What is CUSAGC?

Cambridge University Scout and Guide Club is the Student Scout and Guide Association affiliated club in Cambridge. We organise a vast range of activities, from the adventurous to the social, and are also involved in the local Scouting and Guiding communities. For more details, please see the rest of our website!

Why should I join?

Have a look round the site! We get up to all sorts of fun and interesting stuff! In addition to being able to take part, members get insurance so they can do the more adventurous activities and go away on trips/attend national Rallies; receive a print copy of the club magazine, Sky Blue, twice a year; can hire any of the club’s camping/outdoors kit for free, and become a member of a great community both in Cambridge and nationally.

I’m at ARU/I’m not at Cambridge University, can I join?

Yes! You can be a member if you are at ARU (and several of our members are) or if you are a student in any other higher education establishment (a university or college), although it does help if you are studying or living in Cambridge! If not, first check the SSAGO website to see if there is a SSAGO group nearer to you.

I’ve never been involved in Scouting or Guiding before. Can I join?

Of course! You just have to like at least a couple of the many things we do.

Do I have to wear a uniform, or make a promise?

Nope… unless you want to buy a CUSAGC hoodie or t-shirt, nobody else need ever know you are a member! SSAGO is not a uniformed organisation, but SSAGO and CUSAGC have neckers for members to wear if they wish, and members may wear a CUSAGC name tape on their Scouting/Guiding uniform if they are a member of another section.

Do I have to become a leader of a Scout or Guide Troop/Unit etc.?

No, there is absolutely no obligation to, and many of us aren’t! Of course, you can if you want to, and CUSAGC helps support any students working in the Scouting or Guiding communities locally whether they are a member or not – this includes helping you find an appropriate group. We also run service events so that members can become involved without needing to make a regular commitment.

How much does it cost?

The annual membership fee is £16, which is broadly in line with other societies offering membership of national organisations. Some events will have an additional cost and this is solely to cover expenses for materials, food, equipment hire etc. We don’t make a profit! Other events will not have a charge, such as the service events (these are run from their own budget – and after all you are helping!) or games, hikes etc. Trips will again be at cost price, usually around £12-15 per night – which includes food, accommodation and transport while you’re there, but not your transport to the event location or any entry fees. SSAGO Rallies are usually around £30 (the earlier you book, the cheaper it is for you), plus any additional activity costs and transport.

One of the ways we can help make our events accessible is to hire out camping/activity equipment for free to members so that they need not buy their own. In addition, you pick and choose what you turn up to, so you can regulate the cost. If you’re having money problems, let us know – after all, we’re all students with limited resources too!

What if I’m a Network or Senior Section member, or have an Appointment

It depends. You cannot come to SSAGO rally unless you are a paid up member of SSAGO, and you cannot come on CUSAGC adventurous activities/trips unless you are a SSAGO/CUSAGC member. This is due to insurance and liability issues – SSAGO is affiliated to, rather than part of, the Scout Association and Girlguiding UK. Only CUSAGC members can hire kit, and so we would encourage club membership where possible, regardless of your position within Scouting/Guiding.

How about if I want to get involved in helping at a Scout/Guide group, but don’t want to join CUSAGC?

That’s your prerogative! Our Scout and Guide Liaison Officer will still be willing to help you find a group, with no strings attached. Of course, since you’re likely to have the same interests as other CUSAGC members, it might be worth giving us a try: some people choose to be on our student leaders email list so they can keep track of what we’re doing and pop along to events occasionally – we promise our burden on your inbox is minimal.

Why join CUSAGC, rather than, say, the hiking club, or the canoe club?

This is primarily a matter of personal choice – after all, if you ONLY like climbing, join the climbing club. We do do it at CUSAGC, just not as regularly as you would with the climbing club. However, if you like a full range of adventurous activities (and a programme of social activities) we’d argue it’s far better to join CUSAGC as you get to have a go at almost anything you want! In addition, we offer the opportunity to work with children and alongside other adults – many people enjoy this and it helps with your leadership and teamwork skills. You won’t get such a diverse range of experiences in any other club in Cambridge, and if there’s something you don’t fancy doing, there’s no obligation whatsoever.

Do I have to turn up regularly?

No – it’s nice to see people’s faces occasionally of course, and we hope you’ll make many like-minded friends in CUSAGC – but you don’t have to turn up to anything at all if you don’t want to. Cambridge is a busy place, with a lot of work pressure at certain times, so we expect that people will pop along when they can – however you’ll hopefully find that sometimes CUSAGC events can be a nice escape from the stress of work or revision! In addition, we know that CUSAGC won’t be the only thing going on in your life, or you may be a little short of money, or detest archery, or be running Beavers on a Tuesday night. You’ll find we don’t meet on regular night precisely to give different people the opportunity to turn up at different times. Our weekly email will tell you what you need to know.

Can I turn up to events without being a member?

Yes – we’d actively encourage you to turn up to a few events before you join. However, after a few weeks of enjoyment it’s probably time to sign up, as you can’t participate in ‘proper’ adventurous activities or trips (including Marathon or SSAGO Rally in November) unless you’re paid-up (it’s the insurance, as per usual) so it’s a bit of a waste of time putting it off too long!

How do I find out what’s going on?

Two methods – one is to look at our programme to see if you can find anything you’d like to attend. The other is to contact the chair and ask to be put on the email list. You’ll get weekly emails with a round-up of what’s going on, and any other relevant information and updates.

Sounds good to me, how do I join?

Joining is now done online. We suggest that you may want to come along to a few events – maybe see us at the Societies Fair, the Squash (Cambridge language: an introductory social event for freshers to meet club members) and one or two other activities – before you take the plunge!