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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

Recruiting managers

Great managers are out there, so give yourself the best chance of finding them

It can be tricky to find a great manager, but there are tried and tested ways of making it happen.

Follow our steps below to help you find the volunteer manager you've been looking for. You can also take a look at our volunteer manager search packs for more detail.

Three volunteer chatting, one of them is making a heart shape with her hands

Step 1: Form a Search Group

A Search Group is going to help find your future manager. The District or County Commissioner should appoint a Search Chair who will take the lead on pulling together a Search Group.

Ideally, the Search Group should be 5 or 6 volunteers that have as many links to people as possible from within and outside of Scouts.

Once the right people have been selected for the Search Group, hold an initial meeting:

  • Make sure everyone's comfortable with the time and location.
  • Consider whether it might work better online if your Search Group covers a wide area.
  • Use the time to get to know each other.
  • Think through the practicalities of the search.
  • Agree on timelines and the resources you'll send out together.

Step 2: Work out what you need and who you're looking for

Define exactly what you want a new manager to do. Use our role descriptions as a guide to help create a specification for the role you're recruiting to; you don't have to stick with that exactly, amend it to suit your local needs.

Once you've worked out what you're looking for, you could start some name generation exercises. Find out more about how to run some name generation exercises.

Remember to be flexible. Consider whether a ‘team manager’ approach might work better - you could split the role into two or three positions, then have people working together to take on the tasks.

It’s important to also think about who you know outside of Scouts. Could a non-Member with a fresh face, new ideas and management experience be a good fit? As a Search Group, write a list of people you think could make a great manager. Go through Compass, your personal contacts lists and even social media connections to build your list.

Step 3: Advertise far and wide

The next thing to consider is how and where you could advertise your vacancy in your local area.

When you're advertising, don't forget to include the vacancy packs, nomination forms and application forms, so everyone knows exactly what you're looking for and how to get in touch.

Some example places to advertise are:

Share the message with all your parents, carers, friends and local volunteers, using word of mouth, vacancy boards and the below template emails.

Ask parents, carers and other volunteers if they can share the ask with their local community links.

Ask the Search Group and District team to share the advert far and wide across their contacts and social media.

Military bases often look for local communities to support as part of their community outreach. They should be keen to support young people to learn and develop their skills. 

Find a local military base and ways to get in touch. You could call or email the base and ask to talk to the Unit Welfare Officer. 

Be clear and concise with what you're looking for, and what roles and tasks you're looking to fill.

Think about how many people you might need and when they need to volunteer. You could maybe offer a time limit that works alongside their placements.

Remember to make sure you explain the commitment involved with training.

Why not think about approaching local teachers, teaching assistants and school staff?

They often have the skills needed to help young people thrive and really care about the young people in their communities. They might be looking for a new challenge or to upskill themselves.

Try targeting a flyer or advert to them and ask if it can be put up in the staff room.

Are there any universities near you? If so, why not think about advertising to the students.

Some students might need experience working with young people, others might be looking to test out their new management skills.

Students can bring fresh ideas and new ways of working into your Groups and Districts, while adding vital experience to their CV.

Find out more about reaching our to and welcoming new student volunteers.

It's always worth noting the businesses around your Group or District, and find out contact details for them. They might be happy to send round an email or flyer to their staff, or they could have a noticeboard they could put something up on.

Find out more about connecting and building strong links with local businesses.


Some example email templates include:

To: All parents/member associated with [Group / District Name] Scout Group / District 

Dear [parent / Guardian / member name],  

We need a new team leader! 

We think you OR your mum / dad / best friend / neighbour might be perfect for this role. 

As the leader of the team we would call you the Group Scout Leader / District Commissioner (GSL / DC)! 

 In a nutshell, the GSL / DC would be: 

  •  Inspiring and enthusiastic, super resourceful and full of energy
  • A problem solver, fantasticteam builder and a leader  
  • Believe passionately about developing young people and volunteers to be their best 

[Group / District name] won’t be the only one to benefit – so what’s in it for you? 

This is an opportunity to make a real difference to local young people.  

Being a GSL / DC, will look great on your CV, demonstrating to prospective employers that you have some amazing additional skills. Don’t worry if you are new to Scouts, that’s no problem, we will teach you everything you need to know and our award winning training scheme even leads to a certified qualification.  

Volunteering with Scouting can be as flexible as you need so if you are worried that you won’t have enough time why not consider a role share within a small team. 

We are here to fill you in on the details, so if you want to know more please do get in touch with [name] on [phone number] or email at [email address] 

There are a many ways that you can apply or nominate someone else – why not give it a go and try one of them:  

  • Download the Vacancy Pack which contains a full role description, a nomination form and an application form. 
  • Click hereto apply/nominate someone using our online form. 
  • Contact [name and role] at [email address] or [telephone number].

We would love to hear from you by [Date]. 

Thank you for your time so far and please do shout if you have any queries at all! 



On behalf of the [Group Name / District Name] GSL / DC Search Group

To: All members in [County name] recorded on Compass 


Dear [member name], 

Do you know the next leader of [County name] Scouts? We think you might! 

Could someone from your District be the person we are looking for to take on the role of County Commissioner?  

 Who do you know who is… 

  •  inspirational and enthusiastic
  • a brilliant problem solver
  • a dream at building and leading a team of key volunteers
  • resourceful and energetic
  • passionate about developing young people and volunteers 

As a County Commissioner they would be responsible for ensuring the support and leadership of the District Commissioners and wider County team in [County]. In turn they would be comprehensively supported by the Regional Commissioner, Area Growth and Development Manager and Officers, other County Commissioners and key volunteers from across the County. 

How to nominate people: 

  • If you would like to discuss the role, or to make a nomination, please contact [name and role] on [phone number] or email at [email address]
  • Download the [vacancy pack] which unpacks the role in more detail 
  • Apply or nominate someone online now 

We need you to nominate someone, or some people, who you think would make a great contribution to the role of County Commissioner. You may wish to apply for the role yourself, which would be great! We would also consider a 'team' nomination or other opportunities to share the role.  

Any nomination you make will be kept in the strictest confidence. Nominating an individual does not commit them to applying for the role. The Search Group will contact nominees to discuss the opportunity and whether they wish to take the application further. 

The closing date for applications or nominations is [date]. Interviews will be held on the [date]. 

Thank you for your time so far, please do distribute this email wider to anyone you think may be interested, and please do get in touch with questions that you may have! 



On behalf of the [County name] County Commissioner Search Group 

To: [Company/individuals name] 

Dear [Company/individuals name],  

The search is on for a new volunteer team leader for [Group / District name] Scouts, and we need you to think about anyone you know who would thrive in this role! 

So what is the role?

This role holds to the title of Group Scout Leader (GSL) / District Commissioner (DC) and acts as a manager, supporting other volunteers to ensure the [Group / District] runs effectively and provides quality Scouting to more and more young people in [District name] and the surrounding area. This role would be great for an individual, but also work well as a role share with a team of 2 or 3 people.  

In a nutshell, the GSL / DC would: 

  • Inspire and enthuse people
  • Apply strategic thinking to a challenge
  • Build and lead a team of key volunteers
  • Be resourceful and energetic
  • Believe passionately about developing young people and volunteers

What’s in it for you? 

Volunteering with us is both fun and rewarding. It offers the opportunity to develop a range of skills and attributes which are transferable to the workplace, such as confidence, social skills, teamwork ability and leadership and management skills, including line management experience. In addition to this is the opportunity to rediscover adventure, make new friends and get involved in the community; all of which is great for personal development and will enhance the CV. At the same time this could support your Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities and objectives. 

There are a number of different ways to apply or nominate someone else:  

  • Download the Vacancy Pack which contains a full role description, a nomination form and an application form. 
  • Click hereto apply/nominate someone using our online form. 
  • Contact [name and role] at [email address] or [telephone number].

Please could we ask that you share the attached literature [the Vacancy Pack] and a copy of this email with your employees to view? 

The closing date for receiving applications is the [Date]. 

Thank you for your time so far, and if you have any questions please do get in touch! We would be more than happy to send a representative to talk to interested employees about volunteering for the Scout Association, and if this is something that would be useful, please contact us on [telephone number] or [email address]. For more information please visit or [local website]. 



On behalf of the [Group/District Name] GSL/District Search Group


Vacancy packs, application forms and nomination forms

Step 4: Shortlisting

Once you've completed the search, meet with the Search Group to go through all the applications and nominations before beginning the shortlisting process.

Anyone who has been nominated should be contacted and asked if they would like to apply for the role. If they would like to, they should then fill in the application form.

Shortlisting should be based solely on the information provided in their application and candidates should be assessed for competency against the specification that you created.

Make sure you end up with three or more names on your shortlist and agree who is going to contact them and ask them to come to interview.

Once you have your final list of names who have accepted an interview, pass them onto the position's line manager to run the interviews.

Now the Search Group's job is done! They can be thanked for their hard work and asked if they're happy to be contacted again in the future for another Search Group.

Step 5: Interviews

Online tools, such as Zoom and Teams, work really well for interviews where geography may be an issue. Just keep in mind what happens if someone logs in early. You can use different meetings for each interview and change the settings, so people go into a waiting room until you admit them into the meeting.

If you're holding interviews in person, bear in mind how far people might have to travel and assess where the best place to have the interviews is. Keep it at a neutral venue, such as at a local Scout venue, as opposed to your home address or in a pub.

Send out an invitation with all the instructions and think about timings for the day. Panellists should all arrive early and remember to give a telephone number and email address of someone that can help both panelists and applicants on the day.

It's also really important to let people know you're not judging them on the use of technology especially if you are doing presentations. Let them know its content not swanky power-points you're looking for.

Lastly, make sure you leave time for the panellists to relax between interviews, top up their tea and to chat afterwards to make your recommendations. 

For sample interview questions please take a look at the links below: