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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



At first, such a scheme may seem Leader intensive in an environment where there are insufficient adults available anyway. This need not be the case. Imagination is needed!

Leadership roles may be similar to those associated with conventional Sections, but they are carried out differently.

Where there is some reluctance for adults to act as Assistant Leaders, or Scouts to act as Patrol Leaders, talk over and challenge their perceptions of the role.

An adult may be reluctant to take on an Assistant Leader's role in a Section of 18 Members but may be quite happy to do so if asked to work with just six. Similarly, parents may be happy to act as Section Assistants, especially if they live in the same small village where everyone knows each other, and where the den meeting is to take place.

A Section Leader is responsible for:

  • planning weekly meetings (where possible with the Assistant Leaders and Section Assistants)
  • monitoring Members' progress within the Balanced Programme;
  • arranging the monthly Section meetings;
  • visiting den meetings as regularly as possible and helping to arrange transport.

The Assistant Leaders are responsible for:

  • running weekly den Meetings (in the case of Lodges and Sixes), perhaps with a Section Assistant;
  • working with Members to help them through the Balanced Programme;
  • the organisation and general welfare of Members;
  • arranging transport to monthly Section meetings;
  • attending monthly Section and programme planning meetings;
  • maintaining contact with parents;
  • being responsible for funds and equipment

Avoid situations where a lone adult is running den meetings; always have two adults present, even if it's a parent or friend who does not wish to work directly with young people. Ensure they have completed a Personal Enquiry – and have received a Disclosure Certificate.

Scout Patrols should be able to conduct their weekly programme on their own, perhaps with the Scout Leader, an Assistant Scout Leader or some other adult providing advice and guidance where needed. By acting as a 'resource person' the adult could usefully assist the Patrol in undertaking the things they want to do.

Occasional visits to meetings will also be important. Some intensive Patrol Leader Training will be needed, particularly at the start. Effectively operated, cobweb Patrols provide real responsibility devolved to Patrol Leaders, individually and collectively.