How to run a Squirrel Drey
Getting to grips with the basics? We’ve put together everything you need.
Your role at the Squirrel Drey
Squirrels meet locally at a group called a Drey, with up to 24 young people. Its up to the team to decide when and how often they meet. Most meet once a week for an hour on weekday evenings. Some meet every two weeks on weekend mornings.
The key to success with Squirrels is to have a team in place to share the load of running the section. Remember, many hands make light work.
The team’s made up of Squirrels leader, Squirrels section assistants, Explorer Scout Young Leaders and parents/carers. Whether you assign someone to help you count the pennies, to share their knowledge on a particular topic, or to read the story at the start of the meeting, it’s all about working as a team to make it happen.
You can help out directly with young people in a Squirrels leadership team or behind the scenes as part of the support team - rallying others, organising and fundraising. Everyone has a part they can play!
Squirrels leadership team
At the heart of Squirrels is the leadership team; organising a well-rounded programme for young people aged 4–5 to take part in, packed with plenty of skill-boosting activities and adventures.
Young people are at the centre of our work, so ideally teams have at least two Young Leaders within the team.
Keeping our young people safe is also important, so our volunteers must complete a disclosure check where required.
Together, the team will:
- Plan activities and games
- Prepare the session resources
- Recruit young people
- Recruit new volunteers
- Welcome and guide new volunteers
- Organise trips
- Engage with your Scout Group
- Support young people to move up to Beavers when ready
- Build relationships with the local community, including parents and carers
- Welcome young people, families and carers
- Take part in the hello and goodbye songs
- Run games and activities such as reading stories
- Support young people with additional needs
- Celebrate achievements, such as handing out rewards and badges
- Take the register
- Organise the adult rota, including parents and carers
- Collect charges
- Collect and maintain young people and volunteers’ data records
- Designate a leader-in-charge for each activity and make sure everyone knows who this is
- Complete and review activities’ risk assessments
- Support the volunteers with disclosure checks
Working hard behind the scenes to create and launch the new Squirrels sections are support teams. They make sure Squirrel Dreys have a place to meet, additional hands to pitch in, a safe environment, a friendly guide to programmes, and enough resources to cater for regular Squirrels meetings or that next big trip!
Welcoming and friendly, they help the Squirrels leadership team to focus on what’s important – our young people. Keeping our young people safe is all important and our volunteers must complete a disclosure check where required.
Together, the team will:
- Recruit young people (aged 4–5 years old) by running open events and taster sessions
- Engage volunteers to care for Squirrels, through recruiting and collaborating with new and existing volunteers
- Welcome volunteers to support Squirrels, collaborating with new and existing volunteers
- Have regular check-ins with the Squirrels leadership team
- Provide programme delivery support
- Raise and manage funds for Squirrels sections, for example, by collecting fees
- Identify a regular location
- Process the disclosure checks of new volunteers
- Provide a monthly/termly update to the support team at HQ
- Work alongside sections to gather young people and volunteers’ data
- Monitor new volunteers' learning progress