Transforming Scouts

Transforming Scouts

Transforming Scouts

To give more young people skills for life, we need more volunteers.

In 2018, we agreed our Skills for Life strategy. Now we want to make volunteering with Scouts easier and more fun, so we can attract and retain more volunteers to help more young people gain skills for life.

Since 2018, we’ve spoken to more than 10,000 people inside and outside of our movement. People told us we need to be more welcoming and make volunteering feel positive, so it’s not like more work. We need our learning to be engaging and create useful digital tools to help get things done.

Currently, volunteering at Scouts doesn’t always suit how people want to volunteer. They want to volunteer flexibly, by committing the time they have and being part of a team.

We believe by addressing these issues it will help us to:

  • Recruit more volunteers and retain current ones
  • Make volunteering at Scouts feel rewarding for everyone
  • Consistently and safely deliver a better programme
  • Make sure that more young people are gaining skills for life



We’re transforming volunteering at Scouts to make it easier, more enjoyable and rewarding. We’ll be rolling out changes in phases to help us:

  • Give a warmer welcome for everyone, this means replacing the current appointments process with a new welcome conversation process
  • Deliver better learning
  • Simplify how we volunteer together, with new roles and team structures at Group, District and County levels

All of which needs to be supported by easy-to-use digital tools.​

What are the changes now?

Right now, we’re introducing:

What is changing?

In driving forward our Skills for Life Strategy through to 2025, having listened to our volunteers, young people The Scouts are embarking on a positive and engaging period of change. The three key areas identified are:

  1. Providing a warmer welcome for everyone: This will mean using new digital tools to recruit volunteers and speed up the appointments process. The volunteer is likely to have a more relevant experience during the process for which they will be able to track progress.
  2. Simplifying how we volunteer together with new roles and team structures at Group, District and County levels
  3. Delivering a more engaging learning experience: Greater use of digital tools for learning giving volunteers greater control of what and when they complete their learning. There will be more optional learning and a change in the composition of the Wood Badge so that it is more relevant to their needs. A reduction in the need for validation will speed up the process from completion to recognition.

We cannot grow to meet our ambitions for young people, from section level to the whole of the UK, or in Cambridgeshire, without making some fundamental changes that help us to recruit more volunteers 

What support is being given to help Groups, Districts and the County understand and prepare for the changes?

  • Mini- BaseCamp sessions delivered to the County Team and in all Districts held Nov 22-Jan23.
  • Around 100 Chairs of Group & District Executive Committees attended a briefing on the transition to Trustee Boards late March/early April 23 ahead of the changes
  • BaseCamp 23 held in Fenland District on 20 May 23. Two members of HQ’s change Team led various sessions, supported by the County’s transformation team, covering the latest information available on all aspects of the changes. During the day, all Districts began considering how the changes would impact their District and their team structures. The outputs from BaseCamp can be found via the button below

Who is our County Transformation Lead?

David Briston, as your  Transformation lead  has responsibility for:

  • leading, planning, co-ordinating and implementing the Skills for Life strategy (and associated changes) locally in partnership with the County Commissioner, District Commissioners, Group Scout Leaders and their teams
  • Providing feedback to Scout HQ’s change team on what is working and what isn’t working.


Q. How will I hear about the changes?

A. You’ll mainly hear about the changes from your County’s transformation team as it will have the most up to date information available.

Q. When will I start receiving updates?

A. All District Commissioners were asked in October 2022 to provide Cambridgeshire’s Transformation Lead with local venues and dates when GSLs, District Team members and Appointments secretaries could attend mini-BaseCamp events. These face-to-face sessions provide an overview of the changes, timeline and importantly, clarify what’s being proposed and the opportunity to provide feedback. By the end of 2022 eight events had taken place. Cambridge and Peterborough mini-BaseCamp events are due to be held in January 2023.

Q. Is Compass being replaced?

A. Yes. A new HQ Membership Management System (MMS) is at an advanced stage of testing. Members had the opportunity to attend presentations of the new MMS by the HQ Change team at the September 2022 Gilwell reunion. A summary of that presentation is included in Cambridgeshire’s mini-BaseCamp events.

Q. What timeline will we be working to?

A. During 2023 changes will start to be introduced to processes. These will be around the new team structures, welcoming process and role titles. These are in addition to cleansing of Compass data which District Commissioners have been asked to contact their GSLs for their help with.

November 2023, 10 Counties/Areas of the UK begin live use of the new Digital tools.
February 2024, Cambridgeshire and most other UK counties are due to start using the new Digital resources.

Q. The appears to be a lot of information on social media already. Is it correct?

A. As with most social media platforms, there is mixed information circulating. Quite a bit of it is incorrect. Do engage with your local BaseCamp events/Transformation Team to ensure that you receive the latest/correct information.

Other questions, ideas or feedback: email:

Put your phone down and what are you left with? Just teamwork, courage and the skills to succeed.’
Bear Grylls, Chief Scout Bear Grylls