Nights away or residential events help young people to become resilient. Whether it’s camping, hostelling, sleepovers or bivouacking, a Nights Away experience forms an integral part of scouting, and are something that every young person should have the opportunity to take part in.

All Nights Away Notifications for Nights Away activities will be approved directly by the District Commissioner and must be submitted via our form to ensure all the information provided on the form complies to the requirements for Nights Away.

To run a Nights Away experience a nights away permit is required. There are different levels of permit that allow you to take young people on different types of residential experiences.

There are four categories of permit POR 9.57:

  • Indoor – for staying in a building that has built in lighting and cooking facilities, toilets plumbed into a waste disposal system (i.e. a cess pit, storage tank or mains drains) and running drinking water.
  • Campsite – for staying at a site that has toilets plumbed into a waste disposal system (eg. a cess pit, storage tank or mains drains) and access to running drinking water. Those holding a Camp Site Permit may also run indoor residential events.
  • Green Field – for staying at any site where any of the above facilities do not exist – for example, a summer camp on a farmer’s field. Those holding a Green Field Permit may lead residential events in the other three categories.
  • Lightweight Expedition – for staying at any site for not more than one night before moving on. The core activity is a form of expedition, not residential, and all the equipment is transported with the participants. eg. QSA/DofE hikes, expedition hikes, canoe expeditions.

All Scout Activities including nights away and adventurous activities require a written risk assessment POR 9.4

Risk Assessments

Everything we do involves an element of risk, so we have to have plans in place to manage this. 

We all do risk assessments or safety checks everyday, for example, when we cross the road. We choose an appropriate place to cross, look both ways and make a decision about whether it’s safe to cross.

We know that young people learn by doing. Activities encourage the development of young people and they can feel a huge sense of achievement in completing them. We want to provide EXCITEMENT but not DANGERADVENTURE but not HAZARDClick here to find out more about completing risk assessments.

Got a question? Email


Nights Away Notification Form

Planning a nights away experience? Don’t forget to submit a notification for approval seven days before the event takes place. You must wait for approval before the event takes place



Nights Away Event Passport

Nights Away Event Passports exist to enable young people in the Scout and Explorer Scout sections, who are deemed suitably skilled, to undertake a nights away activity as a peer group.




InTouch is the system that helps you to communicate at all Scout activities and events. It’s flexible and lets Groups and Sections work out the best way to keep in touch during these activities.