Young Leaders

Who are Young Leaders?

Leaders are an invaluable part of so many aspects of our lives; the world needs leaders.
But what makes a good leader? What allows some to inspire people to follow them?

Many would say that the basis is an understanding of people and the ability to see things from their point of view. Some people say that leaders are people with big, exciting dreams who want to make them happen. No matter what, to be a leader you certainly need to have courage and to take on responsibility. This needs to be recognised.

What’s it like to be a leader? There is really only one way to find out the answer to this question, and that’s to have a go at it. The Scout Association’s Young Leaders’ Scheme is a unique, challenging and unforgettable opportunity to step out into leadership volunteering with Beavers, Cubs or Scouts. It offers an amazing chance to learn leadership skills, gain experience and confidence, and help others to learn and enjoy themselves. It’s a valuable preparation for all sorts of careers and is a great boost for your CV, helping you get ahead with further and higher education applications and future employment.

Young leaders are aged between 14 and 18 and work alongside adult leaders to ensure that young people really get the chance to shape their own Scouting adventures. You can be a Young Leader in a Beaver Scout Colony, Cub Scout Pack or Scout Troop.

The Young Leaders’ Scheme supports you in key areas to help you get the most out of working with younger sections. The scheme also helps you to develop as an Explorer Scout, enabling you to fulfil the volunteering elements of various awards and to make a positive impact in your local community. It can help you work towards other forms of recognition, for example DofE, Chief Scout’s and Queen’s Scout Awards, and it will also be of assistance when you move on to Scout Network or become an adult leader.

Here are the basic facts:

      • Young Leaders are Explorer Scouts aged 14 to 18.
      • As a Young Leader, you will work with the younger sections in Scouting: Beavers, Cubs or Scouts.
      • As a Young Leader, you will help adult leaders to plan and run meetings and events.
      • All Young Leaders are also Explorer Scouts.
      • The scheme is also open to young people who are undertaking the Duke of Edinburgh’s (DofE) programme or the Queen’s Guide Award.
      • As a Young Leader, you will help adult leaders to plan and run meetings and events.
      • You will get to take part in training that is flexible, practical and devised to equip you with skills you need to work well with younger people.
      • You can still take part in your usual Explorer activities as well as joining a local District Young Leader Unit.

As a Leader – What do I need to know?

The Basics
The Young Leaders scheme is for Explorer Scouts aged between 14 & 18 and offers young people a way to help out within scouting, develop their leadership and planning skills and earn awards, they may also use the scheme to complete elements of a DofE Award or Top Scout Awards. Young Leaders are an integral part of the leadership team.

The scheme is broken down into 2 areas:

The Modules – which is the training that is offered to young leaders (YL’s) to assist them, it is similar to Adult training but not as intensive. All YL’s SHOULD complete Module A within 3 months of undertaking the role. The rest of the modules should be completed at the earliest opportunity. (All YL’s must complete Module A as a minimum)

The Missions – There are 4 missions and they form the badge work elements of the YL award, they are practical opportunities for the YL’s to run a game / activity / meeting / session. They are staged in such a way as to enable the YL to put into practice their module training, develop and improve their skills and abilities until they are able to plan and lead a couple of sessions. They are observed at each stage, and as their Section Leader; we ask that you complete an assessment form on how they have performed, record their progress and what they need to work on. This review should be shared with the YL so they know what they need to improve on. The assessment of the missions is in line with Adult Leader training validation.

On completion of their Module A, they are awarded the YL badge and YL name tape, then as they complete a Mission to the required standard, they will receive a Mission Stripe to place around their YL badge. On completion of all the training and all 4 Missions, they will be awarded their YL Buckle and Service award.

As their Leader, Please:

1) Ensure they have registered with the District as a Young Leader, the registration form can be found on the district website or via email (email:
2) Ensure they have been given an Orange card on completion of their Module A training and it has been explained to them (this is their safeguarding policy).
3) Encourage them to complete their training. They will automatically be registered on the next local Module A course when their YL Registration form has been received.
4) Involve the YL in your weekly programme and give them responsibilities that develop and grow as they proceed through the scheme & missions.
5) Remember you are responsible for their safety and welfare. They are under 18 & therefore are still a young person, although part of your leadership team (yellow card procedures still apply at all times).
6) Keep an attendance record for the YL’s as this could be used for their DofE and Top Scout Awards verification for Volunteering (you could include them on your OSM records).
7) Any Nights Away experiences that they complete as a YL count towards their totals so please advise the ESL – Young Leaders of any overnight experiences that they complete with your section.

Leader Resources