How to join Guiding and Scouting in Finland?
You can join by contacting your local Guide and Scout district. You can find the district map here.
Can I join if I don’t speak Finnish?
Most of the Guiding and Scouting activities are currently organized in Finnish and Swedish, but some local groups also cater to those adults and youth who speak English or other languages. Local troops differ from each other, but by asking around you can find a suitable place for yourself! One popular option for adults is to act as a group leader together with another leader who speaks Finnish. A positive attitude and willingness to use translate tools do help!
Can my children join if they don’t speak Finnish?
Yes, they possibly can! Guiding and Scouting is a great way for kids to learn the language and integrate into your new local culture while having fun! Having the motivation to learn definitely helps! It does vary though and depends on the local troop and the volunteer group leader’s language skills. We can’t promise that activities will be provided in a foreign language(s), but it’s always worth asking!
Can I join regardless of my religion?
Yes, you can! Anyone can join regardless of their ethnic or cultural background, language, religion or belief, physical capability, gender identity, gender representation, or sexual orientation.
The Guiding and Scouting movement is independent, religiously, and party-politically non-aligned as well as a non-profit. Each individual member is free to practice his or her own religion. Read more about values and ideals.
Please note that different local troops have different supporting organizations and different traditions. Many local troops have The Evangelical Lutheran Church as their supporting community. This is usually not seen in the activities, but the meeting locales may be provided by the congregation. In case you are uncertain you can always discuss this topic is with your local group leaders.
How much does it cost? Is it an affordable hobby?
Guiding and Scouting in Finland can be considered an affordable hobby. The annual membership fee is around 60-80 euros. The payment includes the membership fees of the Guides and Scouts of Finland and the Scout District. Some local groups may collect a separate membership fee.
Additional affordable fees for camps/trips/hikes. Intended to cover the costs of meals. Depending on the local group.
Can I volunteer?
Yes, you can! The Guides and Scouts welcome new volunteers to help with our activities. You can contact your local district to find out what type of volunteering opportunities you have in your area. Volunteers in the Guides and Scouts can be for example group leaders, event organizers, or cooks during camps. You do not need to have special skills, motivation to work together with others and learn by doing is more important. You can find the district map here.
Adults who act as volunteers enabling the hobby for kids and youth are considered members of the Guides and Scouts of Finland. All members of pay their membership fee. In return you get:
adventures, learning opportunities, courses, and support from your peers, a community of like-minded individuals.
What kind of gear is needed?
The Scout uniform includes the Scout neckerchief and a scout shirt. You don’t need to acquire them in advance. You will receive information from your local troop on how to get those once you have joined.
Camping gear some basic gear is needed for outdoor trips. Please note that they can also be borrowed, rented, or purchased second-hand!
Usual gear needed for outdoor trips:
A sleeping bag
A camping mattress
Sturdy and waterproof shoes
Do I /my child have to have some particular skills in advance?
You/your child do not need any preliminary skills or knowledge before joining the Guides and Scouts of Finland. All you need is curiosity, and willingness to learn and adapt. Joining The Guides and Scouts of Finland is a great way to develop your own skills, teach others and become a part of a community. All you need to know will be taught to you, step by step.
Photo: Alex Inkiläinen