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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

Discover what this means

Bring an adult

Bring a friend to experience the benefits of volunteering with Scouts.

If you’re looking for new volunteers, you could ask your current volunteers to bring an adult along to a section meeting or another event to see Scouts in action first hand.

Why not run an adult volunteer open evening where people can try different Scout activities, find out about roles and see if they’d like to attend a session?

Invite someone to come along to Scouts

Identify a friend, family member or colleague who might like to come along with you to see what it’s all about.  

Beforehand, have a conversation about what to expect. Share what you enjoy about Scouts and some of the fun things you’ve done. Do they have existing skills you can make use of, or would they like to learn new skills?  

Give them all the information they need including when, where and what to bring. You could arrange to travel together or meet them there. They might need instructions on how to access a venue or need a coat and a pair of boots for the muddy campsite.  

Let your team know that your friend will be joining in. Consider whether you all bring a friend to the same event or whether you bring them along on separate occasions. First impressions count, we want to make them feel included and ensure they have a great time.  

Making them feel welcome

Welcome and introduce them to everyone, including the young people, or they may like to introduce themselves. You could even give them a neckerchief to wear!  

Have them buddy up with you and take part in the activities alongside you. Check in regularly with them to make sure they’re having a good time. Explain any Scout language that they might not have heard before. Here are some examples with practical tips.  

Plan your programme so that all adults will be included in activities and not left on the side-lines. Write some instructions for activities, and break down the activity into separate tasks.  Share the instructions and risk assessment in advance so they know what to expect. 

Arrange to meet ahead of the session so you can check they know what is happening and introduce them to other adults.  

Start the session with a warm welcome and introduce then to the young people as part of the opening ceremony. You could lend them a neckerchief to really make them feel part of the crew!  

Whatever you plan to do, make sure your friend can be involved, playing their part in a team game, helping share a skill, leading an activity or simply helping you to get the next activity ready.  

Here are some activities that are #GoodForTwo:  

Or you could come up with your own ideas, perhaps theming the session around the number two, pairs or partners.   

Make sure that all the way through, the activities are designed to include your visiting friends so that they have as much fun as the young people.   

Round off your session with your usual closing ceremony, making sure to thank your visiting friend.

Beforehand, share any details of the event with your friend including what to bring with them. This might be a packed lunch and a warm coat and wellies. Let them know what the purpose of the event is, what they’ll get out of it and how they will be helping.  

Remember to introduce everybody – even though you might know everyone there your friend won’t. Try to avoid Scout jargon as much as possible, and if it does come up try to explain what it means.  

Keep checking in on them throughout the session and making sure they’re having fun and have everything they need. 

Say thank you and follow up

It’s important to follow up with anyone who attended and to thank them for their time attending, as well as anything they did.

Ask them to see how they found it, if they enjoyed it and whether it’s something they’d like to do again. You could also ask if they’d like to try a different section or role. 

It’s important to explore all the options with them, to think flexibly and to give them time to consider if it’s the right fit for them.

Remember, there are lots of ways of being involved with Scouts as an adult. They might prefer to have a less regular commitment, or they may want to take on a role that’s more behind the scenes. 

If they’re interested in volunteering, why not encourage them to give the Four-Week Challenge a go? They could also try the Four-Step Challenge for those non-programme roles.

Two Women And A Male Volunteer Chatting. One Of The Women Is Making A Heart Shape With Her Hands.

Success stories of volunteers who were introduced by a friend

My friend, Hassan, is one of the dads from my nephew’s school. He invited me to one of his Scout sessions. It sounded fun, but I wanted to know what I was letting myself into!

We had a chat about their usual sessions. He said on Thursday they’d be doing some simple cooking skills and some games for their Beavers. I was keen to know more, so decided to join him that week.

He sent me their session plan, so I knew what to expect and he picked me up on the way there.

I was honoured to be given the groups neckerchief for that evening, which made me feel part of the group. We arrived early so I could meet the team and help set up the room.  

I was glad to know the words of the Scout Promise before we began, so I wasn’t just miming.

I took part in the opening game, which was lots of fun. They loved the session and it was great helping them. I’m a chef, so it was good to pass on some simple culinary tips.  

I enjoyed being involved in the evening’s session. I met some really inspirational people and love the enthusiasm they brought. I might just keep the neckerchief and come back next week with my nephews! 

Hi, I’m Alex and I’ve been working at home over the last two years due to COVID. 

The last few years have really made me want to get to know people in my local area and do more within my community, but I didn’t know how to get involved.

Last week, I was in a work Zoom meeting with my colleague, Dave. He was chatting to me about all of the things he does with his Scout Group. Dave invited me along to join the Group on Saturday, as they were doing a Christmas Social Action Project in our local village.  

I was a bit nervous, but went to the venue. Dave and another volunteer, Sue, greeted me at the door and introduced me to the other volunteers.

Everyone was really friendly and made me feel welcome. 

One of the volunteers, Holly, took me over to a group of Scouts who were busy making food hampers. The Scouts were packing food into boxes they’d decorated in Christmas wrapping paper, and they were writing little notes in Christmas cards for each one.

Once the food hampers were made, I went along with the Dave, Holly, Sue and the Scouts in their minibus. We delivered the hampers to elderly people in the village who had been alone all the way through COVID. At each address, we chatted, sang some Christmas songs with them and shared some mince pies. 

The whole day was absolutely brilliant. I could see from smiles on the elderly folks faces when they were chatting to the Scouts that it had made their Christmas. On the way back to the venue, the minibus was buzzing with all the chatter from the Scouts about each person they had met and the stories they had told them.

When we got back to the venue, Dave asked if I wanted to come along to the session during the week and help out with some biscuit decorating the Scouts were doing for their Cooking Badge. Holly added me to the WhatsApp Group and Sue gave me the details of the session. 

I’m really looking forward to getting involved with the Scout group. It’s opened up a whole new world to me, and I feel like I’ve made a real difference today. 

My flat mate, Carmel, helps at Scouts. We were talking about where we wanted to be in a few years time, and I said I wanted to get fit.

The next week she came back and said she had just the thing for me to try. I needed my old trainers and jeans, so I was intrigued! 

She took me to the local campsite. The other adults from the group were there already and had the kettle on. They said they were practising some activities for the new term programmes and were so welcoming. It was just like we were friends already.

Everyone mucked in, putting up a blindfold trail around the woods, dug a treasure trove hole and filled it with mud and water, then squelching around to make it a mud pool. We even had a dance challenge. It was such a laugh!

We then sprayed a bag of gravel gold and left it to dry, before tipping it in the muddy pool for the kids to sift out, just like gold nuggets. Obviously we had to try the trail out, I have never been so muddy or laughed so much!  

Then one of the volunteers called Skip got me to help find kindling and wood for the fire, then helped me use a flint and steel to light it. 

I loved sitting round the fire with the others toasting marshmallows, making s’mores and chatting about what they did and the plans for the next few weeks.

I even found myself asking if I could go along to a couple of Scout meetings too. It looks like I’m going to get fit in a completely different way to joining the local gym, I can’t wait!

My neighbour helps at the Scout group at the community hall. He’s the treasurer and says he’s part of the behind-the-scenes team. I’ve recently moved to the area and don’t know anyone.

He and his partner brought a bag of treats and local information to say hello. They even invited me to go to their ‘bring a friend’ evening at the Scout group. 

We all walked up together and several of the other adults from the group were there with friends too. They were all from nearby which gave me a load of new people to meet. They had some activities set up for us all to try. I loved the marshmallow and spaghetti towers, building the balloon cars and the egg drop experiment. Then we were introduced to the parachute. Who knew you could play so many games with a parachute?

After all the excitement, we made smoothies, then sat and got to know each other. They invited me to come along to try some of the activities with the Cubs on Monday.

I’m sort of nervous, as I’ve never done anything with young people before, but I’m also looking forward to it. They said I could try other things and sections if I wanted. I think I might have found some new friends, as well as a new home.