Young Leaders Scheme

An Overview

Explorer Scout Young Leaders are Explorers who volunteer alongside adult leaders in a Squirrel Drey, Beaver Colony, Cub Pack or Scout Troop. They’re a valuable asset to any leadership team and 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.

All Young Leaders in the Squirrel, Beaver, Cub and Scout section who are between the ages of 14 and 18 must be members of a Young Leaders Unit.

The scheme

The Explorer Scout Young Leaders’ Scheme is the training programme for Young Leaders. It contains 11 modules and four missions for them to work through whilst volunteering in their chosen section. Modules give Young Leaders 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 Explorers to make a positive impact in their communities and to fulfil the service elements of many of the top awards in Scouts, or their Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. Recognition of achievement is available along the way, and on completion of the Scheme, the Young Leader is awarded with an Explorer Scout Young Leader belt buckle.

Who takes part

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. 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).


Q: Am I only there to run games and oversee activities?

A: No, the Section Leadership team should involve you in all aspects of the running of the section, allowing you to gain experience and put your Young Leader training into practice.

Q: Can I participate in the scheme as part of my old group?

A: Yes, if they have the capacity for you to do so.  You will become an Explorer Scout as part of your transition from the Scout Section and encouraged to become an active member of one of the District Explorer Units.  The you can return to your Group in the capacity of a Young Leader. 

It should be noted that you can not return immediately to be a Young Leader with the Scout section of your old Group, it is advised a period of 12 months elapse in order to distinguish you in the leader role.

Q: I am undertaking the service section of my Duke of Edinburgh award, do I have to stop being a young leader after this is completed?

A: No, you can continue on as a Young Leader, but you are required to register as an Explorer Scout within a District Unit, any training you have undertaken during your initial period where you were undertaking the DofE service will be carried over.

Q: What support will I get from you the Section I undertake the scheme with ?

A: The section leader will assign you a mentor on starting the Young Leader scheme and both will ensure you are involved in the leadership team for the duration of your participation in the scheme.

Complete young leader training

Gain new skills and prepare to lead!

The Orange card is a code of practice for young people. It’s the policy of The Scout Association to safeguard the welfare of all members by protecting them from neglect and from physical, sexual and emotional harm.

I want to register (to be) a Young Leader

You do not need to be a current member of the Scout Association to become a young leader. If you are interested in developing leadership skills and volunteering please get in touch.