View Full Version : Explorer Scouts & Alcohol

02-12-2003, 10:55 PM
Hi all,

I'm hoping some of you can help me with this. I'm an ex Venture Scout leader now leader of an Explorer Scout Unit. I'm looking to have some sort of alcohol policy but I'm really unsure of what to have!

I have found plenty of Venture Scout information but as you well know Explorer Scouts are slightly different in the fact they are 14 to 18 than starting at 16 and going past 18.

What this means of course is that it is illegal for Explorer Scouts to buy alcohol but the law states they can drink with parental permission with a meal etc. I am under the understanding that the leader being in loco parentis that as long as there is parental permission they would be allowed to bring and drink a sensible small amount of alcohol.

My district think that there should be no alcohol full stop but as many of you will know this is unrealistic and I'd rather control the alcohol intake properly than having my Explorers go off and get drunk somewhere else where I don't know in defiance of a zero-tolerance rule.

Hopefully someone here can help!

Yours in Scouting,

James Moore
Explorer Scout Leader, Endeavour ESU
Young Person's Rep & Webmaster, Runnymede District
Email: [email protected]
MSN, Yahoo and AOL Messengers: jwjmoore
ICQ: 16356546

03-12-2003, 12:22 AM
It's always been a difficult issue with VS or ES what we have done for both is got the parents to sign this form

The purpose of this letter is to ascertain your feelings on alcohol consumption with respect to your son or daughter in Explorer Scouts.
During a few of the Explorer Scouting activities during the year, alcohol may be available for consumption by participants, for example; cheese and wine occasions, Christmas Dinner etc.
Whenever such a situation does arise it would be wine, beer or cider for example. Spirits are NOT allowed at all. We would always do our best to keep any consumption in moderation.
If you are happy for you son or daughter to consume alcohol then you can complete the form below. If we do not receive a form we assume that they are NOT allowed to, although if you have strong feelings on the subject it is probably a good idea to return it anyway.
If you have any queries or questions on this, or any other matter, please do not hesitate to contact me

Martyn Smith

Please delete the appropriate paragraph below:

I am happy for my son/daughter _____________________________ to drink alcohol on Explorer Scout activities, as described above.

I would like you to do your best to prevent my son/daughter _____________________________ from drinking alcohol on Explorer Scout activities.

Signed (parent or guardian)___________________________

Please also print your name___________________________

We are very strict on the form no form or slight doubt on the signature (yes it has happened - we checked a certain 16 year old was grounded for 3 months)

I am also quite happy to talk to the parents about it, with the ES there or not

I have been in 'discussions' with few people who are against it. They normally end with
Where did you 1st get drunk ?
Was there someone there looking after you ?


03-12-2003, 10:53 AM
Yes I agree parental consent is what you are after, we cant as leaders make that decision, its up to the parents.

04-12-2003, 09:16 AM
Explorers go off and get drunk somewhere else where I don't know in defiance of a zero-tolerance rule.

In my experience this is likely to happen, although it does depend on the type of people you are dealing with. Also the activity makes a difference as well.
As a Venture Scout I attended several National Camps where alcohol was consumed, and yes, my first drink was at one of these camps. As was the reason I rarely drink now (im 20). I have witnessed people get unconcious and violently sick as a result of drinking too much alcohol (usually underage).
However, at a camp earlier this year with the Explorers, we were told by the organisers that it was NO ALCOHOL ALLOWED, but that didnt stop them. It got to the point that the camp organisers threatened to kick us off because they kept sneaking away for a drink.
Now you may think it was irresponsible of me to allow this to continue, but I know these people, and know what they can handle. Large amounts of alcohol were consumed that weekend, but not a single one of my Explorers was "too drunk".

So sum up my rambling, if they can find a way to drink, they will. If you are in a situation where you can control it (Nights out and things like that), then its up to the parents. At camps, parents should be made aware that it will be around but letting them drink a few beers in the marquee with you around is better than letting them sneak out and down half a bottle of vodka.

14-12-2003, 01:07 PM
Thank you for all of your advice. The district executive committee have decided there will be complete zero tolerance on any alcohol on any activities run, either group based or district based.

Bad news is....they have asked me to draft up an Alcohol, Sex and Drugs policy.

I don't suppose anyone has one lying around....?

14-12-2003, 01:21 PM
I think that is the wrong decision.

I alcohol is fine as long as it's kept under control - The explorers will also break the rules numerous times.

Plus I don't think the District exec has the power to make that decision

You will also be better getting the explorers to come up with the policy


14-12-2003, 07:41 PM
Getting the explorers to make the policy? But they would want one that let them drink as much as they liked!

14-12-2003, 11:20 PM
You would be amazed - what they will come up with

They do need a little push - 'What would happen if such and such saw you drunk ?

but I think it would be worth it - They will follow thier rules


15-12-2003, 10:14 PM
When we were ventures we had a similar policy, worked into our unit rules, which said that although alcohol was allowed unit members should not become "Drunk and disorderly", these rules were set by the unit exec, one non-exec member suggested we change it to "Drunk and incapable" (to align it with the rules the police use for people in public) but we decided against this, deciding that we could cope with the incapable (we did this most of the time WITHOUT alcohol! ;) ) but disorderly was definitely the way to word it!

16-12-2003, 07:58 PM
This is our districts code of conduct.