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Information for section leaders

Supporting Explorer Scout Young Leaders in your section 

Working alongside an Explorer Scout Young Leader (ESYL) opens up many great opportunities for a section. ESYLs can bring a range of different skills and experience to the section they support and can help invaluably with the planning and running of your section. This not only benefits your section but allows the ESYL to develop skills for later life, equipping them for successful careers, and to take on adult roles within Scouting.

ESYLs undertake a training Scheme that consists of 11 modules and four missions. Modules cover a variety of topics such as programme planning, inclusive Scouting and first aid. Usually, ESYLs go through this training with other ESYLs, completing modules together. Missions, which are similar to the validation section in the adult training scheme, put the learning from the modules into action. These are what the ESYL will need to complete in the section they support. As a section leader, the support you offer your ESYL will contribute towards their development and ensure that the section gets the most out of their time. Below are some top tips for working with ESYLs in your section.

Welcome them

Before an ESYL’s first session, make sure they know where they are going and who they can expect to meet there. Ideally, you should meet with the ESYL before the first session. Much like any new leader, ESYLs may feel nervous, or may not know what to expect. At the start of the session, take time to introduce them to the other leaders and young people. At the end of the session, introduce them to the parents. This familiarity will help put them at ease.

Get to know them

Spend a little bit of time getting to know your ESYL. Just like adult leaders, they will have a range of experiences and skills to share. Some questions you may wish to ask an ESYL include:

Encourage them to get them stuck in

ESYLs can help with an array of tasks. They are not there to make the juice or the tea, any more than any other leader. They are an integral part of your leadership team. By investing some time with your ESYL at the beginning, you are much more likely to see them develop and take an active role in planning and running the section.

ESYLs could:

In order for ESYLs to complete these activities, they will need some support from you. It is advisable to talk through any tasks or activities before they do them for the first time. Consider whether you are the best person in the section’s leadership team to support the ESYL. Is there someone else in the leadership team who would thrive buddying a new member of the team?

What do ESYLs get out of the Scheme?

The benefits an ESYL will get out of the Scheme are very similar to the benefits of being an adult leader. Like adult volunteers, ESYLs will get to see young people develop, have fun and give back to their communities, all while developing some useful , transferrable life skills.

What are your obligations?

Whilst an ESYL is working within a section, the section leader is responsible for their safety and welfare. It is important to remember that an ESYL is still a young person, regardless of their responsibilities. The same Young People First (Yellow Card) guidance you apply to your section should also be applied to ESYLs. You should never spend time one-on-one with an ESYL, and should never directly text or email them without copying in other members of the leadership team, for example.

Young People First (Orange Card) and Module A

When ESYLs start the Scheme, they will be given a copy of Young People First (Orange Card). This is the ESYL version of the Young People First (Yellow Card). ESYLs must also complete Module A of the Scheme within three months. This is integral as the module provides detailed information about safeguarding and child protection. A young person is more likely to disclose to someone closer to their age. It is important that the ESYL is equipped with the right skills and knowledge to deal with any situations that arise.

Camps and residential trips

When the ESYL takes part in a camp or residential, consideration should also be given to the sleeping arrangements. The ESYL should have their own separate accommodation. They should not share with adult leaders, or with the young people in the section.

Mission one - 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.
Mission two - Activity

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

Mission three - Programme
Planning
Take the section’s programme ideas to a programme planning meeting.
Mission four - Delivery

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

 

Missions - what you need to know: As part of the Scheme ESYLs will need to complete four missions. They should carry out these missions in the section and will need your support to achieve these.

After completing a mission, the ESYL may ask you to complete a very short statement or make a comment on how they got on. You can log this in their ESYL Logbook. Feedback will help them to evaluate what went well and what they wish to focus on developing further. Remember, with the right support and opportunities, ESYLs can be a valuable part of the leadership team, and can help provide even better quality Scouting for more young people.

 

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