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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

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Session 1: Introduction

Session 1: Introduction

Key objective

Explain the role that residential experiences have in the development of young people in Scouting.

Course opening

Introduce course staff, and it may be helpful to state what skills and experiences they have that might be relevant to the course. Outline the course to the participants covering the programme and any necessary administrative points. Ensure that participants are aware that the course covers training for the Wood Badge. If they wish to gain a Nights Away Permit then further training and assessment will be required.

Cover domestic arrangements such as fire exits, toilets, phones, tea and coffee and so on. You may wish to include an icebreaker (a short introductory activity) at this point.


Residential experiences and the development of young people

Explain that this session looks at why we have residential experiences and what different types of residential experiences are available to us.

Taking young people away from home overnight, particularly camping has always been at the heart of Scouting.

The benefits of spending nights away make it an excellent activity for any section within the Movement.

Explain that to make the best of a residential experience, leaders must have a clear idea of the outcomes and how they will achieve these. Some reasons for holding a residential experience may be very simple and obvious while others may not be so clear‐cut. Ask the participants to create a list of reasons as to why we go on residential experiences.

This task requires the participant to think of reasons why people go on residential experiences. Suggested methods of delivery are putting up cards/post‐it notes around the room or buzz groups with someone writing ideas on a flipchart. Group work or any other method you feel could also be used to draw out the following points, but be aware that this may use more time than suggested.

You may choose to brainstorm these with more experienced participants. Depending on the method used, you may also need to either direct the conversation, or summarise key points that have been suggested.

Examples should include:

  • enjoy being outdoors and to have some fun
  • meet requirements for awards which can’t be achieved within the usual weekly programme
  • provide an opportunity for young people to take responsibility for themselves
  • give young people a chance to exercise a leadership role with the support of adult leadership (especially in Scout and Explorer Scout sections)
  • build teams ‐ perhaps to strengthen the links within the Group, or to integrate a new member into the section
  • provide young people with the chance to be self‐sufficient away from their normal home environment
  • acquire some new skills
  • act as a base from which to do other activities
  • allow leaders to get better acquainted with the young people in their care
  • provide a high point to the year’s activities
  • increase confidence for young people
  • allow young people to develop independence without parents/guardians/carers

Summarise the activity they have just completed and highlight the following:

  • residential experiences have formed a core part of Scouting since it began
  • residential experiences are a key part of the programme, with involvement in specific aspects of the Challenges or the staged Nights Away badges
  • residential experiences allow young people to be outdoors, to have fun and to develop their skills

Explain that once the reasons for holding a residential experience have been decided, this may affect the planning and content of the event. There are many different types of residential experience which can add to the fun and variety and help to meet particular objectives.

Residential experiences could be indoor or outdoor, using a static camp or moving around on a lightweight expedition. Explain that it also includes visits abroad and Family Camps.


For this session you require the following:

  • Flipchart
  • Pens
  • Post‐it notes