Scoutmate has been extensively researched, consulting with young people and adults working within the sections and we are confident that it is a useful aid to encouraging existing members to recruit their friends into Scouting.
Scoutmate has clearly defined criteria, to help the recruit and the Scout Mate earn their membership award and Scout Mate badges. The Scoutmate badge is available to Beavers, Cubs and Scouts who bring along a new friend to join their section.
For more details about gaining this award see below.
A Network Scout from Dartford, Charlie Clark, designed the badge some years ago to complement the existing range of badges available from HQ. They are competitively priced, and young people can earn up to three. Badges are available from your local District badge secretaries or you can order your own supply for your section/Group directly from Kent Scouts.
If you have any queries please contact us or telephone 01622 766844.
Badges are available to order from the Kent Scout County Office.
The Scoutmate FAQ
What is the Scout Mate badge?
The Scoutmate badge has been specifically designed to encourage members in the three younger sections to recruit a friend into Scouting and increase the number of young people involved in Scouting across Kent. The concept is based on the "buddy badge" which was used successfully by the Cub Scout Section.
What are the requirements to gain the badge?
- Bring a new friend to your Group
- Together, chat to the leaders and meet the other Beavers, Cubs or Scouts
- Show them around the place you meet
- Help them learn about the Scouting family and the Promise they will make.
- Take part in an activity with your Scout mate
- Be a part of their investiture and receive your "Scout Mate" badge
Can the badge be awarded if a young person supports a young person moving up from another Section?
No - The badge can only be awarded for the introduction of totally new members, not as a reward for acting as a 'mate' to a young person moving from the Section below.
If a young person brings more than one mate on separate occasions or at the same time do they get more than one Scout Mate badge?
Yes- young people can earn up to 3 badges for introducing new members to a Group.
Can the badge be moved on to the new uniform when going up to the next Section?
No - young people can earn more badges by bringing along more mates to join Scouting.
Can a young person get a Scoutmate badge for reintroducing a friend to Scouting?
If a young person has reintroduced a mate (who has previously been a member) to Scouting after an absence of three or more months a Scout Mate badge may be awarded.
Where is the Scoutmate badge worn?
On the lower right forearm, towards the cuff.
Where do we get the badges?
Your District badge secretary
Is the badge the same for all three Scout Sections?
Yes - Beavers, Cubs and Scouts can earn the badge for introducing a new mate to Scouting
It is an Award started during 2005 to celebrate the ‘Year of the Volunteer’ to reward the active recruitment of new adult volunteers. It can also complement the 6-step plan to recruitment by generating names for step 3.
How is it achieved?
The Section needs to take part in 3 activities to encourage volunteer recruitment and be successful in recruiting someone! Sections may join together to do the activities but each section must successfully recruit a new volunteer to Kent Scouts in order to gain the badge.
Why do people volunteer?
In a survey by Volunteer England the most common reason given for deciding to volunteer was that ‘someone asked me’ but of almost equal importance was the response ‘I offered to help’. Your activities will need to appeal to both of these groups to stand the best chance of success. This means getting the attention of people who have contact with Scouting as well as those who know little about it. People also like to volunteer because they feel they are helping the community, to gain new skills and to meet new people - so keep that in mind too!
Activity One - Hold an event
Have a party or open day, in the evening or on the weekend – choose what will work best for your group and the people you want to attract as volunteers. Be sure to invite people connected with Scouting, such as parents, and people who may know little or nothing about it.
Your event should include:
- A warm welcome
- Young people telling others about Scouting – this could be by means of pictures, poems, drama, by example, or a mixture of the methods
- Adult volunteers telling the guests why they like volunteering. You might like to include people who work with young people as well as others like your treasurer or chairman in this. Remember it’s important to tell people what you actually do – not just your job title!
- A chance for people to ask questions – this could be a question and answer session, or a place where people can write their questions so they can be answered during the event.
- Asking people to volunteer - whether you do this one to one, in song & dance or by means of a poster, do remember to ask!!!Decide who will be following up any expressions of interest before the event so there is no delay.
It’s up to your group exactly what you do – but if you think of it from the point of view of your guests and potential volunteers you are more likely to succeed in your aim to recruit someone.
Activity Two - Run a poster campaign
To promote your event and volunteering run a poster campaign for at least 3 weeks before the event. This will help you attract people who might not think of volunteering for Scouting. We recommend you use the Scout Print Centre to create your posters. Make sure you include a contact number for people wanting to know more and be prepared to talk to them about the opportunities you have. Arrange to put posters in places such as:
Supermarkets, Libraries, at parents’ places of work, the Church notice board, in doctor's or dentist's waiting rooms, the pool or leisure centre, in shops and cafes, in the school staff room or the local volunteer centre. Agree who is going to put a poster where and get everyone in the section to put up at least one.
Activity Three - Get an item in the local newspaper, on radio or TV
Do an upbeat press release to promote volunteering either before or at the time of your event. Have a look at the section on www.scouts.org.uk which is entitled "Campaigning, media and member communications" lots of ideas here. Alternatively get help from your Group or District Public Relations Advisor if you have one.
Remember to put a contact number on your press release and include a copy of your press cutting or a recording of your TV or Radio item with your application for the award.
Once the activities are complete
Recruitment is an important process and can’t be rushed. Make sure everyone in the section understands that it will take time to follow up expressions of interest generated by the activities to ensure the right people are recruited for the right jobs. In recognition of this Gold Scoutmate is awarded for the recruitment of an adult volunteer into Kent Scouts – not necessarily into your section or group.