Skip to main content

Canvas & Compass Travel


A week of camp life is worth six months of theoretical teaching in the meeting room

Lord Robert Baden Powell – Founder of Scouts

Canvas & Compass Travel

Before You

Scouting is for everyone, no matter what their cultural background, faith and beliefs. With the help of Scouting Ambassadors such as Tim Peake, Ellie Simmonds, Steve Backshall, Megan Hive plus many more the positive ethos and benefits of Scouting is communicated far and wide but remember there is an even more important Scout Ambassador that can influence young people in a positive way and that is you!!

The Scouts hopes to support amazing leaders to deliver an inspiring programme and prepare more young people with skills for life and exploring the world and making new international friends is a key part of this.


So why should you take your youth group abroad?

We asked Gill Clay, Baden Powell’s granddaughter and our travel ambassador why you should take your youth group abroad -

Who are you going with? Who will meet you? Where will you be staying? Have you got your passport and money? What if something goes wrong? Who will look after you?

I was going on a Guiding trip to Kenya and my dear, ever-practical Mother-in-law was anxious and asking some very sensible questions which we all need to address when we travel, and especially with young people in our care. Although I have been fortunate enough to travel widely in Scouting and Guiding, to my regret, and probably like many Leaders, they are questions which have put me off taking young people abroad. However, nowadays there is much more support than there used to be for this, and it is well worth exploring the possibilities.

My reply to my Mother-in-law was: “It will be all right. I am going to my Guiding family. They will meet me and look after me!” And that is exactly what happened. I was met with a huge hug and shared in a fabulous international camp outside Nairobi and was looked after until I was put on a plane to return to the UK. The Guides may have been of different races and cultures and languages, but we were truly sisters who had been brought up in the same way with the same values. Everyone spoke English, the tents were the same, the knots were the same, the games were the same, the camp-fire songs were the same, (but the harmonies were glorious!) The hole-in-the-ground loos took a little getting used to!

It was the same when I visited Scouts in Hungary, USA, Namibia, Mongolia, Vietnam, and Cambodia and Guides and Girl Scouts in Singapore, Australia, Ireland, Denmark, Canada, India, Mexico, Switzerland, Cyprus, and USA. They wore uniforms much like ours and lived by their Scout/Guide/Girl Scout Promise and Laws. Their camps were like ours, they were learning the same skills and enjoying the same adventurous activities, games and camp-fires. I have so many wonderful memories of trips to other countries, rejoicing in the similarities and being entranced by the differences. Memories such as: exquisitely carved, intricate, arching Hungarian camp gateways and Hungarian songs round the camp-fire; thrilling climbing walls and water activities at the USA World Scout Jamboree site, the Summit; identical Cub Grand Howls and Jungle Book games in Namibia and Cambodia; an Award ceremony for Explorer Scouts in Mongolia; and a Founder’s Day ceremony in Vietnam. The world-wide Scout and Guide/Girl Scout family is truly a family, which is present in almost every country in the world. There can be no better way to promote international friendship and understanding than visiting each other, making a vital contribution to world peace … and our young people deserve to be part of this!

There are numerous international Scouting and Guiding events that take place every year in the UK, Europe and further afield. These are the perfect opportunities to immerse your group into an amazing international adventure as you not only meet Scouts and Guides from the host country but other visiting countries too.

Awards such as Explorer Belt, Queen’s Scout Award and the Duke of Edinburgh Award are an integral part of a Scout or Guides progression through the movement. Canvas & Compass Travel can help facilitate award expeditions and residentials to help them complete the award programme.

If you don’t have a group to travel with then that doesn’t mean that you have to miss out on the action! Whether you want to travel on your own or with a couple of friends or Scouting & Guiding colleagues we can still help with your travel arrangements.

Whether it is a community project in Kenya, an adventure challenge in Iceland or a cultural exchange in Peru we can create the ultimate trip. Our itineraries are tailored to the needs of the group - theme, location, duration, group size, cost. The great thing about a Bespoke Group Adventure is that your travel dreams really can become a reality.