Meet the volunteer – Darren Pringle

Quick links

There are many different ways to help in Scouting.

Volunteering for Scouting gives you the chance to try different activities, visit new places and learn and share new skills. Adults in Scouting can have many supporting roles, some roles are from 1 to 2 hours per week or 2 hours a month and other roles can vary depending on how much time you wish to give. There is a huge variety of roles to help run a Scout Group, as a Trustee on the Management Team or a Chairperson, Treasurer, Secretary, helping out fundraising, or maintenance of the Scout HQ or equipment. 

One person who ‘wears many scouts hats (aka neckies)’ and is keen to help out is our very own Darren Pringle. He’s the Scout Leader/Beaver Leader for the 102nd Craigalmond (Clermiston) Scout Group; Assistant Cub Leader for 88th Craigalmond (Carricknowe) Scout Group; and part of the Bonaly Scout Centre Active Support Unit (ASU), Edinburgh. And he’s such a positive happy chap! It’s infectious! Why not read his Scouting journey so far and see what resonates with you.

What could your role be?

There’s a role for everyone who volunteers, no matter your interests. Whether you can afford a few hours a week, or just want to help out at special or local events, we can support you in a wide range of flexible roles. There are many ways in which you can give your time to help Scouting whatever your background, gender, age, abilities and skills. Simply let us know your availability, what you enjoy/how you would like to help and we will match this to roles within your local area. Simples!

Name: Darren Pringle

Roles/Groups: Scout Leader/Beaver Leader for 102nd Craigalmond (Clermiston) Scout Group; Assistant Cub Leader for 88th Craigalmond (Carricknowe) Scout Group; Bonaly ASU, Bonaly Scout Centre, Edinburgh 

District/Region: Craigalmond District, South East Scotland Region 

My early years in Scouting
My journey within Scouting started at an early age when I lived in Penicuik. I always had a love for the outdoors including camping, cooking and fun activities so Cubs seemed the ideal choice when I looked around for local Groups to join. It was great as I got badges for doing what I enjoyed! We moved to Edinburgh where I continued with Cubs and Scouts but then stepped out of Scouting until the end of 2017. This was more to do with other sports activities and interests that I had at that time but over those years, expanded on the core skills given by Scouts! 

During the early years of my life, Scouting played a big part in developing my skills, and confidence. I have lots of great memories of camps. It was for this reason that in 2017, I chose to get back into Scouting as a Leader as I wanted to give other young people the same opportunities that I had to make similar memories, challenge themselves and learn new skills! It has also given me opportunities to expand my own interests and skillset over this time. 

My role in Scouting
Its been a mixed bag of experiences over the last 5 to 6 years of Scouting (due to Covid) and it’s been great over the last year or so, getting back to delivering a ‘face-2-face’ fun-filled programme for the Scouts. Our Group has quadrupled taking in more young people over the last year or so which required some additional Leader support for our youngest section, Beavers. I gladly stepped in to assist and it was fantastic to see the support received from both the other Leaders as well as the parents. I love the enthusiasm and ‘can do’ attitude from them all which to me, is Scouting at its heart!

I’ve enjoyed getting back into Scouts so much – seeing the rewards gained by the young people – that I also willingly volunteered as an Assistant Cub Leader at another local Group, the 88th Craigalmond (Carricknowe) Scout Group. Again, being around similar like-minded volunteers has allowed me to gain invaluable experience as well as broaden my own skills including my archery adventurous activity permit. 

Recently, I joined the Bonaly ASU unit delivering adventurous activities at the Bonaly Scout Activity Centre. For me, this choice was again to provide the same opportunities to not only our Scout Group and other local Groups in the District, but it was also to provide these to the wider Scouting community. It has helped to greatly expand my own interests including archery, bushcraft, traditional scouting elements, cooking and survival skills (to name a few) with the amazing ASU team based at the Centre. It’s also allowed me to learn some new skills such as nettle cordage, burn scrambling, tomahawk throwing, new teamwork challenge games, etc. 

The best about Scouting
Thinking back, the best thing about Scouting has just been seeing the smiling faces and hearing those words ‘it’s been great, thankyou!’ when the young people finish their activity. You know then that some of those memories gained by yourself have been passed on to others.

Why should people consider volunteering with Scouts?
Volunteering has helped provide a means to expand my own skillsets further, within each of the differing roles. It has offered a chance to meet similar enthusiastic volunteers from all walks of life, some with no or little knowledge of Scouting and others, with vast experience willing to pass this on to others. It’s given me a new outlet (or excuse) for getting away from the usual work pressures, doing things that I enjoy personally with the benefit given to our next generation!

I can’t wait to see what new challenges or skills can be gained this year within Scouting. Definitely hoping to try more watersports this year with our Group and looking forward to getting outdoors more and learning the ‘High Ropes’ activity at Bonaly in the coming months. I highly recommend being an ASU at a Scout Activity Centres to other Leaders and volunteers. Why not come along and join us?

For those thinking about volunteering in Scouting: ‘Don’t hesitate, you will not be disappointed!’. Even a few hours a week or month can make so much  of a difference to every young person, allowing them to gain new skills and experiences that they might not necessarily gain elsewhere. 


There are lots of ways you can get more involved with Scouts as a parent, carer or family member. From helping out occasionally on a family rota or playing a vital role behind the scenes, to stepping up as a leader, our volunteering activities are as varied as you.

We’re talking tidy uppers and tea makers, session planners, adventurous activities, fundraisers and treasurers, and all round team players to support our young people.

The good news is you shape what you do and the time you have to give. Scouts happens when a lot of us give a little (and no, you don’t have to be a Scout or outdoors expert to volunteer).

Across the wider Districts, the current vacancies include:

  • – Explorer Leaders
  • – Section Leaders – Squirrels, Beavers, Cubs and Scouts
  • – Section Assistants – Squirrels, Beavers, Cubs and Scouts
  • – Group Scout Leaders and Assistant
  • – Occasional helpers
  • – Executive Members – Secretary, Treasurer, Chair

What to expect:

  • * A warm welcome
  • * Flexibility to get involved in a way that works for you
  • * Easy access to training and resources online
  • * Friendly ongoing support from local volunteers

* No two weeks are the same, but the impact you make is always great.

Make a difference, volunteer today

To find out more about helping out, speak to the leader at your local group or use our volunteer enquiry form which can be found using the option below. Share your details and a volunteer from your local team will be in touch soon.