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Nights Away

Nights away or residential events, whether camping, hostelling, sleepovers or bivouacs, form an integral part of scouting, and are something that every young person should have the opportunity to take part in.

There are various resources and directories available to help you plan, train for and carry out residential events, from directories of venues available, through to details of how to gain a nights away permit that will allow you to lead these events. North Devon District have two Nights Away Advisers who are able to advice on how to gain your Nights Away Permit (NAP), where you could go for Nights Away, equipment advice, signpost you to other resources or assess you for your permit.


Updates & News:

  • Headquarters have released updates for Nights Away in January 2015 – click here and check what has changed.Rules and guidance have been updated to remove unnecessary barriers to nights away events whilst providing clarity and consistency. The key changes are the removal of restrictions for Beavers and Cubs taking part in nights away events, referencing to new processes such as recording on Compass, removal of the requirement to notify the host District Commissioner and reference to an appeals process.Deleted resources:
    FS155053 – Beaver Scout Residential Events (This removes all existing restrictions on Beaver Scout nights away events, including length of time away from home and the need for indoor accommodation if camping).The District Commissioner (or nominee) must be provided with basic information about all overnight activities involving Members under 18 years before a nights away event takes place. Similarly, the County Commissioner (or nominee) is to be notified of Scout Network nights away events.Notification should include all the information required on the Notification form.


  • Camping Tips from HQ – 10th April 2015 – click here




Want to go for a permit?

Take a look at our Nights Away Permit page as well as the below publication that can be bought from the District Shop.

NA book

An adults’ guide to camping, holidays, expeditions and sleepovers

Nights Away is a print publication containing everything you need to know for enjoying the outdoors and taking young people away safely and with confidence. Aimed at all adults in Scouting, it provides advice on the best equipment to take, ways of preparing your staff and how to make the most of your time away.

Illustrated in full colour throughout, and with its own smart binder, Nights Away is the definitive guide to camping and the outdoors.


What is a NAN form?

Once an applicant has been granted a permit they can start running nights away events – do note that every permit has an expiry date. Each time they run an event they need to notify their District Commissioner, before the event takes place. This is done through either passing the information in the Nights Away Notification (NAN) form to the District Commissioner or by submitting the NAN online through the events module of Compass. A copy of a form is available from here (FORMNAN).

If one permit is being used for more than one group the responsibility lies with the Permit holder to inform the appropriate Commissioner for each group.

It is very useful to also send to Don and Jim as well so we can keep track on each section in each group is being offered a Nights Away experience each year and also helps us see the range of nights away events being held, who is running them and also to be able to get opinions from leaders on new venues or venues not used for a while to help other leaders.


Event Passports


To encourage young people led residential events, such as patrol camps or Explorer Scout expeditions, a nights away permit holder can grant a nights away passport to an under 18 year old. This will be done after a check on the young person’s knowledge and ability to lead the event by the permit holder. It will allow the young person to lead a residential event for members of their own section and will last for a single event. The permit holder can only issue a Passport to the level of their own permit. Tip from Don and Jim: Ensure that you can evidence that you have checked the young person’s knowledge and ability.

Passports cannot be used if adults, without permits, are present for the duration (or a significant part) of the residential event. Passports cannot be used to take members of a younger section away, i.e. an Explorer Scout Young Leader taking a Patrol of Scouts away.

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