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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



The Skill section is about doing what you want to do, and doing it to the best of your ability.

It's about developing your practical skills and personal interests.

And it's about having lots of fun – and discovering more about yourself and what matters to you – along the way.

There really is a skill for everyone to enjoy and develop in. It's just about finding one which excites and interests you enough to follow through.

You might want to try something completely new, or you might prefer to develop an existing hobby.


  • You need to have a suitable assessor matched to you before you get started: they'll need to agree with you on your goals for the section, and to fill out a report to track your progress at the end 
  • You need to make sure you’re doing activities for the correct length of time
  • You can always chat to your leader and County DofE Adviser for advice if you're stuck or unsure 

List of ideas

  • Agriculture (keeping livestock)
  • Aquarium keeping
  • Beekeeping
  • Budgerigars and canaries
  • Dog training and handling
  • Horses - handling and care
  • Insects
  • Keeping of pets
  • Pigeon breeding and racing
  • Reptiles
  • Basket making
  • Boat work
  • Brass rubbing
  • Cake decoration
  • Camping gear making
  • Candle making
  • Canoe building
  • Dressmaking
  • Egg decorating
  • Enamelling
  • Fabric printing
  • Floral decoration
  • French polishing
  • Furniture restoration
  • Glass painting
  • Glass work Interior design
  • Jewellery
  • Knitting
  • Lace making
  • Leatherwork
  • Lettering and calligraphy
  • Marquetry
  • Model construction
  • Mosaic
  • Painting and design
  • Paper craft
  • Patchwork
  • Pewter working
  • Photography
  • Pottery
  • Quilting
  • Rope work
  • Rug making
  • Soft furnishing
  • Soft toy making
  • Tatting
  • Taxidermy
  • Textiles
  • Transport restoration
  • Weaving and spinning
  • Wine making
  • Woodwork
  • Cards (Bridge)
  • Chess
  • Clay target shooting
  • Cycle maintenance
  • Darts
  • Fantasy games
  • Fishing/fly fishing
  • Flying
  • Gliding
  • Karting
  • Kite construction and flying
  • Marksmanship
  • Model construction and racing
  • Motor sports
  • Power boating
  • Snooker, pool and billiards
  • Sports appreciation
  • Sports officiating
  • Table games
  • Aeronautics
  • Aircraft recognition
  • Archaeology
  • Astronautics
  • Astronomy
  • Bird watching
  • Coastal navigation
  • Collections, studies and surveys
  • Costume study
  • Criminology
  • Fashion
  • Forces insignia
  • Gemstones
  • Genealogy
  • Heraldry
  • History of art
  • Military history
  • Reading & book reviews
  • Religious studies
  • Ship recognition
  • Stamp collecting
  • Weather/meteorology
  • Zoology
  • Cookery
  • Digital lifestyle
  • Driving - car maintenance
  • Driving - car road skills
  • Motorcycle maintenance
  • Motorcycle road skills
  • Money management
  • Navigation
  • Young Enterprise
  • Casualty simulation
  • Committee skills
  • Event planning
  • First Aid (St John, etc.)
  • Learning about Civil Aid
  • Learning about Lifesaving
  • Learning about the Emergency services such as;
    - Ambulance service
    - Coastguard
    - Fire service
    - Police service
    - RNLI (Lifeboats)
  • Library and information skills
  • Public speaking and debating
  • Skills for employment
  • Church bell ringing
  • Disc jockey
  • Music appreciation
  • Playing a musical instrument
  • Singing
  • Amateur radio
  • Communicating with people who have a hearing impairment Communicating with people who are visually impaired
  • Creative writing
  • Film and video making
  • Journalism
  • Languages
  • Newsletter & magazine production
  • Signalling
  • Agriculture
  • Conservation
  • Groundsmanship
  • Forestry
  • Gardening
  • Plant growing (Cacti, Orchid, etc.)


  • Ballet appreciation
  • Ceremonial drill
  • Circus skills
  • Conjuring and magic
  • Dance appreciation
  • Majorettes
  • Puppetry
  • Theatre appreciation
  • Information Technology
  • Young Engineers
Skills checklist:
  • Make sure it's a skill rather than a physical activity!
  • You've agreed your activity with your leader before getting started and you've found a suitable assessor
  • Your skill averages out at about an hour a week
  • You'll be able to show progression over your time doing your skill

Leader Notes

Young person playing guitar with friends

Current opportunities available for the Skills Section

Young people choose activities for each section of the DofE that are specific and relevant to them. Here is a list of activities and opportunities that are currently being offered to help create your individual DofE programme.

Some opportunities on this page are external to Scouting. Participants/parents/carers booking onto any opportunities should confirm the opportunity meets the criteria of the section they are completing and should follow policies and procedures if the provider as well as following Scouting Safeguarding guidelines.

Staying safe and safeguarding | Scouts

Following rules and policy | Scouts

If you have an opportunity you think would benefit others and would like to share, please send the details to

The DofE has partnered with IBM, a global tech leader, to provide free training for all DofE participants and volunteers.

Now, young individuals can tailor a personalised course programme in work and tech skills, helping them to complete their DofE Skills section.

But that's not all! DofE Leaders can also enrol their groups and explore new skills themselves.

IBM SkillsBuild offers:

  • Quick sign-up with just an email address
  • Choose from an extensive selection of 1000+ free courses and certifications to complete the Skills section of your award and for personal enrichment
  • Courses cover diverse topics such as preparing for your first job, Artificial intelligence Fundamentals and Explorations into Mindfulness
  • Earn recognised qualifications and digital badges to enhance CVs

Key features:

  • Progress tracking online for easy monitoring
  • Participants are able to share their progress with their DofE Award Assessor
  • IBM SkillsBuild is a testament to IBMs commitment to equipping everyone with the skills for today's businesses

Explore how DofE leaders can utilise IBM SkillBuild to deliver the Skills section, and how participants and leaders can sign up at IBM SkillsBuild.

DofE Opportunity Finder

The DofE have lots of opportunities for each section on their website

Find an opportunity here

Ideas for Activities

The DofE have ideas for activities for all sections on their website

Find ideas here

Funding opportunities

Check out the details of available funding, eligibility criteria and how to apply on the DofE website.

Find funding here