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Surrey Scouts

Fujitsu Scanners Rough it at ScoutAbout 2008


  • Education
  • Government

Offering Groups:

  • Scanners

Solution Areas:

  • Imaging Solutions


  • United Kingdom


  • Track all people on site to comply with health & safety legislation
  • Staffed by volunteers: ease-of-use a priority
  • Scan 9,000-plus pieces of paper
  • Safe storage, scanned data easily accessible
  • Bespoke IT system too costly


  • Compact - easy to transport
  • Scans the touch of a button
  • Bundled software saves additional outlay & integration
  • Fast scanning: all records available on day one

Scout and Guide event opts for a Fujitsu Scanner system to deal with all the paperwork.

Scoutabout2008 logo

Choose one weekend in June, find 150 acres in the south of England and then let 4,500 10 – 15 year old Scouts and Guides loose for two days of activities and you have ScoutAbout 2008. ScoutAbout is an event held once every three years by the Surrey Scouts at the South of England Showground in Ardingly, West Sussex. This year’s event took 18 months of planning and gave those attending the chance to take part in over 200 activities including caving, canoeing, paragliding, archery, rock climbing, abseiling, crafts and shooting.

To make an event of this scale run smoothly it takes a lot of support staff. ScoutAbout 2008 saw 1,500 adults volunteer their time to help make the event a success. The support team included camp cooks, a doctor, first aiders and fire teams. The event even had IT engineers onsite to deal with the vast amount of information needed from each person attending to comply with health and safety regulations.

Too much paper!
All the paperwork needed to run this event, and to meet health and safety compliance, had the potential to lead to an administration nightmare. Every Scout and Guide attending ScoutAbout had to supply event organisers with 2 pieces of paper. This paperwork contained information such as medical records, parental permission slips and special dietary and physical requirements. This meant that administrators at the event were dealing with over 9,000 pieces of paper, this is enough paper to stretch for over two and a half kilometres if lined end to end.

Nick Clark

To reduce this amount of paper onsite, and to speed up the process of finding essential information when people were taken ill, the only sensible option available for event organisers was to digitise everything. Nick Clark, Scoutabout Administration Manager said of the event “This event has grown greatly since we first began it in 1976. We decided that we had now reached the point where we needed an electronic system in place to track all the people we had on site and make sure all their essential information is safely stored and easily accessible should we need it in a hurry.

With all the safety and compliance rules and regulations in the UK, 4,500 Scouts and Guides can make for a lot of paperwork. What we needed was a system that could speedily scan all the documents so we could get to the serious business of having fun.”

Scouting for the right solution
To help with the admin role at ScoutAbout the Surrey Scouts opted for Fujitsu scanners to find a scanning system that would be easy to use and could cope with such a vast volume of paper. As cost was also a major concern to event organisers, they needed a system that would come pre-packaged with the software they needed to get the job done without going to the lengths of having an expensive bespoke IT system to scan and file all the pieces of paper. The only equipment on the market that met all the Surrey Scout troupe’s needs was the Fujitsu ScanSnap S510.

Dave Ring continues, “The Fujitsu ScanSnap S510 fit the bill for what we needed. It is compact and helped us scan at the press of a button instead of having to fiddle with lots of different settings. The scanner also came bundled with all the software we needed to automatically store away all the scanned paperwork for easy reference.”

An advantage the ScanSnap S510 has for dealing with large amounts paper is the software bundle that comes as standard. The scanner comes with a copy of Adobe Acrobat 8.0 Standard and ABBYY Fine Reader for ScanSnap to create instantly editable Word, Excel and PowerPoint 2003 documents. Another reason the Surrey Scouts chose the Fujitsu ScanSnap S510 was the speed at which it operates. Scanning 9,000 pieces of paper can take a long time using traditional flatbed scanners but with the ScanSnap S510, the organisers could scan up to 18 pages per minute single sided or 36 images per minute double sided to get all the admin work out of the way before the end of play on the first day.

Andrew Cowling, Senior Marketing Services Executive at Fujitsu Europe said of the event “If you think you have some paperwork to contend with in the office, think again! This is a great example of how people can digitise large amounts of paper easily and quickly. With many businesses the main thing holding them back from moving to a paperless office is the time they will perceive it will take to digitise existing records. This event is a great example of how organisations of all sizes can easily become paperless with little fuss.”

For more information on the Fujitsu ScanSnap range visit the web portal at:

Images of ScoutAbout can be found on the Surrey Scouts Web site.

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