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Links between the sections

It is important to establish and maintain links between the sections to give young people the support they need when moving on. All leaders should work together to maintain links.

Successful retention of young people between the sections is paramount to running a successful Scout Group. Planning ahead can ensure that young people move at the right time for them, and the core flexibility in the age ranges offers the opportunity for young people to move up with a small group of friends, which may help them feel more comfortable. It may sometimes be appropriate to extend the flexibility in moving from the Beaver, Cub, or Scout sections, for young people with additional needs. More information on this can be found at scouts.org.uk/diversity.

Regular meetings of adult leaders help build relationships, ensure that suitable joint activities are organised, plan young people’s transfer from one section to another. Joint activities, run together, help members of both sections get to know each other and feel comfortable with others outside their own section.

If a young person moves to a different area completely an adult can contact the Scout Information Centre who will be able to provide a contact name and details for their new area.

Moving On Awards

Moving On Awards can be used at every stage of Scouting to help smooth the transition of a young person from one section to the next. By allowing them to participate in the next section, while retaining the security of their familiar one, the awards help young people to develop an understanding of the section they are about to move into and encourage them to get to know the members and leaders of that section. Successfully achieving the Moving On Award allows young people to show that they are on a Scouting journey and that they understand how the current section differs from their previous one.

Visual resources

For young people who need a bit of extra support in preparing to move on, our visual resources may come in use.  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.

Specific section-to-section support

Beaver Scouts to Cub Scouts

Moving onto a new section is a big step at this age, but there is a lot that can be done to support them. Joint events between the two sections, or for the Group as a whole, can help Beavers to learn about what they've got to look forward to and feel more comfortable when it's their time to move on. Cub Scout Leaders could also visit the Beaver Colony from time to time, so that Beavers can get to know the Leaders in a familiar environment.  Making sure that older Beavers know about any of their friends who have moved up to Cubs, may also help them feel reassured.

As part of their Moving On Award, young people go to both Beavers and Cubs for at least three weeks. They could be set a challenge during this time, for example, to meet at least three new Cubs and remember their names, or to find out about a badge they would like to do in Cubs. 

There is space in the My Beaver Adventures Logbook, available from Scout Store, for Beavers to write down the Cub Scout Leaders' names and draw themselves as a Cub Scout. The Cubs Activity Log, also available from Scout Store, contains basic information about being a Cub Scout and has space for the young person to write down information about the Pack.

Cubs could be given the responsibility of supporting a new member - this could go towards their Team Leader Challenge Award.

A moving on ceremony can be really valuable for this age group, in helping them process the change.

Cub Scouts to Scouts

It’s easy for a Cub to feel like a small fish in a big pond when they move onto the Scout section, but there are lots of things that can help them settle in.

The Scout Leader could send birthday cards to Cubs at the age of 10 to show that the Scout Leader is already thinking of them as prospective Scouts. Scout Leaders could attend the Cub Pack, joint camps or outings and get to know the Cubs’ names by leading games and activities. It can be really helpful to move young people into Scouts as part of a small group because at this age friendships become more important in young people's lives. Making sure that older Cubs know about any of their friends who have moved up to Scouts, may also help them feel reassured.

To achieve their Moving On Award, Cubs visit a Scout Troop for at least three weeks, and take an active part in the Programme. In the Cubs Activity Log, available to order from Scout Store, there is space for Cubs to record key information about their new Scout Troop. The Scouts Activity Log also provides some basic information about being a Scout, including the Scout Promise and Law.

You could keep young people who have just moved in pairs within Patrols rather than splitting them up, this way they always have at least one friend by their side.

Patrol Leaders and Assistant Patrol Leaders can have a really valuable role in helping new Scouts settle into the Troop.  It can also be a great experience for any Scout to support a new member or help them learn a new Scouting skill. They will also be working towards their Team Leader Challenge Award at the same time. 

Scouts to Explorer Scouts

Unlike the Beaver Scout, Cub Scout and Scout sections, the Explorer Scout section operates at a District level. Although this creates a great opportunity for Scouts to widen their friendship circle and enjoy Scouting with more young people, this can make supporting the transition from Scouts to Explorers a little more challenging.

It’s worth remembering that Scout Leaders, Explorer Scout Leaders and District Explorer Scout Commissioners all have an important role to play in supporting Scouts to continue on with their journey through Scouting.

Joint activities between the sections or linking events/activities for the older Scouts, can be really useful.

Its important to make sure Scouts are aware of all the opportunities and options available to them as part of the Explorer Scout section. One idea is for the District Explorer Scout Commissioner or District Explorer Scout Administrator to send a birthday card to Scouts when they turn 13, including information about Explorer Scouting in the District.

Having Explorer Scout Young Leaders supporting the Troop can help Scouts to identify with the Explorer Scout section and help them to find out about the opportunities they have to look forward to.

As part of their Moving On Award, Scouts attend both Scouts and Explorer for at least three weeks.

Further tips and ideas about this transition can be found here.

Explorer Scouts to Scout Network

Remember, on turning 18, Explorers must move on to Scout Network and/or to an adult volunteer role. There is no flexibility in this upper age limit.

Make sure that Explorers know about the great opportunities available to them, as part of their District Scout Network and UK Scout Network, and this is part of their Moving On Award. As Scout Network members, they can plan their own events and projects, achieve a range of virtual badges and complete top awards like their Queen's Scout Award and the Scouts of the World Award, which is unique to this section.

At this age, young people are more likely to move, for example, leaving home or attending university, but it's easy for them to find a new District Scout Network on the UK Scout Network website here. They can be part of multiple District Scout Networks at the same time, so they can still enjoy spending time with old Scouting friends in their home location.


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