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Can I take my young people on a nights away event by myself if I have the appropriate Nights Away Permit?

The short answer is no! As good practice, we would strongly recommend that there are always at least two adults present at a nights away event, in line with our Child Protection policy and guidelines.

If I have a Nights Away Permit does this allow me to camp in prohibited camping areas?

No, the prohibited camping areas, as defined in the UK Directory, are out of bounds regardless of the fact that you hold a Nights Away Permit.

What information do I need to notify our Nights Away Adviser?

This information required is conveniently listed on our Nights Away Notification (NAN) Form which can be completed on line by clicking here


If I am presented with a Nights Away Permit issued by another District Commissioner, can I accept it?

Yes. The assessment process is standard throughout the United Kingdom.

Is a Permit required to lead overnight events for Scout Network Members?

No. A Permit is not required provided that ALL of the Members participating in the event are over 18 years old. However, notification, conveying the information listed on form NAN is required to the County Commissioner (or nominee).

Is a Permit required to lead events for wholly adult groups?

Where ALL members of the party are over 25 years old, no Permit or notification is required. For Scout Network members aged

18 -- 25, no Permit is needed but notification is (see previous).

If I am taking my Scouts camping on a Scout site outside my District, do I need to inform the 'host' District Commissioner?

No. Because the event is being held on a Scout campsite, notification does not need to be made as someone in authority in local Scouting will already be aware of the event through the booking procedure.

How do I find out the contact details of the 'host' District Commissioner?

You can telephone the Scout Information Centre on 0845 300 1818. The venue postcode is needed when you do!

If I am taking Explorer Scouts out on a night hike and sleeping in our Scout Headquarters, do I require a Permit?

Yes. You require a Permit it is intended that young people will sleep overnight and arrangements are put in place for this purpose. You should also make the appropriate notification (supplying all the information listed on form NAN) to our District Nights Away Adviser

If I hold a Camp Site category Permit, can I issue a young person with a Green Field category Event Passport?

No. You must hold a Permit equivalent to or of a higher category than the Event Passport you are issuing. In this instance you would require a Green Field category Permit.

If I hold a Green Field category Permit, do I automatically qualify to lead events in the other three categories?

Yes. The Green Field category Permit allows you to lead any category of residential event. If you hold a Camp Site category Permit, you will only be able to lead Camp Site or Indoor category events. If you hold a Lightweight Expedition or Indoor category permit you can only lead residential events within that category.

Do I need a Permit to take my young people abroad?

Yes, for events for those under 18 years. You will require a Permit suitable for the type of residential or camping event you are leading. Also you will need to complete a Form PC (Abroad) for the trip well beforehand. Which is available from our Assistant County Commissioner for International.

How long does my Permit last?

The length of a Permit's validity is determined by our District Nights Away Adviser when issued. The maximum validity of a Permit is five years.

What is the maximum age for the issue of a Nights Away Permit?

There is no maximum age for the issue of a Permit, provided the Applicant can meet the requirements of the assessment.

Does the permit holder need to remain on site overnight?

Yes. The permit holder remains responsible for the event at all times, and although they might leave site at times during the day (shopping, off site activities etc), they need to be there to be in charge of all nights away elements of the event.

If I have a hill walking permit that includes remote camping do I still need a Lightweight Expedition nights away permit?

If your hill walking permit includes remote camping then you do not need a lightweight expedition permit. However this only covers lightweight expedition, so does not automatically cover indoor, campsite or green field permits. If your hill walking permit does not include remote camping then you will need a lightweight expedition nights away permit or to get a hill walking permit that includes remote camping.

Why can't nights away passports be given to adults?

Nights away passports were designed to ensure that the valuable tool that is young person led residential experiences could continue to take place. If an adult has the skills to run a nights away event they should get themselves a nights away permit. If they don't have the skills to get a nights away permit then they shouldn't be running a nights away event!

Why do Nights Away Advisers now need to hold a permit themselves?

All Nights Away Advisers need to have the technical skills and knowledge to be able to carry out their role. Holding a nights away permit shows that they have these skills.

Why is there no photo on the permit card?

By putting a photo on the permit card it is seen by some as a photo identification card. We do not manage the cards in the way that photo identification cards need to be managed, so anyone could get hold of one and put any photo and any name on it. This is a situation we don't want as it could be quite dangerous, but can be eradicated by not having a photo on the permit card. The permit card was designed as a miniature certificate rather than an identification card.

Can you expand on why the Permit holder does not need to have a valid first aid qualification at the time of assessment?

The actual need is to have accessible first aid cover for the activity, rather than attaching that requirement to the permit holder. So in the same way you would not expect the event leader to do all of the cooking, putting up tents, running the programme, emptying the toilets etc it does not have to be the permit holder with the first aid qualification as long as it is provided somewhere within the leadership team.

Why aren't nights away permits section specific?

The assessment for a nights away permit is on an individual's technical and personal abilities to run quality nights away experiences. It is then easy for them to include Leaders of any section, especially if they don’t have much experience with that section personally, to ensure the programme etc is relevant for the young people involved. So in the same way you would not expect to see someone with a climbing permit only allowing them to take Cubs climbing, you would also not expect to see someone with a nights away permit only allowing them to take Cubs camping.

Why do campsite wardens or managers not check my nights away permit card?

The approval for nights away events (as with all activities) lies with the home District Commissioner, (via our Nights Away Adviser) not the campsite warden. It is not possible to make campsite wardens responsible for this approval as they have no line management responsibility for the people concerned, and when people stayed at non Scout centres or green field sites such as farmers fields there would be no one to give approval for the event to take place.

Nights Away