A Leader’s Guide to running the 4 Week Challenge

A Leader’s Guide to running the 4 Week Challenge

The purpose of the 4 Week Challenge is for parents or other adults to see and experience Scouting first hand. The four weeks should showcase how easy it can be to help, show adults it’s fun and gradually build a relationship between the leadership team and the new adults, gradually increasing their involvement in the programme across four weeks.

The young people’s programme when running the 4 Week Challenge should be carefully considered so that the new adults are involved in the programme. For example, small group activities are good where adults are needed to help facilitate.

It is important existing adults are positive, welcoming and friendly and open to new members joining the team. This is not hard a ‘sell’ – you don’t want to scare new adults off! Adults taking part in the 4 Week Challenge would not normally wear uniform but it might be appropriate to give them a necker.

Communication between meetings is important – this could be done by email or text. A quick thank you and a reminder of what to expect with next week’s programme can make a huge difference to making a new adult feel welcome.

Disclosure and Membership

Most adults taking part in the 4 Week Challenge will not be current members of the Scout Association, nor hold a PVG Disclosure. Therefore, the following steps are important when signing up an adult for the 4 Week Challenge.

Prior to commencing the 4 Week Challenge the adult volunteer should complete a self-declaration form (Casual Helper Form) which declares there is no known reason why they cannot help. These should be kept locally and destroyed after they have either left or graduated from the scheme. They should also be given a yellow card and be familiarised with the venue in advance of the commencement of the 4 Week Challenge.

  1. The individual should be supervised throughout the period and should not have unsupervised access to children and young people. Like all “none Disclosure” adults, it is important you have enough current volunteers present to make sure you have ‘sight and sound’ of the new adult at all times. If your programme or venue is not appropriate for your team to have ‘sight and sound’ of the new volunteer at all times you should register them as an occasional helper and obtain a Scouting disclosure prior to the start of the challenge.
  2. You should inform the Scouting Support Officer Mike Treanor @ michael.treanor@sesscouts.org.uk about the details of the 4 Week Challenge – name of new adult volunteer, section being supported, dates and the outcome at the end of the challenge.
  3. If the new adult continues to volunteer beyond week 4, it is important that they complete a PVG and go through the normal appointment process otherwise they should leave the movement.

Support material for the 4 Week Challenge can be sourced via the Scout Brand Centre.

Download Casual Helper Form

Download Four Week Challenge Information Sheet

Got a query about which way to go?

Information and support for leaders


Got a question you need an answer to in a hurry and you don’t know where to go? The “Information and Support” page  on the South East Scotland Scout website might be able to help.

The page provides support to leaders and assistants, other adult volunteers, parents and young people, particularly in the older sections, in a number of areas including adventurous activities, development, funding, safeguarding and young leaders. Over the coming months we will be ensuring our website pages are as up to date as possible, as well as adding new sections including support on leader recruitment.

If you have any ideas on the type of information you would like to see on the Information and Support page get in touch with Mike Treanor, Scouting Support Officer @ michael.treanor@sesscouts.org.uk

And news about Communications from the Region


At the end of August, we had the first meeting of our Regional Communications Scoping Group who are reviewing how we currently communicate with our different audiences including leaders, adult volunteers, parents and the public. The aim of the Group will be to recommend how we make our Regional Communications more relevant, useful and compulsive and how we set up ourselves to achieve this.

If you have any ideas about how we improve the communications you receive from the Region please get in touch with Mike Treanor, Scouting Support Officer @ michael.treanor@sesscouts.org.uk

Come and assist us recruit more new leaders

Two great opportunities to meet potential adult volunteers


We have arranged to attend two Volunteer Fairs which are being held in Edinburgh in September and October. We are looking for additional support to assist us on the stalls to let potential volunteers know about the many benefits of Scouting for both our young people and also the potential volunteers themselves.   

The first event, a Volunteer Recruitment Fair, organised by Volunteer Edinburgh, will be held on Wednesday 18th September, 11am to 7pm, at St Paul’s and St George’s Church on York Place, Edinburgh. Approximately 800-1,000 visitors are expected.

The second event, a Careers Fair for Volunteering and Third Sector Jobs, organised by Edinburgh University, will be held on Thursday 10th October (timings tbc) at McEwan Hall, Bristo Square, Edinburgh.  The University has over 4,000 students who will be invited to the event.

If you can spare an hour or more and would like to support either or both of these events please contact Mike Treanor, Scouting Support Officer by email at michael.treanor@sesscouts.org.uk

How long have you been a leader?

If it is between 1 and 5 years, are you due to have a quiet talk with your GSL or manager about your work and how we can support you? We know that some people have never had a review. We also know that most people work better if they have, from time to time, the opportunity to discuss how they are doing and where they are going. 

So we want to encourage every leader and manager to have or hold reviews in 2019-20. They are not hard to do and can be very helpful!

A review in Scouting is simply an opportunity to look at what has happened since you started your role, or since your last review, and to see what further support and guidance you might need. It is definitely not the same as the performance appraisals that many people have experienced at work.

A review consists of a meeting between you, as a leader, and your line manager, in comfortable surroundings, to discuss how you are getting on. The benefits are that problems can be sorted, more support given if needed, and hopefully you will be more motivated. Your manager will know more about how you feel and your views on the future.

Scouting reviews can be both formal and informal, depending on what stage you are at. An informal review should be held annually, and can be just a 20 minute chat or longer, but it is a chance to take stock and plan for the future. Here is a proposed form for GSLs and Managers to use:

Informal Review 01 2019

A formal review takes place after 5 years in role or at the end of an appointment. Agreement should be discussed about whether your appointment should be renewed, or perhaps whether you should apply to take on a different role. A new format for the 5 year review has been issued this year:

Appointment Review AR Form

Review meetings help all of us in making sure that people are in the right roles, both for themselves and for Scouting, leading to happier leaders and so better Scouting delivered for our young people to enjoy.

Margery Naylor, Regional Commissioner, South East Scotland Scouts Region.

Deadline Approaching for Mandatory GDPR Training


Following the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) in May 2018, Scout HQ introduced a new mandatory training module on the subject.

While new volunteers have this module automatically added to the Getting Started set of modules they need to complete, existing leaders need to have the module added to their Compass record manually by either their training adviser or Assistant District Commissioner (Adult Training). Please take the time to check whether your Compass record is up to date for this module and any other training.

The GDPR module is only available as online training (https://members.scouts.org.uk/supportresources/4800) and it does not take long to complete (20-30mins).  The completion certificate produced should be sent to your Training Advisor or ADC (Adult Training) so that they can validate the module on your Compass record.

Thank you very much if you have already completed this module and had your training record updated.  However, if you have still to do this module, it needs to be completed by 31 December 2018.

Leslie Sell Charitable Trust

Leslie Sell Charitable Trust

The Leslie Sell Charitable Trust provides financial assistance to the Scouting and Guiding movement through small grants to Groups in the UK to help with the cost of making repairs, or purchasing sundry items of equipment. It also assists groups and individuals for UK or overseas trips.

Applications can be made any time. However, the Trustees are unable to consider applications for trips submitted within three months of the departure date.

The Leslie Sell Charitable Trust was set up in May 1969 by the late Leslie Sell to provide financial assistance to the Scouting and Guiding movement. This independent Trust Fund accepts applications from Group and Individual members of the Scout or Guide movement within the UK and Northern Ireland for trips or projects which are being undertaken within the movement.

More information is available from The Leslie Sell Charitable Trust: