Scouting in Richmond upon Thames District

Our District

We have 24 Scout Groups located throughout the District, almost all having at least one Beaver Scout Colony (6-8 yrs), Cub Scout Pack (8-10.5 yrs), and Scout Troop (10.5-14 yrs). In 2022 we opened a Squirrels Drey (4-6 yrs) in Hampton – the first in this part of London. We also have 10 Explorer Scout Units (14-18 yrs), a Local Scout Network (18-25 yrs) and two Active Support Units (18+ yrs). At the last count in January 2022 we had 2,218 Youth Members. Add to that nearly 550 Leaders and other volunteers  – that’s total membership of nearly 2,800 people.

For a list of all our Scout groups, including addresses and websites click here. For a list of Explorer Units and where they are hosted, click here.

Green spaces, famous places and 21 miles (34km) of river frontage

We are fortunate that the District boasts a huge amount of green space; Richmond Park and Bushy Park affording a lot of opportunities for outdoor activities. Internationally famous Kew Gardens, Twickenham rugby stadium, the National Archives and Hampton Court Palace are all within our boundary. We are also well connected to the centre of London, making it an ideal launch pad for day trips to historical and other places of interest.

However, probably our greatest asset is the River Thames which runs through the heart of the District – tidal from Mortlake to Richmond and Twickenham and non-tidal from Teddington to Hampton Court.  We boast a very busy 14th Richmond “Viking” Scout boating centre which is utilised by Scout and other youth groups from across the region. We are proud to have two very successful Royal Navy recognised Sea Scout groups who regularly row, kayak and canoe on arguably some of the best stretches the river has to offer.

And talking of specialists, we are also home to an Air Scout Group in Teddington.

District leadership

Leading Scouting in the Borough is a District Commissioner who is accountable to the District Scout Council. Phil Hunt was appointed District Commissioner in 2018.

Supporting Phil is Tim Grebot, the Deputy District Commissioner and a core team of 15 other Commissioners, Assistant District Commissioners (ADCs), Managers and Advisers. These include the District Explorer Scout Commissioner (DESC), a Youth Commissioners (DYC), an ADC for Growth and an ADC for Planning & Projects as well as an ADC for each Scout Section – Beavers, Cubs, and Scouts. There’s the District Training Manager who is responsible for delivering training and running a team of Advisers, Trainers and Assessors. Also on the District team is the Boating Centre Manager and the Active Support Unit Manager. Other specialist roles in the team include the Adviser for special needs, the Adviser for the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme and of course our District Scouter and Legend, Ossie who is called on for ‘special missions’.

The District Executive, comprising of elected, nominated and co-opted trustees and whose officers consist of the Chairman, Treasurer and Secretary, manage all the administrative affairs of the District which include finances, insurance and compliance. For example, the Appointments Committee, supported by the Appointments Secretary makes sure that we only engage “fit and proper” persons and is responsible for compliance checks, such as making sure that references are followed up and that DBS disclosures are current and up to date.

In summary, a sizeable team of dedicated volunteers providing professional services to support our Amazing Leaders.

5 Year Plan – #Skills for Life

As a District we have embarked on a new 5-year plan – 2018-2023, to align with the 5-year plan promoted across the UK.

By 2023 we will have prepared more young people with skills for life supported by amazing leaders delivering an inspiring programme. We will be growing, more inclusive, shaped by young people and making a bigger impact in our communities. 

Elements of the District 5-year plan include:

  • Improving delivery of leader training
  • Youth-involvement based on #Skills for Life
  • Digital transformation (which includes this website)
  • A review of programme delivery within the District and Groups
  • How we can better collaborate between groups and pool our resource and knowledge
  • Practical support for groups and supporting specific needs for sections
  • External perception – how we raise community awareness


I want the public to know how Scouting continues to open young people’s eyes to a world of extraordinary promise and possibilities.'
Bear Grylls, Chief Scout Bear Grylls