International contact helps young people develop an awareness of life outside of their own immediate sphere, and assists them in recognising and respecting the differences that exist between the many nations and cultures of the world.

The International Links Scheme offers a means of communicating with other Scouts abroad and provides an international experience without necessarily having to leave town. The International Links Scheme is keen to initiate contact between Scouts of all ages across national borders. Unfortunately, many foreign countries do not have Scouting sections covering the 6 to 8 years age range.

Individual links

These are links between individual Cub Scouts, Scouts, and Explorer Scouts. This is a fun way of learning about the life and culture of a Scout in a foreign country, and may result in a close friendship being established and perhaps even an exchange visit. Please note that it can often prove difficult to link people under 12 years of age as good language skills are needed.

International Group links

Many Scout Groups in the UK like to pair up or twin with a group abroad to exchange letters, photos and other correspondence. The International Group Links section of the scheme is designed to help UK Groups link up with a Beaver Scout Colony, Cub Scout Pack, Scout Troop, Explorer Scout Unit or Scout Network (or the national equivalent) from abroad with similar interests. Due to the varying nature of Scouting in foreign countries, Groups as we know them may not exist or may exist in different forms abroad. As a result it is often better to link leaders as a starting point and then develop this to build a group or section link.

How to take part

UK Groups or individuals who would like to be linked should use the following forms:

Group form

Individual form

You can view a list of people waiting for links here – let us know if you would like to link with any of these people. The factsheet below gives further information about the scheme and includes some suggestions as to how to make the most of international links. View International Links(FS260002) (PDF)

Or for more information contact  international.links@scouts.org.uk