Squirrels, Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers

Information about the Nights Away Scheme and how to gain or renew a permit.

One of the most popular parts of Scouting for young people, are the overnight experiences.

These opportunities set Scouting apart from other youth clubs and activity providers. But at times, residential experiences are restricted by the number of permits within Scout Groups and the confidence of leaders to apply for their own permit. Manchester South now has a significant number of Nights Away Advisors on hand to support leaders to get permits.


The Nights Away Permit Scheme

Any adult in Scouting can apply for a Nights Away Permit in order to manage residential experiences for the young people they work with, as long as their Safety and Safeguarding training is up to date, and they have the support of their line manager in Scouting.


The Assessment Checklist

To gain a Nights Away Permit, applicants need to show competency in the following core skills:

  • Planning a Nights Away event
  • Ensuring effective administration of the event
  • Preparing and co-ordinating a programme of activities
  • Choosing and preparing the event team
  • Choosing and organising the right equipment
  • Ensuring the health, happiness and safety of self and others
  • Organising good catering
  • Making the best use of the venue Each area of the core skills is broken down in greater detail. Applicants must show competency in all areas.

The full checklist can be found  HERE


Types of Nights Away Permit

There are four types of permit available to suit the type of camping planned and the skills of the permit holder:

  • Indoor – this permit is for indoor residential experiences only.
  • Campsite – this permit is for campsite experiences, where there is provision of water and toilet facilities.
  • Greenfield – this permit is for use of a camping area where facilities are not already in situ and have to be provided by the campers.

NB: The highest level of permit gained enables the permit holder to oversee the lower levels of residential experiences.

  • Lightweight Expedition – a specialist level of permit, usually to be used in wild country areas and generally applicable in expedition support work.

All permits are issued to be non-section specific and can be used to cover any section’s nights away experiences.


How to renew a Nights Away Permit

It is good practice for everyone who holds a Nights Away Permit to complete a logbook of the residential experiences they run so that when they apply for a permit renewal, they can demonstrate how they have used their permit to support young people.


At the time of permit renewal all mandatory training must be up to date, so that a recommendation can be made by the Nights Away Advisor to the District Commissioner for a permit to be renewed.

Email: nightsawaypermits@mansouthscouts.org.uk

Nature and the outdoors are languages that can be learned. Once you identify a beech tree, tie a clove hitch or cook a simple meal over a fire that you’ve built yourself, you’ll never forget it.'
Bear Grylls, Chief Scout Bear Grylls