People choose to volunteer with the Scouts for many reasons, quite often to help prioritise a place for their child in a group, but often for other personal reasons – scouting is the world’s largest youth group and getting involved as a volunteer can be very rewarding.

There are many roles in scouting which do not involve running sessions on a regular basis, and we’re always looking for volunteers to help with co-ordination, finance, raising money, organising events, looking after the hut, grounds and equipment etc. If you’re interested in this kind of supporting role please do get in touch.

The majority of our volunteers are involved in running sessions and becoming a leader, and the rest of this page will outline what is involved.

Getting started as a volunteer leader is fairly straightforward, but there are some important steps that must be taken on your way to becoming a leader. These will help you understand how to ensure the safety and safeguarding of young people in your care, as well as equip you with the tools and skills you will need to run quality sessions for your group.

Being a leader carries some responsibility. You will need to be able to attend the weekly term-time meetings of the group you are volunteering at, and possibly other planned events outside of these regular slots. Occasional meetings may be missed, but this must be arranged with your section leader in advance as he / she will need to ensure enough leaders for the planned activities and to meet the mandatory adult : young person ratios for the relevant section.

Leaders also share responsibility for preparing and running sessions – this is done on a pre-agreed rota basis allowing time for preparation, purchase of materials etc. All new leaders are supported in preparing and running sessions by the other section leaders and there’s a vast amount of session ideas and plans online which can support activities, as well as the leader training. Many leaders haven’t led youth activities before and find this extremely rewarding.

There are some minimum commitments that must be made to become a leader at any scout group in the UK. These are as follows:

  • DBS check – this is a scout specific check and must be done immediately. Other DBS checks are not transferrable.
  • Training – all leaders must complete five online training modules which will take around 5 hours. This must be done within the first 6 months, and ideally done up-front.
    • All online training is available on https://www.scouts.org.uk/ and changes from time to time. Currently (Feb 24) leaders must take: Essential Information (01), Safety, Safeguarding, GDPR, Tools for the Role (Section Leaders) (03)
  • First Aid Training – all leaders must complete a six hour first aid training course within the first year of volunteering. Some external first aid training is accepted and may be transferred. This training can be booked via Hertfordshire Scouts – https://www.hertfordshirescouts.org.uk/
  • District Appointments Committee Meeting – this is a one hour meeting held online (zoom) and must be attended for you to become a fully warranted leader.

For any parents who receive a prioritised place for their child based on volunteering, we expect a minimum 2 year commitment as a leader. If subsequent children are offered a prioritised place the same applies with an additional 2 year commitment and ongoing training maintenance. If in the unlikely circumstance that a leader has to leave the group, we may ask that the child / children also leave. We sincerely hope that all leaders find it rewarding enough to want to stay well beyond this – many most definitely have over the 100 years of the 9th St Albans Scout Group.

Children of leaders currently receive a discount in subscription fees.