Young Leaders’ Scheme

Share your skills, gain new ones

The Young Leaders’ Scheme is just one of the exciting programme elements in the Explorer Scout section. The Scheme helps Explorer Scouts to develop and grow as individuals. It allows them to make a valuable contribution to their community and give service to others. The scheme also helps them fulfil the service elements of their awards and develop and grow as individuals..

Young leaders must be between the ages of 13½ and 18. They’re part of the Explorer Scout Section and should wear their Explorer Scout Uniform shirt or blouse and the Chelmsford Explorer Scout scarf.

Being a Young Leader

As a young leader, you’ll be learning lots of new skills as well as passing on your knowledge to younger sections. You’ll be fully supported and have access to a fantastic training programme to help you learn the basics of leadership – all things you’ll need to know if you become an adult leader in the future.

Volunteering as a Young Leader is a great way to work towards your top awards and looks great on a CV.

Young leader helping a Beaver

Young Leader Training

The training programme is broken down into 11 modules and four missions – the modules give you the skills and knowledge to be successful in your role, whilst the missions allow you to put it all into practice with some support. Module A is mandatory for all Young Leaders and must be completed within three months of starting work with a section.

We run regular sessions for Module A, with other modules covered throughout the year. Upcoming dates will be shared with Explorer leaders as well as being posted on our District Calendar.

Frequently asked questions

How can I get the most out of our Young Leaders?

Just like adult volunteers, each Young Leader will have their own unique mix of skills, knowledge, and experiences. Check in with where they’re at, where their skills are, and what they want their time as a Young Leader to look like. 

Of course, becoming a Young Leader can feel a bit daunting too. Give them the opportunity to let you know if they’ve got any worries or concerns, or if there’s an area, mission, or module they’re feeling less confident about.  

Once you know your Young Leader, you can support them to get stuck in (without being thrown out of their depth). They might want to start small, and that’s OK.  

When they’re ready, Young Leaders can lead games and activities and take part in planning and delivering part of the programme. Don’t forget to show them all the stuff that’s there to help, too. The programme planning tool is ideal for module H (Programme planning) and the missions – Young Leaders can filter by games or activities, and use the off-the-shelf programme to get started. 

After a while, once they’ve found their feet, Young Leaders may want to take on an even bigger challenge, such as setting the theme for a whole camp or gaining a leadership permit for an activity. The key is that you’re there every step of the way, encouraging them to give it a go.

How old do I have to be?

Young Leaders must be aged between 14 and 18. Once you turn 18, if you’d like to continue volunteering, you’ll need to go through the adult appointment process. The team at the group you’re volunteering with will be able to help you with this.

Can I participate if I am not in Scouting or outside of Chelmsford?

Chelmsford Scouts welcomes Young Leaders from other Districts and young people looking to join Scouting and become volunteers. We also welcome young people from outside of Scouting who are working towards their Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards or King’s Guide Award to volunteer as non-members for a set period of time. For example, if they are completing their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, they can volunteer as a non-member for three to six months (the time required for the Bronze DofE volunteering section).

How will Young Leader training help me outside of Scouting?

The Young Leaders’ Scheme is recognised by the Institute of Leadership and Management as a Development Programme. The ILM is one of the UK’s leading providers of leadership and management qualifications. This accreditation shows the quality of the Young Leaders’ Scheme, to any external organisations that Young Leaders might apply to in the future. This reflects the value of the skills learnt through the scheme to employers. It is one of the ways in which Young Leaders can use their Scouting training to gain externally recognised awards.

What uniform do I wear?

Young Leaders should wear the Explorer Scout uniform shirt or blouse and the Chelmsford Explorer Scarf.

Who are Young Leaders?

Young Leaders are effectively Explorer Scouts who choose to devote a proportion of their time in Scouting to help in another section and may or may not wish to be part of an Explorer Scout Unit or attend regular Explorer Scout meetings. All Young Leaders must be a member of the Chelmsford Young Leaders Explorer Unit.

How long should a young person have left their Scout Troop for before they go back to volunteer as a Young Leader?

Scouts can request to return to their old Scout Troop to volunteer as a Young Leader. However, it is highly recommended that they have a break of six 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 a Young Leader with different responsibilities. Having a reasonable gap will mean that the Young Leader won’t just be seen as another Senior Patrol Leader when they return and are supporting their peers. 

We also highly recommend considering volunteering with a different group. This helps young leaders to see how different groups and leaders do things differently. The have lots to gain from this as well of course things they can bring with them from their old troop.

How to say thank you (and help Young Leaders reflect)

Young Leaders get a lot out of being volunteers, but they also give their time, skills, and energy. Don’t forget to say thank you – and make it specific, thanking Young Leaders for their contributions (whether it’s a fun game, a thoughtful activity, or a brilliant attitude). 

As an adult volunteer, you’re perfectly placed to help Young Leaders reflect and recognise their successes. We all like to be encouraged, and it’s important that all volunteers recognise the stuff they’re really good at, whether they took the time to encourage a Cub to get back up and try again, or thought on their feet when a game didn’t quite work. 

Take some time to think about anything that didn’t go to plan too. It’s helpful to create an environment where all volunteers (including Young Leaders) can talk about the times things go wrong. Sometimes activities are too tricky, games don’t capture everyone’s attention, or behaviour is challenging, and that’s OK. It’s a chance for people to look back at what happened, see others people’s sides, and try something different next time. 

Reflecting doesn’t have to be a formal discussion – it could be a quick chat while you’re packing away equipment, or you could sit down and make it visual with pens and paper. 

The Young Leader training scheme is designed to benefit adult volunteers, young people in sections, and Young Leaders; we’re really thankful to the adult volunteers who take the time to make it work. At the end of the day, everyone’s a winner: sections get the benefit of talented young people, ready to share their skills and experiences (and be a great, approachable, role model). Adult volunteers get an extra pair of hands, another perspective, and the chance to help the leaders of the future. And finally, Young Leaders get not only the fun of getting involved, but the skills they need for college, university, the job interview, the important speech, the tricky challenge, and the big dreams (in a nutshell, the skills they need for life).

Keeping Young Leaders and young people safe

Young Leaders have a position of responsibility, but they’re still aged under 18, so adult volunteers need to follow the Yellow Card code of practice and Safety and Child Protection Policies. Young Leaders count as young people (not adults) for ratios, and if you’re staying anywhere overnight they need separate accommodation from both the young people in the section and the adult volunteers. The Orange Card is the ‘Young People First’ code of practice for Young Leaders – make sure all Young Leaders have a copy, and that they understand it too.

What are the sleeping arrangements on camps and residential trips?

When the Young Leader takes part in a camp or residential, consideration should also be given to the sleeping arrangements. The Young Leader should have their own separate accommodation. They should not share with adult leaders, or with the young people in the section.

Training Modules
Module APrepare For Take-Off (in person only)
Module BTaking the Lead
Module CThat’s The Way To Do It!
Module DUnderstanding Behaviour
Module EGame On
Module FMaking Scouting Accessible and Inclusive
Module GWhat is a High Quality Programme?
Module HProgramme Planning
Module IWhat Did They Say?
Module JCommunicate It
Module KFirst Aid (in person only)
Training Missions
Mission 1Run a Game
Mission 2Organise, plan and run an activity
Mission 3Help plan a programme
Mission 4Help to deliver a programme