These are centred at Oxford University (Oxford University Scout and Guide Group - the oldest such organisation in the United Kingdom), the University of Reading, and the University of Southampton.
Royal Berkshire is a Scout County concurrent with the ceremonial county of Berkshire, and provides Scouting opportunities for 7,500 young people and adults in the area. The County includes the towns of Newbury, Reading, Slough and Windsor, and their immediate environs.
Management of Scouting in the County of Berkshire is currently divided into eleven Scout Districts:
The district map has been redrawn several time through the county's history, with the latest change at the end of 2005 to merge the district of East Reading into its two neighbours, Reading Central and Loddon.
Some aspects of Scouting are run cross-District, for example, Pang Valley and Reading Central have been running a shared Young Leader programme since late 2005, and the Explorer Scout Units have been running joint activities and events, too.
The next event will take place in 2009 starting 1 August and provides an international experience with seven days of adventure, challenge and fun with opportunities to work with others from across the world and build new and lasting friendships. This is a year later than normal due to the World Scout Jamboree taking place in 2007.
The County has a tradition of International Expeditions, where Scouting members from the age of 14 are able to experience and participate in activities outside of the UK. There was a hiatus in these large-scale expeditions prior to 2004, mainly due to low interest from Scouting members. Interest has since grown considerably.
There was no expedition in 2007, because of the World Scout and Guide Jamboree.
There are three classes to allow participation of Scouts, Explorers and Adult walkers.
Participation is not limited to members of the Scouting Association.
The county is currently divided into twelve Scout Districts:
East Sussex Scout County is divied into nine districts, with roughly 100 Scout Groups in total:
Hampshire Scout Country is the largest in the United Kingdom, and consists of 27 Scout Districts.
The 1st Lymington appears to the first Scout Troop in Hampshire in 1908. The 1st Eastleigh, 7th Bassett and 14th Highfield were formed in 1909. The Chief Scout, Robert Baden Powell toured Hampshire Scout troops in 1910. At that time there were 2,965 members in 104 troops in 22 Local Associations. The Grand Rally at Southampton Common on 2 October 1912, attended by Baden Powell, was recorded on film now available in the Hampshire Archives.
The Isle of Wight is served by a single Scout County, divided into two districts:
Oxfordshire Scout County covers the county of Oxfordshire, and is divided into eleven districts:
Surrey Scout County is concurrent with the political county of Surrey, and is divided into 19 districts:
West Sussex Scout County is divided into 12 Scout Districts:
Buckmore Park Scout Centre is a camping and activity centre located to the south of Chatham in Kent. The site is run by the Medway and Strood Scout District Councils.
Buckmore Park underwent significant development after the adjacent M20 motorway was widened in 1995, as a number of buildings were demolished and replaced with newer facilities. However, despite the new facilities, the site entered into administration in 2003-04, and closed in 2005-06.
The site has reopened in 2007, and is again providing numerous activities to Scouting and Guiding groups of all ages.
Also located on the site is the Buckmore Park Kart Circuit, although this is a separate business to the Scout Centre. The Buckmore Park sports complex on the site closed in April 2003 and went into administration in 2008. A buyer is being sought for the 260-acre site. The Scout Association said the local scouts had an existing lease on the site and would work with the new owners to secure a future for young people at the park.
Longridge Scout Boating Centre is a water activity centre and campsite on the River Thames near Marlow in Buckinghamshire. It was once owned by the Scout Association but it is now an independent Charity. The centre provides water activities such as Bell Boating, Dragon boat, Canoeing, Rowing, Sailing, Kayaking and Powerboating. It also offers land based activities including Climbing, Team Challenge Zones and Disc golf.
With a very good safety record, Longridge is recognised amongst activity centres as being a leading training centre for young people and their leaders. It as an approved British Canoe Union centre and RYA (Royal Yacht Association) training centre. Each year the team at Longridge run a large number of courses ranging from basic beginner skills right through to advanced coaching and instruction.
Activities at Longridge are primarily aimed at young people, however when young people are not using the site, it is open to families and adult users. The Fire Service and Women's Olympic Rowing Team both train at the site. In addition they encourage local businesses to use the site for team development days.
There are three campsites within the County. Earleywood is the largest facility, while the other two (Paddicks Patch, based in Loddon District and just outside of the town of Woodley, and the 1st Burghfield & Sulhampstead Scout HQ, in the town of Burghfield and part of Pang Valley District) offer a single pitch with a fire-circle and a nearby hut.
All three campsites are available to all members of the Scout Association for activities.
As well the Longridge Scout Boating Centre, Buckinghamshire Scout Association County is host to The Quarries Camping and Activity Centre
The Quarries is owned and operated jointly by the two Milton Keynes District Scout Councils. It is located near the village of Cosgrove on the northern edge of Milton Keynes. As well as a range of camping sites and indoor accommodation there is an indoor air rifle range, outdoor archery range and scoutcraft activities.
In addition to Scouting activities, the Quarries also hosts many Girl Guiding camps and school parties during Duke of Edinburgh Award expeditions.
Surrey Scout Association County manages two camp sites:
The South East Berkshire Scout District, in Royal Berkshire Scout Association County, began performing their Gang Show in a local school hall in 1970. It grew larger and after a couple of years moved to Camberley Civic Hall where it stayed for many years until moving to its current venue of the Wilde Theatre, South Hill Park, Bracknell. They produce a show every year which takes place in February, their work beginning in September. The Gang consists of around 180 people every year.
A Gang Show was started in Winchester District of Hampshire Scout Association County in 1955.