What is a young leader?
Young leaders are young people aged 14-18 who invest time and effort into scouting, just like adult volunteers. They're ultimately the future of the scout association and one day, scouting will be in their hands. So, they're important young people.

Young Leaders should be treated with the same respect as adult volunteers. The only difference between the two roles is the age and level of responsibility.

The Scout Association is keen for Young Leaders to get real experience when working with sections. Please don't be afraid to challenging Young Leaders and offer them new experiences (e.g. planning an event, or budgeting for a camp).

There is an optional agreement between the young leader and the section/ section leader who they are working with. It's a good starting point to to gauge the expectations of both parties to ensure a good working relationship.

Young leaders and their role
Young Leaders are encouraged from session 1 to be independent. The YL unit will facilitate placement organisation, but it is ultimately the responsibility of the young person to organise that placement.

They will contact you asking about becoming a young leader in your section. Jack Fletcher will also email you at this point to send you information about having a young leader volunteering with you.

At this point, you should talk to your Group Scout Leader. If you both agree the young leader can volunteer in your section, invite them to one of your sessions.

Induct the young leader and introduce them to your section and treat like them you would a new adult volunteer.

Help and support for adults
You should develop a good working relationship with your young leader/s. Treat them like adult volunteers (without the responsibility of safety for young people)
and they will treat you with respect.

If you're struggling to engage your young leaders, identify why they aren't engaging. One common reason for this is that they don't feel like they're being included. Don't be scared to challenge them or push their limits. See two examples of using young leaders successfully below:
  1. At a local cub pack, the leaders ask their three young leaders to plan an activity (or two) each programme cycle. This means planning everything; sticking to a budget, gathering resources and then actually running the whole night (with the support of adults). It also allows the young leaders to work as a team and doesn't overly pressure them to deliver each week.
  2. At a local beaver colony, adult leaders plan a sleepover and then ask their young leaders to deliver a 4 hour activity on the theme of the sleepover. Again, getting young leaders to work in their team encourages them to deliver the activity.

Other FAQs
Q: Do Young Leaders need to wear group neckers?
A: It's up to the Young Leader. The Young Leader must wear their district young leader necker (white, blue and black) but it's up to them if they want to wear an additional group necker. The YL Award necker (see right) can be worn in replacement of the district necker and, again, in addition to a group necker.

Q: How do I know exactly what training Young Leaders have?
GSLs have access to YL data. Alternatively, contact Jack Fletcher (yl@hls-scouts.org.uk).

Q: I have someone interested in becoming a Young Leader from outside scouts. How do I get them registered?
A: Get them to fill the form in on our Young Leaders page (www.hls-scouts.org.uk/yl) and we'll be in touch!

Q: Do young leaders sleep in the same accommodation as adults?
A: No - Young Leaders need accommodation for themselves (not with young people - not with adults)

Q: Who do YLs pay subs to?
A: They pay subs to whichever group they are volunteering with.

Q: What is the responsibility of a Young Leader regarding safeguarding?
A: A Young Leader has a similar responsibility with regards to safeguarding as an adult. Consult the orange card (a YL version of the adult Yellow Card) if in doubt and query anything with Jonathan Chicken (dc@hls-scouts.org.uk).

Q: How do I sign off YL Missions?
A: Ensure the young leader has completed all of the required sections of their Missions (in their handout, in their file) and let us know (email: yl@hls-scouts.org.uk)! Alternatively, the unit can do this for you - the Young Leader should attend session 5 for this.

Q: What happens when a Young Leader turns 18?
A: They should have the opportunity to join the scout network and also take up a volunteer role*. Your GSL should help with this. Young Leaders can be awarded the young leader service badge to wear on an adult uniform (see above right).

Q: How many YLs can I have in a section?
A: A maximum of three per section at any one time.

Q: What happens if the Young Leader isn't turning up or is not 'pulling their weight'?
A: Call Jack Fletcher (07429 562964) or email us (yl@hls-scouts.org.uk) and we'll chase this up . We'll let the GSL and section leader know ASAP what the outcome is.

*Taking up an adult role is done in the same way for all people. They must complete a DBS check, an application form, attend appointments advisory committee and be appointed into role. They must then begin their adult training and complete Modules 1-3. There is no difference in the appointment/ initial training process for adults who have previously been young leaders. Other adult modules may be partially validated (discussion with their Training Advisor).
Section Leader specific responsibilities
The section leader role brings with it responsibility to allow young leader(s) to volunteer - just like adult volunteers with less responsibility. These are specific responsibilities for section leaders:
  • Ensure young leaders are treat with the same respect as adult volunteers and are invited to all sectional meetings (programme planning, events etc.)
  • Ensure young leaders are given opportunities to develop and lead
  • Ensure young leaders are safe (they are still young people)
  • Facilitate young leaders' missions and challenges (see below)
  • 'Sign off'/ validate young leader missions
  • Ensure all young leaders have attended Session 1: Module A within three months of joining
  • Ensure all young people are safe by ensuring young leaders do not exceed their competence
  • Induct young leaders into their role, as you would with other adult volunteers

The Young Leader Scheme in HLS - a background
In HLS district, the young leader training scheme offers hands-on experience based
learning to ready our young leaders for their roles in sections. This provides the best experience for both the young leaders who are training, and also the adult leaders who lead sections which host young leaders.

The scheme in HLS differs from the national scheme. POR states Young Leaders must attend a Module A session as part of their training. Module A, which is similar to Module 1 of adult training (scouting fundamentals, child protection and risk assessment) forms the first session of our scheme.

5 additional sessions follow on from Session 1: Module A, building on the knowledge for Young Leaders. Each session runs twice within the scheme at different sections/ groups. All sessions are bookable online (or via text message to Jack Fletcher or via the Facebook Group). At the end of each session, a handout is provided to sum up the content for the session. For session info, visit our YL page. Additionally, see the content covered (the same content as provided in the handout) on our online session pages:
YL Challenges and YL Missions
We try to encourage Young Leaders to continue their training and demonstrate what they've learned. YL challenges and YL missions provide the framework to do so.

YL challenges are exclusive to HLS and are designed to be completed whilst the
training scheme is running. There are 4 challenges in total; one challenge for each session from sessions 1-4 (listed above). The challenges are designed to make young leaders think about the content of the session whilst at home.

YL missions are a nationwide part of the scheme to encourage YLs to put into practice their learning. The are designed to be completed after the scheme, when the young leader is in place as a volunteer. Section leaders must 'sign off' these missions individually with supporting evidence (similar to adult training portfolio). There are 4 missions to be signed off.

The young leaders are provided with a file with information about all of this as well as the missions and the challenges. They should use this file to keep evidence for missions and any information with regards to their placement.

Awards for Young Leaders
HLS offers a range of awards for young leaders including national awards.
Young Leader Badge

At the end of Session 1: Module A, Young Leaders will be given a square/ diamond shaped Young Leader Badge (see opposite). This represents the completion of Module A - the minimum requirements of a YL.

The Young Leader can then be awarded a stripe (see opposite) which 
YL Mission Stripe
fits around the Young Leader Badge for each mission completed and signed off. There are 4 mission stripes, which when placed around the outside of the young leader badge create a larger circular 'badge'.
YL Belt

The Young Leader Belt is awarded to young leaders who complete the first 4 core sessions and all 4 missions. This represents the completion of the national award.

YL Award Necker
The Young Leader Award is a combination of the Young Leader Belt (completing all 4
missions and all Young Leader sessions) and the completion of the 4 (HLS exclusive) YL challenges. The Young Leader is awarded a YL award necker.

The Young Leader Service Award can be awarded when a YL turns 18 
YL Service Award
and the award represents service as a Young Leader and it can be worn on adult uniform.

Awards are provided by the district upon notification by a section leader/ GSL/ young leader. Groups do not have to provide these awards, only facilitate them.

Please email yl@hls-scouts.org.uk to nominate someone/ yourself for an award.