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Recruiting, retaining and re-engaging young people


What things should you think about?

  • What do you need? More volunteers? More young people?
  • What does it look like around you? What’s going on in the community? New schools? New housing estates? Specific social groups? What does the community need? 
  • Do people know where you are and what you do?
  • First impressions count. Are you welcoming? Easy to find?

Read some of our top tips.


We would like every young person to be part of the Scouts for life. We want to empower and inspire them to be do-ers and give-it-a-goers, and to go on to be the tidy-uppers and supporters for the next generation of Scouts.

Are you losing young people from your sections? Do you know why? Do they get distracted by other activities and clubs? Have you thought about how you could help prevent them from leaving?

Find some advice and support about keeping young people engaged here.


Are you struggling to keep young people engaged in online and socially distanced scouting? Do you need advice with contacting parents and carer's to re-engage with your young people? Do you need more support with running Zoom sessions and online programme ideas?

We're here to help.

Filling empty spaces

Every week we give young people the skills they need for school, college, university, the job interview, the important speech, the tricky challenge and the big dreams: the skills they need for life.

You’ve got leaders and you’ve got space so you want to give more young people the opportunity to join. Have you thought about:

New places for new young people

There are lots of reasons to open new Groups and new sections in existing Groups.

  • a long waiting list
  • missing sections in your Group
  • providing Scouting where there isn’t any
  • responding to changes in your community like a new school or housing estate
  • making Scouting accessible to different parts of your community like opening a section tailored to the Muslim community or starting up a new Group at a Special Educational Needs school.

Think about the needs in your community. Would opening a new Group or section mean that more young people in your community could join Scouting? 

If you’ve decided that, yes, you’d like to open a new Group or section, don’t panic about not having enough volunteers. The new provision process will help you recruit the volunteers you’ll need and get your new Group or section up and running.

Alternatively if you have a small waiting list, why not check out our quick guide to dealing with a waiting lists.

Keeping recruitment going

Young people need Scouting more than ever right now - don’t be put off recruiting new youth members, even when we can’t meet face to face. We’ve got some great tips on how you can use our existing tools to engage with young members, even in this ‘virtual world’. Check out these tools to help you.

How to keep young people engaged

Making sure that you are providing a quality programme is crucial to keeping your sections going. 

Learn more about engagement >
How to recruit more young people

Need more foot-stomping, fun-loving, skills-hungry young people? Follow these simple tips and use these ready-made resources to help you fill those empty seats.

Learn more about recruitment >