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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 know that volunteers have 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’ve opened over 600 Dreys as part of a phased roll out, to make sure that there’s the right support in place.

We're particularly encouraging those who can open Squirrels in communities where Scouts is currently underrepresented.

For now, only groups who have completed the readiness checklist; expression of interest form and had this accepted by their District Commissioner will be able to open Squirrels as unofficial provision won’t be insured.

We'll continue to test and learn from innovations that reduce local administration, and boost recruitment. We're growing 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)

Would you like to support us in the roll out of Squirrel Scouts?

Apply now to be a cohort coach

The role of the ‘Squirrels Cohort Coach’ is to support adult volunteers to plan, open, recruit, share best practice, and run engaging and safe programmes, that results in high quality Squirrel Scout provision for 4 and 5 year olds.

  • New provision opened will benefit from support provided by their Scout Group and District team and in addition peer guidance and age specific expertise provided by the cohort coach.
  • You will bring together your cohort of volunteers from ten units geographically spread across the UK using digital platforms such as Zoom.
  • Through online meetings you will facilitate discussions to identify successes, challenges, sign posting available resources and training, sharing best practice on recruitment of adults and young people, particularly in under-represented communities.  
  • You will share insight from your cohort with the HQ Early Years team enabling continuous improvements to national tools, programme and processes.
  • You will be supported by the HQ Early Years team who will provide a rolling programme of training, guidance, subject matter expertise, social catch up’s, and a cohort coach peer to peer programme.
  • The term of this role is six months.  At the end of this period you may opt to coach another cohort.
  • The expectation for this role will be to plan, chair and coach a one hour cohort meeting every four to six weeks, followed by a follow up call with a member of the HQ Early Years team and participation in monthly Cohort Coach feedback meetings over a six to eight month period.

How to apply

If you are interested in the role please email early.years@scouts.org.uk outlining your name, e-mail address, contact number and current role (if you have one).

A member of the team will then be in touch to talk through the role in a little more detail and explain the next steps. 

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

Feedback

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