A Rover Den is the meeting space of a Rover Crew, often a separate side room of a Scout Hall, or a free-standing building in its own right. Many Crews occupy halls no longer used by Groups, or may make their home in Council or privately owned buildings. It is up to the Crew how they plan and fund their Dens.
Baden-Powell wrote in his book Rovering to Success" "It is not possible to run Rovers efficiently without a Den." In truth, few modern Rover Crews have the benefit of a dedicate meeting space, but the task of finding one and personalising it to suite the needs of the Crew is regarded as one of the most rewarding bonding experiences when starting a new Crew.
The Rover Den is to be under Rover management and should be out of bounds to non-Crew members. In practice, dedicated Rover Dens are not as common as they were historically, and may Rover Crews share a meeting room with their Group's adult leaders, Court of Honour (CoH) or Group Support Team. It is also common for Crews to lack a Den, and make use of a Scout Hall in general. These situations are not ideal for the smooth functioning of a Rover Crew, and while often necessary for newly formed Crews, it should be the goal of established Crews to make a permanent Den for themselves (this is also an excellent team-building opportunity for a new Crew).
Advice for choosing and developing a Rover Den
Shroud of mystery
Ideally, a Rover Den should be out-of-bounds to non-Crew members, particularly Scouts who may one day wish to become Rovers. This shroud of mystery protects serves as both a recruitment aid, with Scouts wondering about what mysterious activities the Crew is planning, and protects the adult members of the Crew as it provides a barrier between the Crews adult-appropriate activities and children, for example, discussions on aspects of faith or community service projects dealing with sensitive issues.
It is noted that Crews sharing a space with a Group may not have the luxury of such a dedicated space, and should instead work with the Scout Group Leader to reach a compromise that does not cause friction with other branches in the group.
Building or finding a Rover Den
- Ask your Regional HQ about halls previously used by now-defunct Scout or Guide Groups.
- A den should be easily accessible to avoid crossing someone else's property.
- When planning and designing the den, remember that there must be:
- a meeting area
- a ceremonial area
- a kitchen
- toilet facilities
- Keep the kitchen within earshot of the meeting area to allow the coffee maker to hear what is being discussed