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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

Managing joining lists

Scouting has become so popular that there are thousands of people waiting to join. We must be focused on offering a place at the earliest opportunity, once a young person has reached the correct age.

Scouts has become so popular that there are over 30,000 young people waiting to join us. We must be focused on offering a place at the earliest opportunity, once a young person has reached the correct age.

It's a good idea to review your records at the start of each term, so that you've an accurate picture of future vacancies and of times when you're likely to be oversubscribed. It's important to keep your District informed, so that they can offer the appropriate support.

A ‘register of interest’ includes anyone under the core age range who wants to join the section when they're old enough.

A ‘joining list’ includes anyone who's already reached the core age of their section and is waiting for a place to become available.

District run lists

Both the register of interest and the joining list should be held at District level to allow an overview of the development of the District. This way the District can manage:

  • All sections being the maximum size.
  • Each section having the appropriate number of adults.
  • Names only appearing once on the register of interest and/or the joining list.
  • Plans either to recruit new members (adults or young people) or to deal with expanding lists.
  • Transfers of young people to the District, making sure a place is found for them as quickly as possible.

Recording the details

When a parent or carer contacts you, you should collect:

  • The name of the young person.
  • Date of birth.
  • The parent or carer’s name, address, phone number and email address.
  • Details of preferred Group.
  • If their siblings already take part in Scouts and in which Group.
  • If they're the children of volunteers and in which Group/Unit they're parents or carers volunteer in.

When recording personal details, you must adhere to the Data Protection Act.

Setting the size of your section

Firstly, consider the recommended maximum size for the sections outlined in Policy, Organisation and Rules:

  • Squirrel Dreys: 24 young people
  • Beaver Colonies: 24 young people 
  • Cub Packs: 36 young people 
  • Scout Troops, Explorer Units, Scout Network: no recommended maximum size 

Secondly, consider the number of adults available in the section. The appointed volunteer should make sure there are the correct number of adults is present at every meeting, as outlined in POR.

Finally, consider the size of the meeting place and the size of the next section.

If the Groups and Districts are working together, then an important part of the plan will be to increase capacity in all sections.

Some useful approaches

  • If the limiting factor is the amount of adult helpers, your focus will be the recruitment of more adult support. Use the recruitment cycle to make sure you're recruiting the type of adults you and the section need.
  • Be flexible and consider all your options. Considering an adult rota, having several Section Assistants to alternate at meetings, or look at seeking help from your local Scout Active Support Unit.
  • To double capacity, try running back-to-back meetings or having a different set of young people every other week. Only one volunteer team would be needed. A different person could assume the role of ‘the leader in charge’ at each meeting to spread the work load.
  • Some Groups and Districts are able to run temporary sections to reduce the numbers on the joining lists. These young people will move into the main section as space appears. For example, some Districts will run District-based sections for those young people who are on a joining list, then those young people will move to Group-based sections as space appears.