As part of our youth programme we operate a Young Leaders’ Scheme. The scheme gives young people, aged 14 to 18 years, the opportunity to act in a leadership role with the Beaver, Cub or Scout section.
Why do we need Young Leader’s?
You do not need Young Leader’s in your group, but young people relate to those nearer their age group in a different way from adults and from an all-round development perspective, having Young Leaders can prove to be an effective addition to your sectional leadership teams.
Likewise, the Young Leader is also developing their potential as responsible young adults and being trained for leadership skills under your existing leader team’s and the Explorer Scout Leader responsible for Young Leaders in your District.
Young Leaders are still young people in scouting, and whilst supporting a younger section, they fall under the responsibility of the Section Leader they are working with for that section.
Linking to Explorer Units:
As much as it is your responsibility to ensure the moving on process is working within your group, it is very much your responsibility that Scouts move onto Explorers successfully. Your scout leaders may have a closer relationship with Explorer Scout Units, but there is no reason why you cannot ensure this is working.
The more Explorers there are the greater chance you have of recruiting young leader’s, so it must be in the group’s long‐term interest to ensure the process is working well. Have a chat with the Explorer Scout Leaders of your local Explorer Scout Unit from time to time and ask how linking is going.
The young leader’s training programme
All young leaders must be members of a Young Leaders' Explorer Scout Unit, and be supported by an Explorer Scout Leader (Young Leaders). This gives them access to an ongoing programme of training, which involves completing training modules and working towards four missions (projects), whilst being part a leadership team in a younger section.
The Young Leaders’ training programme provides Young Leaders with the skills and knowledge to act as part of the section leadership team, and covers subjects such as the balanced programme, child protection, first aid, practical skills, challenging behaviour and leadership skills.
The scheme is built around eleven modules, and four missions, (projects) which allow Young Leaders to put their learning into practice which a Young Leader can complete. Other than Module A the scheme is voluntary so different Young Leaders may have gained different skills from the scheme.
The modules of the Young Leaders’ Scheme are designed to cover all aspects of training. They will help Young Leaders become aware of, and learn how to deal with, various different facets of leadership within the Scout Movement.
The modules are:
Module A – Prepare for take-off!
This module is compulsory for all Young Leaders and must be completed within three months of becoming a Young Leader. It covers key areas which every Young Leader will need to know:
- Purpose and Method of The Scout Association
- Child protection
- Policy, Organisation and Rules (POR)
- Activity rules and safety
- Understanding the role of the Young Leader and where they fit in the overall organisational structure
A Young Leaders’ Badge and woggle should be awarded after completing Module A. This badge signifies that a Young Leader has completed their basic training.
Module B – Taking the lead
Young Leaders will learn about leadership styles, when to use particular styles and the role of the leader.
Module C – That’s the way to do it!
Young Leaders will explore different ways of instructing younger members.
Module D – Understanding behaviour
Young Leaders will learn how to deal with difficult situations in their section, and the possible causes of bad behaviour.
Module E – Game on!
This module aims to teach Young Leaders the importance of using games as a programme tool in their section. It illustrates different types of games, and shows how they can be appropriate to different circumstances and times.
Module F – Making Scouting accessible
Young Leaders learn to identify the individual needs of members in their section. After this module, they will understand the importance of making adjustments in their programmes to take additional needs into account.
Module G – Programme plans
Module H – Programme plans plus
Modules G and H tackle an important area of section leadership – programme planning. The focus of these modules is the concept of the balanced programme, including the various awards and badges available. Young Leaders will initially plan a section meeting in Module G, progressing to long-term programme planning issues in Module H. Module G should be completed before Module H is begun.
Module I – What did they say?
In all sections, input from the members is crucial to success. This module explores another important leadership function – how to communicate effectively with young people, and how to listen to them. Once our Young Leaders have acquired these skills, they will be able to make a valuable contribution to the health and wellbeing of the section in which they are working.
Module J –This has now been merged with Module G.
Module K – First Aid master class
Module K uses a well tested and established training course, the First Response course, to teach emergency aid to Young Leaders. Alternative options to the First Response course are outlined in the module. It may be appropriate for a Young Leader who intends to become an adult leader to undertake this as they approach 18.
As part of the Young Leaders' Scheme there are four Missions to be completed alongside the 10 Modules.
These Missions are designed to allow the Young leaders to put the learning from the Modules into practise. By doing so, they will gain in confidence and become an integral part of the leadership team within their Section and Group.
Run a variety of games: indoor, outdoor or as part of a camp (minimum of three).
To be included
- At least two different types of leadership styles (Module B, C)
- Three different types of games, ie energetic, active, thinking, creative, etc (Module E)
- Run a game at the beginning or end of a section night
- Run a wide game on a camp
- Run a game that ties into a badge the section is working towards
- Run a game that reinforces something the section has just learned
- Any other ideas, subject to agreement with ESL (YL) and SL
Plan and run an activity (not a game) as part of either the section programme or a camp programme.
To be included
- planning and organisation
- gathering any equipment or materials needed.
- Choose an activity badge to run as part of the programme, providing all the information and materials required for the section to achieve this.
- Run part of a camp programme:
- pioneering activity
- obstacle course
- plan the route for a hike
- team challenges
- organising and leading a campfire
- Create a way to record how your activities are working towards different badges.
- Run an activity for the section relating to one of your own hobbies or interests.
- Any other ideas, subject to agreement with the ESL (YL) and SL.
To take the section’s programme ideas to a programme planning meeting.
To be included
- Ask the young people in the section for ideas for the programme
- Attendance and contribution at a meeting (eg programme planning, District or County meeting, leaders’ meeting)
- Attend a section planning meeting
- Plan and run a meeting (for example, section planning forum)
- Decide who should attend a meeting and invite them
- Organise and run a forum for the young people in your section, taking their ideas and suggestions and giving them to the Section Leader
- Organising for someone to take notes/minutes/points of action
- Plan and run the Sixers/PLs’ Forums for two terms, and ensure that the young people in the section understand how they can input their ideas into the section programme
- Any other ideas, subject to agreement with the ESL (YL) and SL
Take responsibility for organising and running part of the section programme.
To include both
- Planning and organising
- Plan and run a linking activity/event with either the section above and below
- Work with the leaders of the sections above and below yours (if appropriate) to arrange a linking event/night/activity.
- Plan the event/night/activity, making sure it is appropriate for the age/venue
- Include members of the section to assist in the evening.
- Plan and run a challenge award
- Choose a challenge award that either has not already been achieved or has been achieved by the fewest members
- Plan the activities on the monthly/termly/yearly programme of the activities needed to achieve the award
- Plan a camp for the section (under the supervision of a leader with a Nights Away Permit)
- Help the young people in the section to explore a particular topic or develop some specific skills
- Any other ideas, subject to agreement with the ESL (YL) and SL
A Young Leader belt buckle and adult badge should be awarded on completion of the entire scheme (completion of ALL training modules and missions). This badge can be worn on the adult uniform to recognise a person’s participation in the Young Leaders’ Scheme.
The Young Leader certificate should be presented when the Young Leader either turns 18 or completes the whole scheme. The back of the certificate can be used to record which modules and missions the Young Leader has completed.
The learning and experience that a young person gains from the Young Leaders’ Scheme is recognised under the Adult Training Scheme in the same way as any other prior learning. If an adult has previously been a Young Leader, or indeed a youth member of the Association, it is likely that they already have a good level of knowledge of scouting and how it works.
How should you support the scheme?
You and your leaders may be asked to sign off various elements of Awards that the young person is working towards or provide evidence for qualifications, such as NVQ's.
Your responsibilities as a leader
While a Young Leader is working in a section, the Section Leader is responsible for their safety and welfare. The Section Leader however must ensure that the Young Leader becomes a real part of the leadership team and is given real responsibility. As a young person under the age of 18 year they must not have unsupervised access to youth members.
If the Young Leader takes part in any residential or adventurous activities you should always obtain their parent or carer's permission. Consideration should also be given to the sleeping arrangements, as the Young Leader is not permitted to share accommodation with either the adult Leaders or the young people in the section in which they work.
Likewise, when calculating leader/young people ratios for camps, day trips and experiences outside your meeting place, young leaders should not be counted as part of the adult or young people totals.
Young leaders and their old troop
Often young leaders want to return to help out at their old Scout Troop. This is fine, but we recommend that they do not return to the troop until at least six months have passed since their departure.
This will allow the older Scouts to get used to their new roles in the troop, and ensure that the Young Leader does not simply consider themselves to be an older Scout but understands they are now part of the leadership team.
Remember, with the right support and opportunities, young leaders can be a valuable part of your leadership team help to provide better scouting for more young people.
Hopefully many of these young leaders will be the adult leaders of the future, giving something back to scouting having had a great time themselves in the youth sections. It is important that we encourage, support and teach them and help them make the most of their young leadership experience, as this will both benefit them in their personal development, your group in planning for the future and the movement as a whole.