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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

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.

The four steps

Have a one-to-one chat with the potential volunteer to discuss volunteering and the possible roles/tasks available.

You should give a brief outline of 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
  • The sorts of tasks they might want to do
  • What they hope to get from the experience 
  • The skills, experiences and interests they have
  • How much time can they give

Once you’ve found out what they want to do, ask someone in a similar role, perhaps from the wider group or local area, if they’d be up for having a chat.

It's always good to meet with someone already doing the tasks to find out more and ask them questions.

They could have a chance to shadow them or just chat through any questions.

The chat should aim to give the potential volunteer a better understanding of what the role might be like, such as any responsibilities they’ll have, what kind of activities they might do, 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, such as Trustee Board or local district. 

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, either in-person or online.

Next it’s 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 role?
  • Do they know someone else who might like to try the four step challenge?  

Make time for a chat, either in-person or online, and answer any questions they have about volunteering. 

Remember they can easily change roles or try something else if they’d like to, as it’s important that they find the right role for them and it’s one they enjoy. 

It’s important we make this a really positive experience, even if they decide not to volunteer, they may come back in the future.

Three volunteers stand in a line, while the volunteer in the centre holds a football above their head.
All sorts of people take on all sorts of roles at Scouts

There are lots 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) 
  • Fundraiser  
  • Administrator
  • Social Media
  • Technology Lead 
  • Groundskeeper
Take a look at our role descriptions >

Find the perfect match

Try our name generation techniques to identify who you could ask to take on the challenge 

Ask for help

Need some more support and advice? The Growth & Communities Team are here to help

Programme Roles

If you want to test out programme roles, try the Four Week Challenge instead

Bring an adult

Have a look at some ideas around bringing another adult along with you.