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Moving between sections

Whether you’re welcoming the shyest of new Beavers, or need help preparing the eldest for Cubs, we’ve got you covered.

I am a leader. What can I do to welcome new members, and help others move on?

It’s easy for young people to feel like small fish in a big pond when they move to a new section but there are lots of things you can do to help prepare them, and welcome new faces when they arrive.

Linking up with the sections above and below yours is an important part of any volunteer role. Regularly meeting up with other leaders throughout the year helps you to build up a relationship, plan joint activities together and share ideas, so it’s a great habit to get into regardless of if you’re working on the moving on process together.

When the time does come to say goodbye, encourage all of your young people to complete their Moving On Award, which involves spending three weeks with their potential new Scout Troop, while keeping up their regular Cubs routine.

Doing so helps them to develop an understanding of their new section, make new friends and familiarise themselves with how things will work. It reminds them that being part of the Scout family is all about learning new skills and going on a journey of personal growth and change. It will also help them understand how their new section differs from their previous one on a more practical level.

If you’re a leader welcoming young people into Scouts, you could go the extra mile by:

  • Sending birthday cards to Cubs at the age of 10 to show them that you’re already thinking of them as a great match for the group.
  • Going to Cub meetings, joint camps or outings to get to know the Cubs.
  • Leading on names games and activities when you visit, so you can get to know everyone’s faces and names.
  • Working with the Cub leader to move young people into Scouts as part of a small group rather than by themselves.
  • Keeping young people who have just moved in pairs within Patrols so they always have at least one friend by their side. 

At an age where friendship is becoming an important part of a young person’s life, these small tweaks can make all the difference. You can also remind Cubs of any former members of the section who have since moved up to Scouts, to help them feel reassured that familiar faces are waiting for them on the other side.

Patrol Leaders and Assistant Patrol Leaders can have a really valuable role in helping new Scouts settle into the Troop.  It can also be a great experience for any Scout to support a new member or help them learn a new Scouting skill. They will also be working towards their Team Leader Challenge Award at the same time.