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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

What this means for you

What this means for you

On this page

  • The impact our new approach will have on volunteers

This information should support what is being shared in local briefings and meetings with your local Transformation Leads and leadership teams. Work with your Transformation Leads to plan how and when you will make these changes locally.

We’re making these changes so that it’s easier and, importantly, more enjoyable for people to volunteer.

We want our volunteers to contribute in a way that suits them. This means they’ll have a more positive experience, and they’re more likely to continue volunteering with us.

Role titles

With our new approach, many of our role titles are changing so they’re clearer, more inclusive, and understandable to everyone, both inside and outside of Scouts. 

Your new role title will be formally recorded on our new digital system when it's launched (for example, Team Member, Team Leader, or Lead Volunteer).  

Remember, we're flexible about how you continue to describe yourself to young people, parents, and caregivers, or when you talk about Scouts to your friends and family.

  • It's all about thinking of yourself as part of a team, instead of as an individual. Familiarise yourself with the new team descriptions and roles in each of them, and speak to your Transformation Team or Lead Volunteer about how you'll fit into the new structure.
  • Start using our new role titles informally while making changes to teams, sharing out the allocated team tasks, and agreeing who’s doing what. Here are some examples of how we talk about teams and titles.
  • You can also read about our role title changes.


Sections and Groups

In our new approach, each Group will have Section Teams and a Group Leadership Team. 

The team structure means it's clearer how people can get involved with Section Teams in a way that works for them. It also helps when existing volunteers' circumstances change - they don't need to go through a formal change of role process, but can instead flex their involvement in the team.

Most volunteers will now be called Team Members. Of course, volunteers can still use their own choice of name when speaking to young people, parents and caregivers – for example, you can still be called a 'Beaver Leader'.

Section Teams will usually have at least one Team Leader (this can be a shared role). Team Leaders will help guide, support, and facilitate their team of adult volunteers to agree who’ll do what within the team.

Within our new approach, instead of a Group Scout Leader, Lead Volunteers will lead the Group Leadership Team. The Lead Volunteers and Section Team Leaders (for example, Squirrels Team Leader, Beavers Team Leader, Cubs Team Leader) will form the Group Leadership Team.

There can also be Leadership Team Members, or sub-teams to support with particular tasks such as hall maintenance, fundraising, looking after the waiting lists, or authorising expense payments. 

This makes it easier for tasks to be shared amongst a wider group of people, rather than it all resting with the Group Scout Leader.

  • Come to a decision about who’s going to be the Team Leader(s) in each Section. 
  • Using our new team descriptions, decide how each team (Section Teams and Group Leadership Team) will complete shared tasks, and who’ll take on allocated tasks.  
  • Try to take this as an opportunity to identify the skills and tasks your Section Team or Group Leadership Team are already doing well, and which tasks you might need more support with. Your team may decide to take on new tasks or recruit new volunteers to help make sure all tasks are completed. 
  • When you recruit new volunteers, start using our new approach. Ask them to help out ‘as part of a team’. 


Districts and Counties

In our new approach, each District and County will have a Programme Team, a Volunteering Development Team, a Support Team, and a Leadership Team, alongside a Trustee Board. Districts will also have a 14-24 Team for Explorers, Young Leaders and Network. Remember, you can also add sub-teams wherever useful.

Here's how our new approach will affect some of our current teams:

Training Teams - Supporting learning for adult volunteers will become a function of Volunteering Development Teams. They will provide all volunteers with a positive and enjoyable experience when learning the skills they need for their volunteering. Find out more about what's happening to Training Teams.

Programme Teams - These can be set up in a more flexible way. Typically, at the moment, we have Section-specific roles (such as Assistant District Commissioner Beavers), but in our new approach we'll have the chance to help people contribute in a way that works for them and the needs of the local area and young people. For example, giving support to different or multiple Sections, or providing wider Programme support.

Appointments Advisory Committees (AACs) - As part of our new approach, these committees won't continue in their current form. Instead we’ll be welcoming our new volunteers with a Welcome Conversation. Find out more about what's happening to AACs.

  • Expect to have conversations about which team you’ll be best suited to. 
  • Have a think about doing something similar to your current role, or if you want to try something quite different. The choice is yours. Find the right team for you.
  • Take the time to confirm everyone in your District/County knows what our changes look like, checking everyone understands them. 
  • Take the opportunity to work with your County Transformation Lead to plan what your new District/County teams will look like. This may have begun already. 
  • Have open conversations with everyone in your District/County team (and others who might be interested in joining) about how they can contribute. Help them find the right team.


Trustee Boards (previously Executive Committees)

In our new approach, we have Trustee Boards and its members are called Trustees. These were previously known as Executive Committees and Executive Committee Members.

Trustee Boards focus on governance. Tasks that aren’t about governance (for example, fundraising events and organising hall maintenance) will now sit with the Leadership Team (for a Group) or the Support Team (for a District or County). 

  • Use the new Trustee Boards and Trustees titles so they can feel more familiar.
  • Take some time to go through the Trustee Board team description, identify what you're already doing well, and agree how you'll share tasks going forward. 
  • Talk with the Chair and Lead Volunteer to plan how you'll hand over tasks that now fall outside of the Trustee Board team description to Leadership or Support Teams.
  • Work with your County, District and Group Chairs to make changes, such as reviewing your Trustee Board agenda template to focus more on governance. 
  • Understand the changes to Trustee Board membership from 1 April 2024. These include how Trustees are appointed, term limits, who can be a Trustee, and how many Trustees they have.
  • Visit Moving to Trustee Boards to learn more about the changes.



We'll continue to have helpers who provide informal support to help deliver Scouts, in line with our current POR.

Now might be a great time to encourage some of these helpers to join our teams.

Try talking to them about our new approach to volunteering. Some helpers might be really engaged with Scouts, but hesitant to join a team because of the perceived time commitment, training requirements, or they’re worried about the joining process.  

Help them understand the changes that are taking place now (our new teams and task-based team descriptions), and changes that are coming soon (easier and more accessible learning, and a warmer welcome for new volunteers), and the benefits of joining our new teams.