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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

Your journey starts here

You're not alone on your first steps into leadership. Here are some top tips from other Young Leaders

You’ve done it - you’ve signed up to be a Young Leader!

Perhaps you’ve been a member for years and you’re now wanting to take the next step? Or maybe you’re completely new to Scouts and you’re completing your Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards?

Whatever your story so far has been, welcome to Scouts.

So, what now? 

A group of Explorers listening. There are two girls and two boys all looking to the right, while wearing casual clothing.

The Young Leaders’ Scheme is a programme of 10 training modules and four missions (or projects) designed to help and support those aged between 14 and 18 who work with a section (Squirrels, Beavers, Cubs and Scouts) as a Young Leader. 

Only Module A of the Young Leaders’ Scheme is compulsory.

However you may decide to complete the other modules too. Ask an adult volunteer in your group when these sessions will be held so that you can get started.  

As part of the Young Leaders' Scheme there are four missions to be completed, alongside the 11 modules. The four missions are designed to allow you to put the learning from the modules into practice.

By doing so, you’ll gain in confidence and become an integral part of the leadership team within your Section and Group.

You’ll be leading people younger than you, perhaps you’re unsure of the best way to speak to them or to find out what motivates them.

For young leaders working with our youngest section, Squirrels, this may be even harder, especially if you’ve not spent time with this age range before.

If you have any conversations, note them down and share them with an adult volunteer in your section, as they may be able to help. 

While there are similarities between the different sections within Scouts, such as the sections making their Promise and playing exciting games and activities, each section has something unique to offer. 

Take time to find out more about Squirrels, Beavers, Cubs and Scouts.

You’re only at the start of your journey of becoming a Young Leader.

You may already have a clear vision of what you want to get from being a Young Leader, or you might not know at all - both options are okay! 

Some people will be ready to jump right into the deep end and run games and sessions, just like the volunteers who helped to lead their experience in Scouts.

Others may be a little too shy for that (for now!) and are looking to build up to that during their time as a Young Leader.

There are lots of things that adult volunteers do, and it isn’t always standing in front of a group or running an activity. Let your section team know what you feel comfortable in doing, as well as the areas that you’d like to build confidence in. 

Take time to think of the roles may take on during a session. Adult volunteers may: 

  • Deliver and run an activity or game 
  • Assist another adult volunteer or Young Leader as they run an activity 
  • Prepare and set up the equipment for an activity 
  • Prepare refreshments  
  • Tidy up at the end of the session 
  • Greet grown-ups and young people, including taking a register

Take time to think more ideas for what you could do on the Young Leader Tasks page 

You may or may not have met the leadership team that you’ll be a part of. We know that sometimes it can be a little daunting to introduce yourself.

The first step's always the hardest, so check out some conversation starters to help you start chatting to your leadership team and the young people you’ll be leading.

Once you feel ready to take the next step, here's a list of the activities and games that other Young Leaders recommend, too. 

Yes! Did you know that volunteering as a Young Leader counts as an activity towards your Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards (DofE), Queen Scouts' Award and the Young Leaders’ Scheme?

However, it's best to find out and know what you need to achieve the award before getting started, so that you don’t waste your time.  

For the Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards and Queen Scouts Award, you’ll need an assessor who can confirm that you’re participating in the activity that you’ve said you’ll do.

Try to find someone to do this before you start or as you're getting started to make sure that you’re able to have them sign everything off once you’ve completed the activity.

The Young Leaders’ Scheme has lots of modules and missions, so you’ll be able to demonstrate your progression and development throughout the award. You could become a Young Leader for each section, too! 

The most important thing to remember is to have fun and smile!

While it may seem daunting, being a Young Leader is a huge amount of fun! 

Bring your personality into your leading, and share your passion and enthusiasm for Scouts to the young members in the sections you’re working with.

Young people will respond to your positive attitude and great energy. They'll soon look up to you as a role model in the way that you may have done to your leaders and young leaders if you were in Scouts. 

Explorer Scout Young Leaders' Scheme

Find out more about the Young Leaders' Scheme

Young Leaders' Scheme >

Young People First Orange Card

The Orange card's a code of practice for young people. It's the policy of The Scout Association to safeguard the welfare of all members by protecting them from neglect and from physical, sexual and emotional harm.

Read the Young People First Orange Card

Duke of Edinburgh's Awards

You could choose to complete your DofE Awards during your time as a Young Leader

Sign up for your Awards

Young Leaders' Modules

There's lots of useful training that you can do to help you develop as a Young Leader. You can find out more information about what's available in the Young Leaders' modules. 

Check out the Modules

Young Leaders' Missions

There are four Missions to complete as a Young Leader. The great news is that you're likely to achieve them as you're volunteering as a Young Leader, so take some time to find out more about each mission. 

Accomplish your Missions