Young Leaders

An Overview

Explorer Scout Young Leaders are Explorers who volunteer alongside adult leaders in a Squirrel Drey, Beaver Colony, Cub Pack or Scout Troop. They're a valuable asset to any leadership team and play an active role in the section, bringing a range of fresh ideas to the table and acting as positive role models for the young people they work alongside.

All Young Leaders in the Squirrel, Beaver, Cub and Scout section who are between the ages of 13.5 and 18 must be members of a Young Leaders Unit.

The scheme

The Explorer Scout Young Leaders’ Scheme is the training programme for Young Leaders. It contains 11 modules and four missions for them to work through whilst volunteering in their chosen section. Modules give Young Leaders the skills and knowledge to be successful in their role, while missions allow them to put everything into practice with support.

As well as developing valuable life skills, the scheme is an opportunity for Explorers to make a positive impact in their communities and to fulfil the service elements of many of the top awards in Scouts, or their Duke of Edinburgh's Award. Recognition of achievement is available along the way, and on completion of the Scheme, the Young Leader is awarded with an Explorer Scout Young Leader belt buckle.

Who takes part

Although the scheme is usually taken on by Explorer Scouts looking for a new challenge, young people from outside Scouting can also participate if they are working towards their Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards or Queen’s Guide Award. They can do this by volunteering as non-members for a set period of time. For example, if they are completing their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh's Award, they can volunteer as a non-member for three to six months (the time required for the Bronze DofE volunteering section).

The Missions

The four missions are designed to allow the Young Leaders to put the learning from the modules into practice. By doing so, they will gain in confidence and become an integral part of the leadership team within their Section and Group. 

Mission 1        Game

Plan and run a minimum of three games with the section you are volunteering with. At least one game should take place indoors and one outdoors.

The games should be varied, incorporating:

To complete this mission, you could:

Mission 2   Activity

Plan and run an activity (not a game) with the section you are volunteering with.

The activities should include:

To complete this mission, you could:

Mission 3 Program Planning

Take the section’s programme ideas to a programme planning meeting.

This mission should include:

To complete this mission, you could:

Mission 4  Delivery

Take responsibility for organising and running part of the section programme.

This mission should include:

To complete this mission, you could:


ESYLs undertake 11 modules as part of their training.

Note: ESYLs and Young Leaders volunteering from outside of scouting must complete module A within 3 months.

The modules are designed to be flexible and encourage innovation, so be as creative as you can! As long as the aim and objectives are met, they can be delivered in any way by anybody with the appropriate training or experience.

Module A - Prepare for take-off (essentials and expectations)

Note: Young Leaders aren’t expected to complete ‘Module A: Prepare for Take-Off’ until face-to-face meetings are resumed. All other modules could be delivered online. See more information on adapting the YLS during the the Coronavirus crisis. 

Module B - Taking the lead 

Module C - That's the way to do it!

Module D - Understanding behaviour

Module E - Game on!

Module F - Making Scouting accessible and inclusive

Module G - What is a high quality programme?

Module H - Programme planning

Module I - What did they say?

Module J - Communicate it!

Module K - First aid masterclass

For more information from the Scouts website Click Here