Young Leaders are Explorer Scouts who volunteer alongside adult leaders in a Beaver Colony, Cub Pack or Scout Troop. A valuable asset to any leadership team, ESYLs play an active role in the section, bringing a range of fresh ideas to the table, and acting as positive role models for the young people they work alongside.
Although the Scheme is usually taken on by Explorer Scouts looking for a new challenge, young people from outside Scouting can also participate if they are working towards their Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards or Queen’s Guide Award. They can do this by volunteering as non-members for a set period of time ie for three to six months if completing their Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (Bronze).
The ESYLs’ Scheme is the training programme for ESYLs. It contains 11 modules and four missions for ESYLs to work through whilst volunteering in their chosen section. Modules give ESYLs the skills and knowledge to be successful in their role, while missions allow them to put everything into practice with support. As well as developing valuable life skills, the Scheme is an opportunity for ESYLs to make a positive impact in their communities and to fulfil the service elements of many of the top awards in Scouting. Recognition of achievement is available along the way, and on completion of the Scheme, the ESYL is awarded with an ESYL belt buckle.
How long should a young person have left their Scout Troop for before they go back to volunteer as an ESYL?
Scouts can request to return to their old Scout Troop to volunteer as an ESYL. However, it is highly recommended that they have a break of 12 months before doing this. This extra time allows them to develop their skills, and gives the old Troop extra time to accept and adjust to the fact they are now an ESYL with different responsibilities. Having a reasonable gap will mean that the ESYL won’t just be seen as another Senior Patrol Leader when they return and are supporting their peers.