Try the four step challenge
A commitment free, try-before-you-buy for new volunteers – focusing on roles beyond what they might expect to find at Scouts
What’s it all about?
The four step challenge is a gradual introduction to Scouts, for those who are interested in non-programme roles. New volunteers agree to help out for just four weeks, while a more experienced leader shows them the ropes and helps them get involved.
The four step challenge works because it’s manageable: people feel more comfortable signing up for a short amount of time. As an existing volunteer, you get four whole weeks to help them settle in, grow in confidence, and see just how much they can get from Scouts.
You can run a four week challenge however you’re meeting at the moment – it doesn’t matter if you’re coming together virtually or face-to-face.
Start by identifying someone in the team who’ll support potential volunteers through the challenge, then check out the steps below to get started.
Have a one-to-one chat with the potential volunteer to discuss volunteering and the possible roles/tasks available, outlining what each opportunity would involve – including flagging any training requirements and being open about time commitments.
You might want to ask about:
- What made them curious about volunteering in the first place
- What sort of tasks they might want to do
- What they hope to get from the experience
- What sort of skills, experiences and interests they have
- How much time can they give
It's always good to meet with someone already doing similar role:
- Ask someone in a similar role – perhaps from the wider group or District – if they’d be up for having a chat
- If yes, match them with the potential volunteer, so they have a chance to shadow them or simply ask a few questions
- Aim to give the potential volunteer a better understanding of what the role might be like – including chatting about what sort of responsibilities it entails, who they’ll be supporting and who they’ll be working closely with
Every role comes with unique opportunities to join in:
- Your potential volunteer may be joining a team of other volunteers they can meet up with – like a Trustee Board or District meeting
- They might take on a more independent role, which may involve meeting with a lead volunteer to establish how they see the role – if you're that lead volunteer, find a way to get the new volunteer to join in and meet others, whether that’s done face to face or online
Now’s the time to review how your potential volunteer got on:
- How did they find Scouts?
- Did they enjoy the role?
- Would they like to continue with that role or task?
- Would they like to try another?
- Do they know someone else who might like to try the four step challenge?
Answer any questions they have about volunteering and remember they can easily change roles or try something else if the role. It’s important we make this a really positive experience – even if they decide not to volunteer, they may come back in the future.
All sorts of people take on all sorts of roles at Scouts
There are loads of non-programme roles and tasks which need doing at Scouts.
Here are just a few examples:
- Chair Person (Trustee Board)
- Secretary (Trustee Board)
- Treasurer (Trustee Board)
- Record Keeping
- Social Media
- Technology Lead
- Grounds keeper
Role descriptions for some of these roles and many others can be found here
Try our name generation techniques to identify who you could ask to take on the challenge
Need some more support and advice? The Growth & Communities Team are here to help
If you want to test out programme roles, try the Four Week Challenge instead
Have a look at some ideas around bringing another adult along with you.