Supporting young people to move on to the next section
Here is some useful information to help you transition your young people into the next section.
Retention of young people is key to running a successful Scout Group. As leaders it is important that we encourage and support young people to continue their journey in Scouting.
Each section offers new challenges and activities, along with badges and awards to earn. The Scouting Programme is designed to be progressive through the sections, with young people developing their skills as they move on.
Planning ahead can ensure that young people move at the right time for them, and flexibility in the age ranges offers the opportunity for young people to move up with a small group of friends. It may sometimes be appropriate to extend the flexibility in moving from the Beaver, Cub, or Scout sections, for young people with additional needs.
It is important to establish and maintain links between the sections (in both directions) to give young people the support they need when moving on. For example, the transition between Scouts and Explorers may be more challenging, due to Explorers existing at District level, so it is really important that Explorer Scouts are visible in the District and visit local Scout Groups.
Below we have listed some practical things that all Leaders can do to support young people moving between the sections.
General tips for Leaders
- Regularly update your Group Scout Leader on who in your Beaver, Cub or Scout section is getting ready to move on.
- For more information, talk to your Group Scout Leader if you need assistance connecting with other sections in your Group for Beavers, Cubs and Scouts. Your District Commissioner can point you in the right direction when helping to transition from Scouts to Explorers, and Explorers to Network.
- Attending District and County meetings or events will give you the opportunity to meet leaders in your local area.
- Joint activities, run together, help members of both sections get to know each other and feel comfortable with others outside their own section.
- For young people who need a bit of extra support in preparing to move on, our visual resources may come in use. They are available with or without symbols, on the Print Centre. The resources are easy to understand and can help to put young people at ease when thinking of making the big move. These may be particularly useful for a young person with additional needs or a young person on the autism spectrum, as this often involves increased anxiety about change or new situations.
- The youth resources for each section provide key information for the young person, about their new section.
Moving from Beavers to Cubs
Moving from Beavers to Cubs is an exciting time for Beavers. They can look forward to more adventurous activities as well as going on more camps.
As part of the Moving On Award, Beaver Scouts go to both Beavers and Cubs for at least three weeks. You could set them a challenge, for example, to meet at least three new Cubs and remember their names.
If possible, try to move a Beaver on to Cubs with their group of friends. That way, moving on isn’t as scary.
Cub Scouts could spend an evening creating welcome invitations for Beavers joining their section. This will help to make the new Cubs feel more at home.
The Cub Scout Leader could bring some or all of the Sixers, to a Beaver Colony meeting, helping the Beaver Scouts to get to know some of the more senior Cubs in a familiar environment. Give older Cubs the responsibility of supporting a new member - this could go towards their Team Leader Challenge Award.
Moving from Cubs to Scouts
It’s easy for a Cub Scout to feel like a small fish in a big pond when they move onto the Scout section. It might be even more daunting for a young person with additional needs. Flexibility in the age ranges may sometimes be appropriate.
To prepare Cubs for the changes ahead, why not spend an evening completing part of a Scout activity badge? Giving them a taste of the exciting things that lie ahead of them.
To achieve their Moving On Award, Cubs visit a Scout Troop for at least three weeks, and take an active part in the Programme. Cubs may struggle with finding their voice in their new Troop. To combat this, challenge your Cubs to suggest a game for the section to play while on their visit. This prepares them for sharing Programme ideas and speaking to others in the section.
In the Cubs Activity Log, there is space for Cubs to record key information about their new Scout Troop.
As a Scout Leader, you could ask Patrol Leaders to look out for younger Scouts by buddying them up. Scouts can use this opportunity to achieve their Team Leader Challenge Award.
Moving from Scouts to Explorers
Scouts may have to venture a little further to meet with their new Unit. This creates an amazing opportunity for Scouts to widen their friendship circle and meet Explorers who have not been a part of their previous Group.
This transition between sections may be more challenging than others because Explorers operate at a District level so it’s really important that Explorer Scouts are visible in the District and that Unit’s visit local Scout Groups.
As a Scout Leader, you could get your Scouts excited about moving on by inviting a local Explorer Unit to visit the Troop for an evening. The Explorers can help run an Explorer themed night. Scouts can work towards their Moving On Award by listening to Explorers talk about the benefits of the Young Leaders Scheme, Queen’s Scout Award, Explorer Belt and Duke of Edinburgh Award.
Your District Explorer Scout Commissioner or your District Commissioner will be the best person to speak to for guidance on making contact with Explorer Units in your District.
Moving from Explorers to Network
Remember, on turning 18, Explorers must move on. There is no flexibility in this upper age limit.
When an Explorer Scout turns 18-years-old, they are faced with some exciting options. They will automatically become part of the UK Scout Network and are encouraged to join their District Scout Network. There are also a wide range of different volunteer roles available, suited to different skill sets, preferences and time commitments.
A young person who has taken part in the Young Leader Scheme will have the right skills and experience to take on an adult leadership role. Remember, any prior learning gained in the Young Leaders Scheme can be recognised in the Adult Training Scheme, see advice here. This progression advances their leadership skills, boosting their career prospects.
Being part of the UK Scout Network, as well as a volunteer, means that members can continue to develop their skills and experience by planning projects and events whilst making time for themselves to take part in the Network programme. There are opportunities to complete top awards such as QSA, SOWA and Explorer Belt. The Scout Network website is a great tool where members can plan, connect and keep up to date with opportunities as well as achieve virtual badges.
Explorers can meet Scout Network members by attending combined events. Making friends and meeting like-minded people will help Explorers moving on to set up and gather support for their future Scout Network projects.
As an Explorer Scout Leader, facilitating connections with the District Scout Network, will help the transition process flow smoothly. Because local Scout Networks operate on a District level, your District Network Scout Commissioner or District Commissioner will be the best people to speak to. You could work with members to put together a one-off event with Explorers. This could be hiking for a day followed by a camp, a friendly canoeing competition, or a themed quiz night. The idea is to help initiate a relationship between the two sections and get the Explorers excited to continue taking part in the Programme with their peers.
Change can be difficult and as leaders, it is our responsibility to do all we can to continue to support our young people throughout their Scouting journey. Remember to use the Moving On Awards when a young person joins a new section and to develop those all important links between section leaders.