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The trail to Squirrels

Our approach to planning and preparing for a new section for four and five year olds

Express your interest to open a Squirrels provision

If you've decided that you'd like start a new Squirrels provision and have completed the readiness checklist, please complete this form to express your interest. This should be done by Group Scout Leaders and the District Commissioner will then carry out a final review.

Ensure you've completed the readiness checklist before completing this short form

We’re now gathering interest from line managers across the UK to be a part of the first cohorts starting this September. We know that volunteers have many other priorities and Squirrels might not be one of them at the moment – managers can always choose to explore opening Squirrels at a later date. We're keen to understand if not now, when's good for you and at what rate?

We’re opening a limited number of sections to begin with, to make sure that there’s the right support in place. We're particularly encouraging those who can open Squirrels in communities where Scouting is currently under-represented.

For now, only selected groups will be able to open Squirrels as unofficial provision won’t be insured – but there'll be more cohorts that we'll scale as necessary.

There’s a slightly different approach to scheduling across the nations, but we’re all working together on this. 

We'll continue to test and learn from innovations that reduce local administration, and boost recruitment. We'll grow Squirrels bit by bit, learning and providing more support as we go.

The process at County level (across the UK)

The process at District level (across the UK)

Slides for District discussions

We've slightly amended the slides we used in the County Commissioner briefings, to use for discussions with District Commissioners. 

Access the presentation

The early years County Commissioner briefing

If you missed the briefing for County Commissioners in England or would like a reminder take a look at the slides.

Download the slides

Read more about the early years pilots

We've conducted 30 externally funded pilots in underserved communities and found that the programme was impactful, felt like Scouting and attracted new volunteers.

What we found


Do you have questions or feedback about Squirrels and the approach to roll out? Please contact the info centre and they'll point you in the right direction. 

Contact us