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). We also now have three Squirrels Dreys (4-6 yrs), one in Hampton, another in Petersham and other in Mortlake. We run 12 Explorer Scout Units (14-18 yrs), a Local Scout Network (18-25 yrs) and three Active Support Units (18+ yrs) including the Volunteer team who run our District Shop. At the last count in January 2024 we had 2,380 Youth Members. Add to that over 570 Leaders and other volunteers  – that’s total membership of 2,953 people. And we’re growing all the time!

For a list of all our Scout groups and website addresses click here. For a list of Explorer Units and where they are located, 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.

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 and 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.

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

The current sructure charts which detail all District roles can be found by clicking here. These will be updated as we undergo Transformation in line with the Scout Association changes.

5 Year Plan – #Skills for Life

As a District we embarked on a new 5-year plan – 2018-2023, to align with the 5-year plan promoted across the UK. The aim of the District plan was to ensure that the District team enabled amazing Leaders, delivering a fantastic programme, whilst increasing the level of participation and decision making by our Young People.

Many of the District initiatives were supported by a Digital transformation – and during the Covid pandemic this website became a hub of information about Lockdown and ideas for Scouting Indoors – and was the #2 website in search engines after the UK Scouts website.

The UK plan was extended to 2025, to take account of the Covid pandemic. Whilst we await the next UK plan (and any associated County Plan), our focus within the District will be on transformation of the District and Group teams as well as working on initiatives for improving opportunities for overnight adventure in the UK and abroad.


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