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Growing Scouting

Growing Scouting

We can grow Scouting by introducing new adults and young people to the movement - and by keeping the ones we've already got happy.

We can all play a part whether by talking to parents at the school gate, putting a poster on the noticeboard at work, running a stand at the local fete or making sure a new child or adult feels really welcome.

Growing Scouting is about team work, something we are good at in Scouting, and should be part of every group's plan.

Information about Scout Mate and Gold Scout Mate which encourage and reward the recruitment of young people and adults respectively.

It also includes tips on running events, succession planning and different ways some sections run.

Adult Recruitment

Essentially this must be an ongoing process involving many people and using a wide range of methods.

An ongoing process:

People’s lives change and their ability and desire to fulfil roles in Scouting will change. Sometimes the ‘review’ process will signal the time for someone to change roles and sometimes it will be the change in circumstances such as moving house that will make it inevitable. It is better to plan for change rather than let it take you by surprise and you can be sure that sooner or later you will need some more help!

Many People

We all have a responsibility to grow Scouting and as with many things it is a task more easily undertaken by a group of people working together. This can be young people from the sections and groups with their leaders, or it can be groups of Districts Officers, Network or Fellowship.

Many Methods

One of the most common ways of recruiting a volunteer is to ask someone to help. However, an equal number of people volunteer because they become interested in an organisation or cause and want to be part of it. We need to make it easy for both of these groups of potential volunteers to join us.

Ideas For Recruitment Of Adults

  • Raising the profile of Scouting in your local community. People will be more likely to join an organisation they have heard positive and interesting things about recently. Work with your local PR contact or the County media advisor to spread good news about Scouting.
  • Run events that give you face to face contact with local people. This might be at the Scout hut or other community venue. Alternatively you might ‘piggy back’ another event such as a summer fair or outdoor show to promote Scouting.
  • Use free listings on web sites such as where you can give details of who to contact in your area for information about all sections and groups. Or use to advertise specific vacancies. Officers appointments can be advertised on
  • Use the local volunteer centre as they can promote your vacancies – again it’s free!
  • Use a poster campaign. The Gold Scoutmate CD has a selection of posters you can use as they are or change them to suit your needs. Put them in places like supermarkets, leisure centres, work notice boards, cafes, friendly shops, village halls or the library.
  • Leaflet an area. Create leaflets promoting local Scouting for young people and adults. Organise a team of people to safely post them through people’s letter boxes.
  • Gold Scoutmate. Get together with a group of people to achieve this award which will raise Scouting’s profile in your area. Go to the Gold Scout Mate page.

Alternative Methods For Running Sections

If the standard model for running a section is for the whole of a section to meet once a week during term time on a weekday with (for the most part) the same leaders then, for the purpose of this exercise, everything else is ‘Alternative’

Some of the alternatives are below and some sections and groups use a combination of them.

  1. Sections that don’t meet every week
  2. Sections that meet with other sections  
  3. Sections that meet on the weekend
  4. Sections that meet for a different length of time

Examples include:

East Sheen Scout Group, Richmond upon Thames District
What’s different? The Cub and Scout section meet alternate weeks. The same leaders are there each week but one week it’s Cubs and the next it’s Scouts. They don’t need different leaders for each section.

Leader Lynn Milner said ‘What is interesting is the reaction of the parents. They are very happy about it and it seems to take the pressure off homework. It seems an ideal solution for a limited leader team and means that as they always meet on the same night the transition from Cubs to Scouts is virtually seamless.’

Sittingbourne District Explorers
What’s different? The Young Leaders Unit meets every half term, alternating from one end of the District to the other and can be held on any day of the week - either during the day or in the evening.  The meeting is specifically aimed at young leaders and they work on the Young Leader training modules.

1st Gillingham Scouts, Kent
The troop of 45 meets weekly for 3 hours. Leader and ACC Scouts, Dean Harding, said that they were getting so big they were thinking of splitting in two. However they experimented with a longer session and found that made it easier for the leaders to deliver good Scouting.

7th Sutton Coldfield (235th Birmingham)
What’s different? The Scout section now meet one full Saturday a month as well as the Monday before the meeting for planning and preparation. It means they get out a lot more ‘doing what Scouting is really about’ rather than being in the HQ building. The leaders can both attend on the Saturday and the young leaders have their meeting on Fridays and so get ready for the Saturday’s activities with the Scouts.

Leader Nigel Speakman said ‘Our Scout section was dwindling, I was running it myself and the joy of Scouting was ebbing away. So I rearranged our meetings to one full Saturday a month and we have bounced back’.

Demelza House, Children’s Hospice near Sittingbourne

What’s different? All 3 sections meet together fortnightly on a Saturday. Some of the programme is done jointly and then other activities adapted to the sections. The number of young people is usually quite small and needs a high leader ratio. However this means Scouting can reach young people who might otherwise miss out.

46th Norwich
What’s Different? There are two parts to the Group. One meets at the hospital each Wednesday to include all sections and any child on the ward. The other part runs at a special needs school called Clare School. This runs on the second Saturday of the month and is just for Scouts.

1st North Walsham Beavers, Norfolk
There are quite a few Beaver colonies that meet on a Saturday and North Walsham was the first in Norfolk. They already had a thriving group but the Colony was full and had a long waiting list.  GSL Buzz Burrell said ‘One point which I think is worth a mention is the new Leaders recruited worked full time and Scouting on Saturdays gave them the opportunity to plan and attend Beavers without rushing home from work, missing meals etc. just to be there on time’. Another advantage for leaders is that they don’t have to find time on the weekend as well as a week night for outings. Buzz gives full credit to the enthusiasm of the leaders who got it going and made waiting lists a thing of the past.


This section contains files which you can download. Right click on the link and choose the 'Save As' option to download your selection to your own computer.

Induction Tips Information for parents

Getting An 0845 Number

Find out about Beavers Cubs Scouts Explorers Network


Last updated a year ago