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Everything is possible in Guiding and Scouting

Guiding and Scouting is a wonderful way to learn new things about nature, yourself, other people and your own living environment. You get to pick up new things by doing yourself instead of reading about them in books. Scouting is all about doing things together: hiking, skiing, canoeing, sailing, practising first aid, making crafts and honing your woodcraft skills in the great outdoors. Scouting is a hobby where each individual can truly make a difference!

Scouting is for everyone

Anyone who is 7 years of age or older is free to join and there is no maximum age limit. The essence of Scouting is engaging in a diverse assortment of activities together with others and interacting with a wide variety of people. Where you come from is not important. All you need is willingness to get involved. Guides and Scouts organize large-scale events and camps as well as smaller events. They provide an amazing opportunity to meet your peers from all over Finland and the World. There are 38 million Guides and Scouts in 200 countries worldwide. The Guides and Scouts of Finland is the largest youth organisation in the country with a whopping 65,000 members.

To find out more about our values, objectives and programme click here

Scouting is about doing things together

Guides and Scouts operate in local groups (”lippukunta” in Finnish) around the country. The local groups are communities of children, youth and adults that work together to plan and implement various kinds of Guiding and Scouting activities. The different age groups within the local groups usually meet once a week at their designated premises. The children’s groups are led by adults, but in the youth groups, the leaders are only a few years older than the group members. The local group as a whole is led by an adult with the help of a number of volunteers. Every group leader is trained for his or her tasks.

The Helsinki Metropolitan Area Guides and Scouts (abbreviated PäPa) is an association for all the guides and scouts in the the local groups and their members from the cities of Helsinki, Espoo, Kauniainen and Vantaa.

The guides and scouts organize many kinds of events and camps, scout skill competitions and different types of trainings. All of this supports the scouting activities in the local groups. All together, 1 000 000 hours of volunteer work is conducted every year in the troops of PäPa!

That’s really something!

In guiding and scouting young people plan enthusiastically their own activities and carry them out. In fact, with its 12 000 members, PäPa is the largest youth organization in the Helsinki metropolitan area.

PäPa is also one of the ten scouting districts in the Guides and Scouts of Finland. This means that through the national association, all the guides and scouts of PäPa belong to the worldwide scouting movement. A city, a forest or even the entire world can serve as the adventure grounds for guides and scouts.

Volunteering in Scouts and Guides

Guiding and Scouting is also an excellent hobby for adults.

Adults can:

  • Help in organizing camps and weekend trips to the woods
  • Lead groups (eg. once a week/ once in two weeks)
  • Help with the support functions such as the local group economy, bake for Christmas sales, cook at a weekend trip, organize activities for group leaders, develope the local group’s communication channels or websites etc.
  • Participate in big projects such as big camps

What do you get from scouting?

  • Possibility to do good
  • Possibility to support young people in their personal growth
  • New friends and a community
  • New experiences and skills
  • Possibility for self-development in the long run

How to join?

Everyone can become a guide or a scout! Please contact your local guide/scout group to join in as a member. You will find your local groups’ direct contact information here.

In case you need more help, please don’t hesitate to contact our office by calling 09 8865 1200 or emailing papa.toimisto@partio.fi – we will be happy to help you with finding a suitable group for you.

Would love to join, but the fee seems to be a bit too much?

We believe that everybody should have a chance to become a guide or a scout regardless of their financial situation. In case you are not able to pay the annual membership fee for yourself or your child for instance because of a sudden illness, unemployment or family issues, please send an application to us and you can be granted a free membership.

Exemption is mainly meant for underage children. You can apply for the benefit throughout the year.

How to apply

  • After joining a group and receiving an invoice for the membership fee you can apply for an exemption. Please apply before the due date on the invoice.
  • Please apply for a free annual membership either online or by posting a printed form to our office. All applications will be kept strictly confidential.
  • You can apply online (you can ask your local group leader for help with Finnish language) or by emailing Executive Director Mimmu Mannermaa, mimmu.mannermaa@partio.fi or calling 040 132 7088.

Frequently Asked Questions about Guiding and Scouting in Finland

FAQ session about Guiding and Scouting in Finland was hosted online on the 2nd of September 2021. Watch on YouTube: www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-xvK4iQF4I.

This video aims to answer the most Frequently Asked Questions about Guiding and Scouting in Finland, related to topics such as: – Language – Background – Religion – Activities – Age – Costs – Ideals – How to join?

For group leaders

Useful links:

How to recruit new adult volunteers?

  • Use your own and your friends’ contacts
  • Contact other organizations and visit their events
  • Organize your own recruitment event or go to your area’s event
  • Keep in touch with the recruits even though your group wouldn’t start right away.
  • Send the new members to Introduction to Guiding and Scouting course or Guide and Scout Leader Basic Training, First Aid and rescue trainings
  • Organize skills training in all the skills that the new leaders will be teaching the children in the near future
  • Translate all the activities and skills badges materials of age group of interest in appropriate language as soon as possible to support on boarding
  • Give responsibility. What ever you do with new adults, do it in the scout way. Scouting is learning by doing. Encourage them taking initiative and bringing one’s own knowledge and experience in right now. Step back but keep supprting and fill in the gaps if needed.
  • If you have an English speaking group with English speaking leaders in your local group in Finland, your local group is multilingual. All information belongs to everybody. Figure out how you most efficiently communicate in many languages at the same time without making fellow scouts feel discririmated or left out.
  • Make sure that new leaders are added to the all same maling lists, Facebook groups etc than other leaders are as soon as possible.
  • Be the Adult Tutor yourself. Someone has to be there and in touch almost every day. Show yourself that you are making the effort as well. 

How to start a new group?

  • Contact the local school and/or kindergarten and ask if you could go for a visit and make a short introduction to guiding and scouting.
  • Ask a school’s headmaster to send out your invitations through Wilma communications as the parents read it.

Want to start a new group in English?

  • Contact your nearest international or multilingual schools and their parents’ association for co-operation.
  • Deliver your flyers in the offices of international companies of the nearby area.
  • Contact the companies directly and personally and ask their help to send your message to their employees.

Kuva/picture: Hanna Kimmonen