Welcome to the Young Leaders Scheme - Scouting thinks that you are really important and we hope that you will enjoy helping.

There are a few things which you need to know about the scheme to make sure you get the most from it. We try to keep the "rules" to a minimum, but there are a few things we need to tell you.

           Dates for training sessions, and modules are attached below.

To contact the Young Leader Training Team for more information email  mafekingweyl@gmail.com


  • What is a Young Leader?
  • Are you also an Explorer?
  • How do you choose a section to work with?
  • What do you need to agree with the section leader?
  • What is Module A and why must you do it as soon as possible
  • The rest of the training
  • Developing your leadership skills and Missions

Of course, there are benefits from being a young leader - you have a great time working with other young people, you will get to do some great activities and if you are working towards Duke of Edinburgh's Award or the Chief/Queens Scout Awards then it counts as service. It is also valuable for your CV and will count if you decide to become an adult leader.

So what is a Young Leader?

They are young people aged between 14 and 18 who are part of the Explorer section and give up their time to help with Beavers, Cubs and Scouts.

Some Young Leaders (YLs) have been in Scouting for a while, others have joined as teenagers and still more start as part of their Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme service. Whatever they have already done in Scouting, they are always welcome in Groups around Essex.

Are Young Leaders Explorers?

Yes, to be a YL, you need to be registered with the District Explorers however you do not have to join any of the "normal" units, you can just be a member of the YL Unit. Of course, YLs are very welcome to join one of the Explorer Units and join in with their activities.

Being registered is important because it means that you are entitled to wear a uniform and the membership badge (once you have made or renewed your Scout Promise), you are covered by Scouting insurance and you will receive the training and support you need to get the most out of being a YL.

Choosing a section

Well, you need to find a section where the Leader will welcome you into his or her team. If you have grown up in Scouting then you may want to stay with your old Group - that is fine, if not then there are always sections around the District who need help - you can take your pick!

If you have just left Scouts then we would strongly recommend that you don't go to help with the same Troop for at least 6 months, this gives you time to change to being a YL and for the Scouts to accept you as a Leader.

It would also be a good idea to try different sections or groups in your time as a YL, but that is not essential. However, you may like to experience different styles of leadership and you might find that Cubs really are not your cup of tea!



Working with a section leader

If you are the first YL to work in a section then the leader is probably as worried as you! You will need to work with them so that they help you to enjoy being a YL and learn new skills.

The first thing is that they may have forgotten that you are still a young person and they need to have your details and emergency contact numbers - it may help them if you offer the information.

It is also a good idea to make sure they know what training you have done and what the Missions are - this will help them to give you the best opportunities.

To start with, you will probably be asked to help with a few activities and may not be allowed to organise anything - don't worry, the leaders are responsible for safety and may be a bit nervous at first. Once they get to know you and your skills, then you will get all the responswibility you want.

Initial training  -  We recomend you start your training as soon as possible after becoming a Young Leader

Module A - Scouting is all about everyone having fun and remaining safe - that applies to you and the young people you help look after. So whether you are new to Scouting or have been with us since Beavers, you need to attend a Module A within 3 months of starting as a Young Leader - prefereably sooner. Particularly if you have just moved from Scouts and are helping there, you have to change from being one of the gang to being a leader - it can be a difficult transition, but this short session will help you realise what you can (and should not) do.

The Module is actually fun and only takes a couple of hours to complete. We start by looking at what Scouting is all about, then we move onto how you make sure the young people are safe from abuse (and you are safe from accusations) - all common sense. The last bit is about making Scouting fun whilst keeping the young people safe from physical harm. If you can make it feel dangerous but know that it is safe then the Beavers, Cubs and Scouts will really enjoy themselves and also learn what danger is.

If you have just come from Scouts then it can be really hard to stay detached from the young people in the section you help with. We all want to join in the games, take part in the activities and be one of the gang. Being a (young) leader means that you have to step away a little bit so that they learn to respect you.

Making things look exciting and (even) dangerous is great, but they have to be safe. Even Bear Grylls, our new Chief Scout, realises the importance - "My real job is to manage the risk and trust my instincts. I have a lot to stay alive for and am actually ultra careful."

Further training

Module B - Taking the Lead

One of the biggest changes when you become a YL is that you are not just a Scout or Explorer but part of the leadership team. Module B is all about styles of leadership, how to get your Beavers, Cubs or Scouts to follow instructions and when different styles are appropriate.

Module C - That's the way to do it

Have you wondered how to show a cub how to tie a knot? How do you explain to a Scout how to read a map? There are lots of way of passing on the skills you have learnt in Scouting to others and this module is all about which ways might work. There is no "right" way but if you know some of the techniques then you can choose the best one for you and the activity.

Module D - Kids behaving badly

Every leader has problems with discipline and as a Young Leader you will have times when they ignore you or deliberately do things wrong. How do you cope?

Module E - Game on!

Games are great fun but they can make the kids too excited. What about games which calm them down? How do you choose the best game for a situation?

Leaders often turn to YLs to "just run a game" - it is great to have a few different games you can suggest which suit the mood of the young people - energetic, thoughtful, team or individual.

Module F - Special People

Don't just think disabled, there are many members of the movement who have particular needs - it ranges from the physical to behavioural issues, includes dietary and religious issues. Some needs are obvious, others are not. Do you understand their needs and how can you make Scouting fully available to them? Come prepared to have your eyes opened to what it must be like to be a Scout with special needs.

Modules G & H - Programme Planning

For your young people to enjoy Scouting, we need to provide a varied and interesting programme. You also want to give them the opportunities to do challenge and other badges. Some activities are best in the summer, others suit the winter. These two modules cover everything from planning the outiline of a term's activities to organising a normal colony, pack or troop evening.

Module I - what did they say

Listening and understanding what the young people say to you may seem easy, but do you really understand what they mean? Communication, both ways, is really important and it is not just the spoken word.

Module J - Badges and Awards

Do you understand the badges for the section you work with? How might you fit them into the programme? How do you deal with the pushy parent or decide that someone has earnt a badge? Often you will be put on the spot - here is a chance to discuss how you might decide.

Missions, etc.

These are a series of tasks which were designed to be done over four years to help you learn new skills and to encourage your section leader to involve you more and more. By the end of the fourth Mission, you should be ready to think about taking out an adult warrant and the experiences and training you have gained will help you tick many of the boxes for adult training.

The first Mission is all about organising activities indoors, perhaps starting with part of an evening but working up, by the third activity, to a whole evening.

The second Mission is similar but is for outdoor activities where the risks are different, you may need to prepare more and certainly you will need to work with the other leaders. (Some YLs work on Missions 1 and 2 in parallel to suit the weather!)

The third Mission is all about listening to the young people, what do they want to do, is it practicable, how do you manage their expectations? Having found out what they want to do, you need to organise an activity - probably away from the normal location and possibly during a camp or as a special event.

The last Mission is about becoming involved in the leadership team, helping to plan the programme and organise evenings, being a full member of the leadership team.


We have produced a training Record Booklet to assist you in knowing what you need to do and what you have completed and to provide you with the necessary proof of completion of training.  The PDF attached below is formatted to be printed double sided on A4 and folded into booklet form.

There is also a County Record Book availble from the YLT Team