Recruiting Explorer volunteers
Our Explorer volunteers are passionate about giving young people a voice. They're encouragers, supporting young people to pursue their interests and push their boundaries.
When looking for adult volunteers to join this section, think about people you know, and those in your wider community, who are passionate about working with young people.
"We turned the survey into an online form and sent out to parents and carers. We now have a mum running a yoga session and a dad running a woggle making night this term."
Those working in sports or outdoor pursuits might be attracted by the variety of activities on offer to the Explorer age group, while local councillors or businesses might benefit from regular engagement with dynamic young people.
Adults who have life skills to share, such as cooking, budgeting and DIY, can also share these skills with young people while also benefiting from their interaction.
Recruiting volunteers for Explorers can be similar to recruiting for other sections, so take a look at our info on getting more volunteers involved, too.
You should think about who's the best person to do the asking.
Depending on who's being asked, it might be better for it to be an Explorer Scout who asks, rather than a volunteer, or maybe a parent or carer who knows the person.
Be brave and ask the person you want for the task directly, in person. The worst that can happen is they say no.
When asking someone, don’t ask them to ‘be a leader’. Tell them their name was suggested by the Explorer Scouts as someone they thought had the skills and qualities to help out. Volunteering is flexible, so it's up to them about much time they want to give and how often.
If you've identified a particular person for a certain task because of their skill set, then be upfront about the task, as well as what’s in it for them and for the Group.
If they say no, you could try to find out why by asking open questions. If someone can’t help weekly maybe they can help once a month instead. Remember, being flexible can really help.
You could also offer the opportunity of the 4-week challenge, which is like a test drive of Scouts. It’s a try–before–you-buy model with no commitment, so you can see if volunteering's right for your new recruit.
Keeping your young people at the heart of your recruitment is essential. As Explorers, they can really help you to recruit – we've included some suggestions how you could involve them in finding volunteers.
Run a name generation session and get the Explorer Scouts involved in thinking who to ask and what qualities they’re looking for in a volunteer.
The young people can ask adults that they know if they would be happy to pledge a skill, or some activity time to the section.
This then gives the leaders a list of adults who have pledged to support the Explorer Section in lots of different ways, a bit like using a skills audit with member’s families.
If adults have 'pledged' to support the section, it’s important to follow these up and invite the adults to get involved by planning their help into your programme. If you can encourage them to try the four week challenge they might decide they want to volunteer more frequently with your Unit.
Top tips for Pledges
- Get the Explorers involved, chat to them about the skills that you look for in an Explorer Leader or the skills and experience gaps that you have in your section so they know what skills the Unit needs
- Share the pledge form with the Explorers and explain how to fill it in, you can amend this and they could even use the brand centre to create their own
- Remind Explorers about engaging adults safely acknowledging the yellow card. They should only contact adults they know well and in a safe manner.
- Why not make it a competition or set targets and consider reward system for example for the most pledged hours.
- Identify which leaders will contact the adults from the forms and arrange pledged hours into the programme plan quickly.
- Collect feedback from the adults and act upon the feedback, invite them to come back again.
We've put together a suggested programme plan that you could run with your Explorers to get them thinking about who could be a volunteer.
These are suitable for both digital and face-to-face settings. We've also included a brief you can use to explain the activity to your Explorers.
- Take a look out our guidance on getting more volunteers involved.
- You could use skills surveys or local contacts to help deliver specific activities.
- Keep in touch with former Explorers (within GDPR of course) and target them for recruitment.
- Ask parents and carer from younger sections - a Beaver parent or carer might not be able to help at 5pm, but could help at your Explorers.
- Ask adult volunteers from other sections if they want to try helping at Explorers.
- Advertise the opportunity for adults to get permits and gain new skills.
- Work with other Explorer units in the district to plan for district Explorer volunteer recruitment.
- Choose activities for young people that involve active participation from the parents and carers
- Explorers could deliver a volunteer recruitment presentation themselves
- When you’ve recruited, make sure you follow the Volunteer Journey
- Try to recruit for a team of adults to lead together