Welcoming new Squirrels and moving on
Welcoming new starters and preparing to say goodbye to the older ones are both really important times for Squirrels, so we’ve got advice and activities to help.
Advice for adult volunteers
It’s a good idea for adult leaders to meet regularly as it helps you to build relationships, organise joint activities, and plan young people’s move from one section to another.
Joint activities that you run together help members of both sections get to know each other and feel comfortable with others outside the section they’re currently in.
If a young person’s moving to a different area, you can point them towards the group finder tool. They can use this to get in touch with a group in their new area.
It can help to plan ahead and welcome new Squirrels in small groups so they’re not the only new face in the room.
Inviting parents or carers to attend the first meeting with their new Squirrels can help everyone to feel more comfortable.
You should consider arranging to meet the new Squirrels with their parents or carers before the meeting to introduce yourself and tell them the plan for their first meeting.
Start by playing a quick game or two to help new Squirrels forget their nerves and meet their new friends.
You should also let Squirrels involved in supporting new members. This is a great task for older Squirrels or possibly Young Leaders.
Plan ahead to make sure that young people move at the right time for them. A Squirrel can move up to Beavers from age 5 3/4 and 6 1/2.
This core flexibility in the age ranges means that young people could move up with a small group of friends, which may help them feel more comfortable.
Extra flexibility is sometimes needed to support young people with additional needs; find out more about section flexibility as well as further practical information on our inclusion and diversity pages.
Remember to regularly link up with the Beaver section so you can build relationships, plan joint activities and share ideas.
You should support young people to complete their Moving On Award, which involves spending three weeks with their potential new group while keeping up their regular routine. Doing so helps them make friends and get used to how things will work in their new section.
The Beaver logbook, available from Scout Store, is a useful tool to support young people joining Beavers. It has information about the section and space for them to write information about their new Colony.
Try to pend some time chatting with Squirrels about moving up. What do they think will be different about Beavers? What will stay the same?
Remind Squirrels of former members, who've since moved on to Beavers, to reassure them familiar faces are waiting on the other side.
You should consider having a moving on ceremony. You could use this as a time to celebrate all the skills Squirrels have learned during their time with you and to help them process the change.
Beavers Moving on Award
By moving on to Beavers and going to some meetings, Squirrels can earn one last badge: the Squirrel Moving On Award. This can help support those who are getting ready to say goodbye to their section.
Running a Beaver Colony
Learn about what happens in Beavers to help you tell your young people what they'll be doing next.