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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

Ongoing support for your Drey

Ongoing support for your Drey

What support to expect

Once your expression of interest form has been approved by your DC and HQ, you'll be contacted by a Programme Delivery Executive (PDE) from the Early Years (EY) team. They'll give you access to ongoing support as shared on this page.

Your PDE will introduce you to your Cohort Coach and invite you to attend a Welcome to Squirrels online induction session where you will find out about:

  • Welcome to Squirrels Facebook page
  • Our communication approach
  • Ongoing support and development such as Squirrel Squad sessions
  • Wider county role support

Cohort Coaches

Cohort Coaches are new to Scouting and are volunteers who work with Dreys from across the country to facilitate peer support. Coaches are not line managers, rather facilitators, sign posters and coaches who work entirely online and closely with the Early Years team at Headquarters.

Your Programme Delivery Executive (PDE) will introduce you to your Cohort Coach. They'll then implement The Cohort Approach to support opening and running a Drey.

The Cohort Approach

What to expect from your Coach:

  • they're a person to turn to with questions
  • someone to share your feedback with (to get back to HQ)
  • they'll organise and facilitate meetings, every month via Zoom
  • they'll offer 6 months of support
  • they'll contact you and your DC to introduce themselves, up to 3 months prior to you opening
  • they'll ask you to share leaders emails and invite them to an initial online meeting, followed by further online meetings

How to get the best out of engaging in the Cohort Coach approach

  • attend meetings every month
  • contribute at the meetings and offer peer support
  • share ideas and work through challenges
Welcome to squirrels

Welcome to Squirrels are run in the evening via Zoom. 

They're a live webinar which give you a good overview of all you need to run Squirrels. 

  • Uniform and branding
  • The badges and programmes
  • How to run a Squirrel section
  • Actions and next steps 
  • Support available for you

They're run by the Early Years team. Whilst your PDE may not attend, one of the EY team will be their to answer your questions.

Invites to the webinar are only extended once you've been approved by your DC and HQ.

We communicate any updates with you via email and Facebook. 

Don't miss out! Update your email contacts.

We've found the person who expresses interest to open a Drey, doesn't always carry on to become a Squirrel leader, as they often undertake other roles, such as GSL.

All Squirrel leaders can be emailed with updates, so do keep us up to date (via your PDE or Cohort Coach) as to the correct emails to contact. 

We strongly recommend joining our Welcome to Squirrels Facebook page (only extended to those leaders, already accepted to run a Drey).

It's a really upbeat space, where Dreys share their ideas and successes.  The Early Years team also use it to advertise events such as Squirrel Squad sessions or invites to feedback on the programme.  (These updates are emailed too, but you'll only receive them if we have your email!)

Anyone registered on Compass with a Squirrel role, will receive the Squirrels Membership email. This is a separate email to one HQ sends out, so please keep us up to date with your emails when leaders are added.

The person who registers you should select:

Group section: Squirrels

Role variant: Squirrel leader (or other specific role) Squirrel Scouts

Visible role title: Section leader (or other specific role) - Squirrel Scouts

Programme Delivery Executives (PDE) (Early Years)

PDE are part of the team HQ employ to support Squirrel Scouts. They let Squirrel leaders know that they've been accepted to run a Drey, through sending a Welcome to Squirrels email to the lead name on the expression of interest.

PDE work closely with Cohort Coaches and introduce them to new Squirrel Leaders.

PDE are an additional layer of support. Whilst they hand you over to your Cohort Coach to work the cohort approach, they are your HQ contact. Do save their name and contact details from the initial Welcome to Squirrels email. 

County and district support

Supporting Dreys open in County

As Dreys open in the County it is important to have a county point of contact who will support the initial opening of Squirrels. This role is called a Squirrel County Advisor. They support initial preparation and planning, providing a pathway for others in the County who'll be opening provision in future years. They'll continue to support as Dreys open in the county.  

Once Dreys are open in the County and District

When Dreys are up and running in the county, both a County and District Squirrel support role will be set up. 

ACC/AAC (Squirrel support) and ADC (Squirrel support)

They provide support to open Dreys These are separate to the Squirrel County Advisor role, operating like equivalent section support roles. 

Support in a fixed term role, to help your County start preparation for Squirrel Scouting. They support Districts to consider if the time is right for them to start or not, through bringing together District teams and facilitating conversations on Squirrel Scouting.

Find out more about their role in The trail to Squirrel Scouts.

Provide guidance to Squirrel leaders in the delivery of a safe, fun, inclusive and age-appropriate programme and support the growth of Squirrel Dreys in the District, including getting people ready to set up the Drey and provide ongoing care. Find out more about their roles in District Roles.

Provide guidance to Squirrel leaders about the delivery of a safe, fun, inclusive and age appropriate programme and support the growth of Squirrel Dreys in the County. Find out more about this role in County/ Area Roles.



Every leader undertakes the usual modules to be a Squirrel leader, including being invited to undertake the Wood badge.

However, we've three additional areas of learning support, which are optional.

Learning and development for volunteers >

Squirrels in a Nutshell - gives you easy access to key information on how to set up and run your Drey via short videos. (Found at the bottom of the Squirrel Squad page)

Squirrel Squad sessions - We have built a library of resources through our unique webinars. They cover topics such as story telling, admin and behaviour management.

Early years learning resources - will help you build confidence when working with this age group.