Stage 5 - Opening and support
Stage 5 - Opening and support
Your new Scouts section or group should be just about ready to launch! But before you dive in, it’s still really important to make sure that the new volunteers are supported and happy in their new roles. They should feel confident they can run their weekly sessions and part of the wider team.
Decide a way forward together
Hold a meeting with volunteers from your District. Invite new volunteers along to discuss the next steps in opening the new section/group together. Having a say will make them feel more energised and engaged. You can find a suggested agenda for the meeting and other supporting tools to download at the bottom of the page.
Some questions you might want to ask together include:
- What will the group be called?
- How much time is each volunteer able to contribute?
- Who will train and support them?
- What’s the budget going to be?
- What colour would everyone like the group scarf to be?
- Is everyone comfortable with what’s being asked of them? Do they have any further questions or ideas?
At the end of the meeting, you should:
- Have a timeline and list of actions for the next term, including getting new volunteers appointed, and having a party to celebrate what you’ve all achieved.
- Agreed on who’ll support the new volunteers going forward.
- Agreed on how the executive functions of the group will be supported.
Suggested meeting schedule for a new Scout group
Regular meetings help us make sure everyone gets to make an impact, that information is shared and that plans are in place.
A suggested diary plan could look like this, or you could design your own based on the group’s needs. However you decide to organise a meeting, letting people know about them in advance – and communicating what they might expect to discuss at each one – will be key to making sure everyone has a chance to contribute.
- Executive meetings – September, December, March, June
- Section meetings – October, January, April, July
- Leadership team meetings – November, February, May
Keep supporting new volunteers
Every new volunteer should be guided through their time at Scouts, just like they would be if they were starting a new job.
Build their confidence by:
- Introducing them to other people, groups and sections – including to those who work behind the scenes at Scouts – so they get to see how it’s done and make friends
- Giving them a welcome pack, full of essential information and contacts
- Working with them to create a good programme outline for the next 6-12 months
- Making sure they have a plan for their first camp – where will they get equipment from? Who’ll support them. Could they camp with a buddy group or at a District event?
- Creating a support plan for the first six months, so they know who to talk to if they have questions
- Briefing your group and district teams so they know what support is needed
We know it’s been hard work. But you’ve helped loads of new young people to access Scouts for the first time and left a legacy that will change lives with for years to come. Don’t forget to celebrate your success and shout about what you’ve done.