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Volunteering at Scouts is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing to help us reach more young people

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Investing a Squirrel

Plan a special moment to welcome new Squirrels to your Drey (and the worldwide Scout family) and for them to make their Promise.

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You’ll need

  • Membership Award badge
  • Scarf
  • Woggle (optional)
  • Group name tape (optional)
  • Local Scout badges (optional)
  • Any other items to give out (optional)
  • Something to mark lines (optional)

Investiture is a special time where someone makes their Scout Promise, and becomes a member of both their group, and the worldwide Scout family. Some people call these Promise ceremonies and it’s often known as being ‘invested’. Parents/carers are often invited to watch the special occasion.

Traditionally, people will make the Scout sign while they’re making their Promise and the person leading the ceremony will often shake their hand afterwards, using the Scout handshake.

When new Squirrels have settled in and decided they want to stay, they will make their Squirrel Scout Promise, which is the same as the Beaver Scout Promise.   They’re welcomed to Squirrels, and become a member of both their Drey (the name for a Squirrel group) and the worldwide Scout family.

They’ll get their Membership Award. This is a purple badge with a picture of the fleur-de-lis – an international symbol that’s worn by Scouts all over the world. They may get some other local badges too, to show where their group is located.

They’ll also get their scarf, which they can proudly wear, to show which Scout Group their Squirrel Drey is part of.  You may want to give them something else, like a certificate or a gift representing Squirrels, to mark the occasion.

It's up to you how you run your investiture, and your Drey might have its own special way of doing things. We've put a suggestion below, but you can do what works for your Drey and for your new Squirrel.

The important thing is that it should feel like a special moment for the new Squirrel, and that they will enjoy it and feel comfortable. We’d recommend getting the whole Drey involved, so everyone has a part to play in helping the new Squirrel feel welcome and part of the group. Why not include a special song or game, or have a special story. You could also get creative and use art or props – things to represent the squirrel animal, or the tree or drey (nest) where they live.

Everyone could say their Promise together, at the same time as the new Squirrel – a chance to renew their Promise at the same time. Or the new Squirrel could take the spotlight and say it by themselves. Instead of using the Scout sign throughout, everyone could have fun learning some actions for each part of the Promise – this will probably help them remember it too.

The new Squirrel can make their Promise in way that works best for them, whether they want to sign, repeat each part after the person leading the ceremony, or even just nodding to agree to each part of the Promise.

We talk about investing one new Squirrel here, but you can invest more than one person at the same time, and this might help new Squirrels feel more comfortable.


Before you begin

  • Give the Squirrel and their parents/carers plenty of time to look at the different Promises they can choose from and decide which one is right for them. The beginning of every version is the same, and they can choose which ending is right for them.  Make sure you know what version they’ve chosen.
  • Chat to the new Squirrel about how they want to make their Promise.
  • Make sure everything is ready before the investiture begins.

This includes preparing badges. You’ll need a Membership Award badge, and any local badges you may be using (to show your Group, District, County/Area or Region). There might also be a Group name tape. They also need a scarf. Rolling the scarf beforehand and tying with a friendship knot or woggle, will save you some time and make things a bit easier.

  • If you’re using the example below, you’ll need to hide the scarf somewhere in the meeting place. Make sure the area is going to be safe for searching.

If you’re inside, think about what furniture or other items are around, particularly anything that is stacked. You could mark out the shape of a tree on the ground, to make this more visual and show everyone where to be.

An example investiture 

Where is the scarf hiding?

  1. Talk about how today is a special day, because a new Squirrel is making their Promise.

Can everyone remember what a Promise is? A promise is a set of words that mean something to you, which you try to follow every day. Who can remember what things they got when they made their Promise?  They’ll have got their Membership Award badge and their scarf.

  1. The person leading the session can explain that their scarf is hiding somewhere in the meeting place, and we all need to help find it.

Make sure everyone understands what area they are searching, and that adults and helpers are on hand to make sure everyone searches safely.

  1. Everyone can have fun searching high and low to find the hidden scarf!

Squirrels are great at finding things – they bury nuts all over the place, and manage to find them again ages later!

Climb the tree

  1. Talk about where Squirrels live. They like to live high up in the trees.
  2. Everyone should sit or stand in two lines, facing each other, to make the trunk of the tree. The new Squirrel should stand at the bottom of the tree, with a helper.  The person leading the ceremony should stand at the top of the tree.
  3. The person leading the investiture can ask the new Squirrel if they’re ready to make their Promise and climb the tree.
  4. The helper can help them to make the Scout sign.

Help them find their right hand, and use their thumb to hold down their little finger. Then, stretch out their other fingers so they point straight upwards. They should turn their hand, so their palm is facing forwards.  Why not get everyone to join in and make the Scout sign together. 

  1. The person leading the ceremony can read out each part of the Promise, for the new Squirrel to repeat. After each part, they can take a step, hop or jump up the tree.
  2. When they’ve said all their Promise and got to the top of the tree, the person leading the investiture can give them their scarf and badge(s). They could shake hands using the Scout handshake (using the left hand).

Badges can easily get lost.  So, after the welcome rhyme/song, they could put them away safely until the end of the session, or give them to their parent/carer if they’re there.

Welcome rhyme

  1. Everyone can say a special rhyme or song to welcome the new Squirrel. You could have some fun actions to go along with this too! 

We have included this rhyme below.

  1. Everyone could shake hands with each other, using the Scout handshake (using our left hands). Squirrels could have fun trying to make sure they’ve shaken hands with everyone.

Here’s an example of a rhyme you could use.

Welcome [name] to our Drey
We’re so glad you’ve come to stay
Now you are a Squirrel too
There’ll be lots of fun for you!

Here are some actions you could use, but everyone could have fun making up their own.

Welcome [name] (pretend to hug) our Drey (stretch arms out wide)
We’re so glad (thumbs up) you’ve come to stay (point to ground)
Now you are a Squirrel too (wiggle)
There’ll be lots of fun for you! (spin around)


This activity gave everyone the chance to welcome a new Squirrel to the group. It's also a nice opportunity for everyone to reflect on when they made their Promise.

Where is the scarf hiding?

  • Can your remember making your Squirrel Scout Promise?   Can you remember any of the words?    
  • What is a promise? A promise is a set of words that mean something to you, which you try to follow every day.
  • Why do you think Scouts wear a scarf?

Climb the tree

  • Why is it good to have a promise?
  • What did it feel like to make your promise?

Welcome rhyme

  • How did it feel being welcomed to the group?
  • Why is it good to welcome new people to the group?


All activities must be safely managed. You must complete a thorough risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Always get approval for the activity, and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.

Active games

The game area should be free of hazards. Explain the rules of the game clearly and have a clear way to communicate that the game must stop when needed. Take a look at our guidance on running active games safely.

Investitures should always be tailored to the individual making their Promise – there’s no one size fits all here. Welcome people in a way that makes them feel happy; for example, if someone doesn’t like touching others, don’t ask them to shake hands. People can make their Promise however they like, whether they want to sign, repeat each part after the person leading the ceremony, or say the Promise at the same time as a friend. Some people may want a quiet space for their Investiture. Chat with everyone about how they’d like to make their Promise, and which version they've chosen.

Make sure you’ve given the new Squirrel and their parent/carer time before their investiture, to chat about the different Promises and decide which one they want to choose.

All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.

Everyone can remind themselves about their promise at home and think about how they can follow it every day. 

Everyone could share ideas about how to make the new Squirrel feel welcome and part of the group. The new Squirrel can help to decide how they'll make their Promise.