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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

Young People First

The Orange card is 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.

We've recently made some changes to the Yellow card and we're updating the Orange card for Young Leaders during 2024. In the meantime, Young Leaders should continue to follow the Orange card and adults should follow the Yellow card and report any concerns to the Safeguarding Team.

Guidance for Young Leaders

As a Young Leader you will get the chance to start experiencing what it is like to  be a Leader in Scouting, but you need to remember to keep yourself and others safe. Your Section Leaders are responsible for your safety and welfare during meetings and events, and should make sure that you are always appropriately supervised.  You should never be left alone with young people.
Remember the three principals of staying safe:

1. Set an example for others to follow.

2. Pass on any concerns you have about young people or adults.

3. Keep yourself safe and have fun.

What do I do if…?

If a young person tells you they are being abused, or they raise a concern about their safety or well-being, you should do the following:

1. Allow the young person to speak without interruption and accept what they say.

2. Tell them that you will offer support but that you must pass the information on to an adult leader who will be able to help them.

3. Immediately tell an adult leader.

4. Make a note of what was said and give the information to the same leader.

If you have a concern about a young person’s safety and well-being, or there is a concern or complaint about an adult or yourself, you should do the following:

1. Immediately tell an adult leader

2. Make a note of the facts as you know them and give information to the  same leader

Code of behaviour

  • Do remember that you are a role model at ALL times, inside and outside Scouting.
  • Do treat everyone with dignity and respect in line with the Scouting Values.
  • Do treat all young people equally – do not show favouritism.
  • Do report all allegations, suspicions and concerns to an adult leader immediately.
  • Do remember that someone may misinterpret your actions.
  • Do respect a young person's right to personal privacy.
  • Do act within the boundaries of your role - even in difficult circumstances.
  • Do have separate sleeping accommodation and changing facilities - do not share with young people or adults.
  • Do encourage an open and transparent culture. 
  • Do create an environment where young people feel safe to voice their concerns.
  • Do know your limitations and stay safe - do not put yourself in unnecessary danger.
  • Do not trivialise abuse or let it go unreported.
  • Do not drink alcohol or smoke while Scouting.
  • Do not form a romantic relationship with a younger youth member or adult leader.
  • Do not allow activities or games which encourage bullying behaviour, including initiation ceremonies, dares or forfeits.
  • Do not use inappropriate, suggestive or threatening language when communicating with young people.
  • Do not take part in physical contact games with young people.
  • Do not plan to be alone with a young person or group - do run activities with at least two adults being present.

Reporting a concern

You have the right to report any concerns about young people or adults in confidence and free from harassment.

If you are in any doubt about what to do, contact the Scout Support Centre:

0845 300 1818 or email:

If you have a personal concern and would like to talk to someone in confidence you can call ChildLine on 0800 1111