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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

Volunteering is changing at Scouts. Read more

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News | 28 April 2022

Scouts bounce back with biggest growth for 80 years


We continue to bounce back and recover from the pandemic, as reflected in today’s membership figures with over 420,000 young people taking part in Scouts across the UK.

Today we announce that over 420,000 young people are taking part in Scouts across the UK and British Scouting overseas –our biggest youth membership growth for 80 years. 

This 16% growth in membership is our largest growth since World War Two. 

Last year, despite everyone’s efforts in very challenging circumstances, a number of young people decided to step back from Scouts. Our youth membership figures dipped to 360,000 young people taking part in 2021. 

Fast forward to today, and our huge rise in youth membership is thanks to amazing efforts from all of our volunteers to get young people meeting and enjoying safe programmes face-to-face again. 

Last year also saw us launch Squirrels, our brand-new Section for four to five year olds. In six months, we now have 382 Squirrel Dreys set up and 3,400 young people taking part.  

Our waiting list now sits at 90,000 young people. With so many young people wanting to join it’s clear we need even more adult volunteers to inspire young people and help them learn skills for life.  

Despite having 140,000 adults volunteering across the UK, there’s always room for more. And it’s not always about the benefits to young people, by volunteering with the Scouts it encourages you to try something new, make new friends, to keep your body and brain active and do something good for your community – in short it’s good for you! 


“It’s great to see young people returning to Scouting in their thousands and making new friends, learning new skills, and helping their communities rebuild after COVID-19. “Volunteering with Scouts is very rewarding, fun and good for you. For anyone wanting to meet new people and learn new skills, I’d encourage you to volunteer with the Scouts. “We have a range of roles available - from running activities for young people at a weekly meeting through to helping maintain Scout Group buildings a couple of times year. Whatever you want to do we have a volunteering role for you.”

Deputy UK Chief Commissioner, CJ Ledger

Two scouts making a marshmallow tower

Supporting our members to recruit more volunteers 

There are a number of ways to get support in recruiting  new adults, such as: 

  • Attending our volunteer recruitment workshop – an online webinar series designed to help you from the start of your recruitment journey to the end. The series looks at preparing to recruit, making the ask and what to do once they’re ready to start.
  • Try out a #GoodforTwo programme – a new way to encourage adult volunteers to bring friends along to Scouts to give it a try. It’s a tried and tested method for young people, so why not give it a go with your friends?
  • Using ready-made resources to help you to grow Scouts – we’ve got a range of tips and tools to help you reach out to new volunteers, returning volunteers, young people and to help you connect with your community. Find out more on the 'Growing Scouts' pages 

Today’s news is a big positive step in our journey to recover our membership numbers from the effect of the pandemic. There’s still a long way to go to help make sure we’re offering all young people who want to join Scouts the fun, adventure and skills they need for later in life.  

As always none of this would be possible without the efforts of our amazing volunteers – thank you for all you continue to do.  

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