Explorer Scout Young Leaders with Beavers, Cubs and Scouts

Information for GSLs, Section Leaders and ESYLs

Explorer Scout Young Leaders are an extremely useful resource for the younger sections.  The experience of being a Young Leader is very rewarding, particularly if all the training is completed, and contributes hugely towards the Skills for Life that Scouting is committed to providing.  They are one of our main sources for recruiting the adult leaders of the future, and section leaders play a crucial role in giving them the opportunity to develop their skills. In recognition of the value of Explorer Scout Young Leaders, SHQ is investing in this area of Scouting to improve the experience for young people and adults alike as outlined below.

The full title for young people who help run the younger sections in Scouting is now Explorer Scout Young Leader (ESYL) to emphasise that they are, indeed, Explorers (exception for candidates from outwith Scouting: DofE only; Girlguiding). There is little change to the role, but the paperwork has been simplified.

The new Explorer Scout Young Leader Logbook, which will be funded by the Region for all ESYLs, including those from outwith ESYL Logbook coverScouting, provides information for all parties as well as recording information and progress. The first section replaces the old Placement Agreement, but it should be emphasised that the requirement for all placements to be agreed with District and to be recorded has not changed.  The Logbook contains an agreement to be signed by the ESYL, the Section Leader, and the ESL(YL) or DESC.

The Explorer Scout Young Leaders’ Award Scheme has been reviewed and the support on offer is much ESYL badgeimproved, following a long period of consultation across the UK.  The inclusion of ‘Award’ in the name reminds everyone that the Explorer Scout Young Leader Belt is one of the top awards in Scouting, and all ESYLs should be encouraged and supported to achieve this.

The new process – quick checklists

For each new ESYL

  • Contact ESL(YL) or DESC to agree the new placement and register the ESYL
  • Issue Explorer Scout Young Leader Logbook (available from District)
  • Enter details on inside front cover and sign Expectations section on page 3 (signed by ESYL, the section leader, and the ESL(YL) or DESC)
  • Training and missions are recorded when completed, starting with Module A within 3 months

For each ESYL who already has an existing Placement Agreement

  • Issue Explorer Scout Young Leader Logbook (available from District)
  • Enter details on inside front cover and sign Expectations section on page 3
  • When time allows, ESL(YL) will enter information in Completion overview section
  • New training and missions will be entered in the new Logbook

Further details are available below.
Local information will be available in your District from the ESL(YL) or DESC.
You are also welcome to contact Kirsty Ireland – Regional Adviser (ESYL) youngleaders@sesscouts.org.uk

  • ESYL: Explorer Scout Young Leader
  • ESL(YL): Explorer Scout Leader (Young Leaders)
  • DC: District Commissioner
  • DESC: District Explorer Scout Commissioner
  • GSL: Group Scout Leader
  • DESA: District Explorer Scout Administrator
Logbook Expectations

Extract from ESYL Logbook page 3

As an ESYL, you are an integral member of the Beaver Colony, Cub Pack or Scout Troop leadership team. As such, you are expected to contribute to the running of meetings and to support section leaders. In doing so, you will gain the self-confidence to take an active leadership role and progress with your ESYL Leader Belt, Chief Scout’s Awards and/or Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

As an ESYL, I will…

  • Act as a positive role model to the Beavers/Cubs/Scouts that I am working with
  • Carry my Young People First (Orange Card) and follow the safeguarding standards at all times
  • Take an active role in supporting the section leaders during the whole meeting
  • Contact at least one of the leaders if I am unable to make a meeting, giving as much notice as possible
  • Assist in setting and clearing up the session alongside other leaders

As a section leader, I will…

  • Actively involve the ESYL in the running of the meetings
  • Sign off the ESYL’s evidence promptly after they have completed their service towards the completion of their awards
  • Inform the ESYL of any concerns
  • Set achievable tasks and review them with the ESYL to help them gain their missions and awards if relevant
  • Involve the ESYL in planning meetings as an integral member of the leadership team

Signed by Explorer Scout Young Leader:

Signed by Explorer section leader:

Signed by Explorer Scout Young Leader Leader:

DofE Volunteering

Duke of Edinburgh’s Award requirements and Explorer Scout Young Leaders

The timescale and start date for DofE depend on a number of factors and should be approved by the DofE Leader on eDofE – the electronic system used to record progress through DofE.  It is important that those from outwith Scouting do not continue to help in a section beyond the period of time they have chosen unless they choose to become Explorers. If there is any doubt about the timescale, the candidate can be asked to show the relevant section on their eDofE account, or the DofE Leader can be contacted.  The timescale and dates should be recorded on the inside cover of the Logbook.  DofE candidates who are Explorers can, of course, continue as ESYLs, but it is in their interest to have the Volunteering section signed off promptly at the end of the required period.  Section Leaders acting as Assessors should ensure that Module A has been completed before submitting their report.

Training requirements are the same for each level: to complete Module A plus a further two hours of training appropriate to role.

The required period for the Volunteering section will recorded on eDofE as:

  • Bronze: 3 months or 6 months
  • Silver: 6 months or 12 months
  • Gold: 12 months or 18 months
  1. To become an ESYL a young person must be registered with District via the ESL(YL) who is responsible for all ESYLs in the District and who must be consulted before a placement is arranged. Primary registration for an ESYL should be done by their ESL or by the ESL(YL) if they are a member only of the District ESYL Unit. 
  2. Contact with the ESL(YL) should be made by the section leader with the approval of the GSL.
  3. The Scout Association’s advice that a period of twelve months should elapse before ESYLs can operate in their old Scout troop should be followed. Where geography permits ESYLs should be encouraged to move to a different group as this will broaden their experience.
  4. There should be no more than three ESYLs in a section.
  5. Each ESYL (including DofE candidates from outwith Scouting) will be issued with a Logbook by the ESL(YL), who will ensure that the information on the inside cover is entered and that the declaration on page 3 is signed so that all parties understand their responsibilities. The ESYL should show it to their parent/guardian.
  6. The ESYL should operate in the one section listed in the named Group. If, in exceptional circumstances, an additional section is agreed by the ESYL, the GSL and the ESL(YL), an extra copy of the contact information page and page 3 of the Logbook should be made, completed and attached to the Logbook.
  7. All ESYLs (including DofE candidates from outwith Scouting) must complete Module A within three months. All ESYLs should be encouraged to complete more (and hopefully all) of the modules and missions required for the award of the Young Leader’s Belt.
  8. The Safeguarding Policy of the Scout Association applies to the Young Leader just as it does to any other young person under 18 years. The ESL(YL) will issue the ESYL with the ‘Orange Card’ which is a modified version of the adult leader’s ‘Yellow Card’.  The ESYL should carry this at all times.
  9. An ESYL must be supervised by an adult leader at all times and should never be given sole responsibility over a group of younger people.
  10. If an ESYL takes part in any residential or adventurous activities as a Young Leader their parent or guardian’s permission should always be obtained.
  11. On a Nights Away an ESYL must have separate sleeping accommodation to both adult leaders and Scouts.
  12. An ESYL should not normally be expected to pay for a camp or outing for the section they are helping.
  13. Candidates from outwith Scouting must also be registered immediately. DofE candidates should be registered only for the period required by their DofE. This will be recorded on the contact page of the Logbook and at the end of that period they must cease to be an ESYL or become an Explorer Scout.  Failure to observe this rule has serious implications for insurance.
  14. All ESYLs other than those mentioned in the previous bullet point are Explorer Scouts and can participate in all Explorer Scout activities, whether they belong to a specific Unit or only the Explorer Scout Young Leaders’ Unit. They should be encouraged to do so.
  15. It should be noted that ESYLs using their role for the Volunteering section of DofE (whether with Scouting, school or elsewhere) must complete the minimum training requirements (Module A and two additional hours of training per level) before their Assessor can sign them off by submitting their report.
  16. An ESYL cannot continue as an Explorer Scout Young Leader beyond their 18th
  17. Training should be recorded in the Logbook and signed off by the person delivering the module(s).
Further information
Regional Explorer Camp 14-16 Sep

Regional Explorer Camp 14-16 Sep

Camp includes M&D’s Theme Park

The camp is for Explorers and Young Leaders from all Districts in our Region, even if their leader(s) cannot attend. It will take place from Friday 14 to Sunday 16 September 2018.  This is a holiday weekend in most areas. Details of the full camp programme are being decided by Explorers and Leaders.

Outline details

  • At The Barrwood Campsite, Forth Region – highly recommended by those who have visited it
  • Saturday visit to M&D’s Theme Park, Motherwell
  • Fri evening, Sat evening and Sunday offer many activities on site
  • Water activities on Sunday morning
  • Chance to bivvy out overnight, counting for Zodiac Award
  • Cost £40 per head
  • You can still join in, but let us know as soon as possible.
  • Ideas still welcome
  • Contact John Buchanan explorers@sesscouts.org.uk

This is a chance to meet Explorers from other part of the Region and have fun.


Volunteering at The Tattoo 2018

Volunteering at The Tattoo 2018

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is the most spectacular show in the world, enjoyed by an international television audience of 100 million.  But there’s no substitute for being there, as part of the 217,000-strong audience over its three-week season at Edinburgh Castle. As a member of Scouting you can become part of it.Continue Reading Volunteering at The Tattoo 2018

Fraser gets QSA at Windsor

Fraser gets QSA at Windsor

Chief Scout Bear Grylls recognises 300 young people as Scouting’s top achievers

Fraser Dunmore of Craigalmond was one of 300 Queen’s Scouts being honoured by international adventurer Chief Scout, Bear Grylls, at Windsor Castle for gaining their Queen’s Scouts Awards on Sunday 22 April.  Bear was joined by Princess Beatrice of York.

The Queen’s Scout Award is the highest honour in Scouting and is awarded for outstanding personal achievement.  This honour is achieved by young people aged between 16 and 25 who have completed a range of challenges, including service to their community, completing an expedition in wild country, undertaking a five-day residential project in an unfamiliar environment and learning a new skill or developing an existing talent.

Chief Scout Bear Grylls said:

During their time Scouting, all these young people have worked incredibly hard to learn new skills and achieve their Queen’s Scout Award and I am so full of admiration for their spirit, grit and determination.  They have served their community, led others and undertaken expeditions in the UK and around the world. As Queen’s Scouts, they are leading lights and an inspiration to over half a million Scouts in the UK and I am so pleased that Scouting has honoured them today. I am just so proud of all they have achieved.

Fraser says of his Award:

I really enjoyed completing my Queen’s Scout Award as it got me to really challenge myself. It really pushed me to do more for the community and inspire others to do the same! I would totally recommend anyone to complete the award.

Going down to Windsor was an experience I will never forget! Everyone was really kind and we were all there as we have all overcome some great challenges. It was amazing to hear all about other people’s experience while completing their award. It was really special to have talks from Bear Grylls and was even more amazing that they managed to get a video of Obama saying congratulations to all of us. The day was really hot and everyone was getting dehydrated but the QSWP looked after us all so well. My favourite part was getting a selfie with Bear Grylls! I would totally recommend anyone to complete the award so they can get the opportunity to go down to Windsor Castle too!

Queen's Scout Award badge

Queen’s Scout Award


Presentations at Windsor

The annual Windsor Castle event has been held regularly since 1934 on the Sunday nearest to St George’s Day (23 April).  St George is the Patron Saint of Scouting. Since the Queen’s Scout Award was instigated, over 100,000 of these awards have been presented to young men and women for outstanding personal achievements and service to their local communities.  They have learnt new skills and taken part in many of the 200 different activities on offer by Scouting across the UK.

The Queen's Scout Award

The Queen’s Scout Award is achieved by completing the following requirements:

  • Providing service to the community for 12 months. Briefing and training should be given in order to gain the necessary skills.
  • Learning a new skill for 12 months, and show progress and lasting interest. The skill can be the development of an existing interest or something entirely new.
  • Completing a four-day and three-night expedition in open or adventurous country by foot, cycle, horse, canoe, boat or dinghy. The expedition should involve careful preparation, training, responsibility and review demonstrating leadership and teamwork skills
  • Completing a five-day and four-night residential project in an unfamiliar environment with people who are not known. This project should be environmental work, activity based, service to others or personal training
  • Completing 18 nights away, of which 12 must be camping.
  • Making a presentation, to a suitable audience, of your achievements so far in working towards the Queen’s Scout Award.

The Award is for Explorers aged 16 and over and Network members.  It must be completed by the age of 25.  It is essential to register for the Award.  See details on Scouts UK site.

Gang Show auditions

Gang Show auditions

Edinburgh Gang Show 2018

King’s Theatre – Tue 20 to Sat 24 November 2018

Audition Information for Scouting

The Edinburgh Gang Show is a major theatre production and has been staged annually at the King’s Theatre since 1960. The cast is made entirely of members of Scouting and Girlguiding and is supported behind the scenes by many adult volunteers. Being part of the Gang Show is great fun but hard work and a high level of commitment to the show is expected.

Auditions for Main Gang
Scouts, Explorer Scouts and Scout Network from South East Scotland Scouts
  • Sunday 13 May 2018
  • 1.45 – 6.00pm
  • St Anne’s Parish Church, Kaimes Road, Edinburgh
  • 1.45 – 3.00pm             All boys aged 10 years & over (by the Dress rehearsal on 19/11/18)
  • 2.45 – 4.00pm             Girls aged 12 years & over (by the Dress rehearsal on 19/11/18)
  • 3.45 – 5.00pm             Girls aged 11 years (by the Dress rehearsal on 19/11/18)
  • 4.45 – 6.00pm             Girls aged 10 years (by the Dress rehearsal on 19/11/18)
Membership of Main Gang

All individuals who wish to audition for Main Gang must be at least 10 years old at the date of the Dress Rehearsal (19/11/18) and an active member of a Guide Unit or Scout Group at that date. In addition, all who audition for Main Gang must also be an active member of the Guide and Scout Association at the date of the audition (a date which varies from year to year but this year is 13/05/18).

Older Brownies and Cubs at the date of the audition may become members of the Main Gang provided they meet the age and membership criteria by the date of the Dress Rehearsal.

Results of the auditions will be advised on the day.

If successful, further auditions for song, dance and sketches will take place in June with rehearsals commencing for Main Gang in late August. With the exception of a couple of dates, rehearsals will be held every Sunday from then through to show week. Cast members are expected to attend regularly and show a high level of commitment to the show.

After the auditions, a rehearsal schedule and a Registration Form (to be signed by a Section Leader) will be issued to those who have been successful, along with other information.

To aid with registration on the day please complete the Audition Form in advance and bring to the audition along with the Activity Information Form.

Further information available by e-mailing edingangshow@hotmail.co.uk.

Auditions for Junior Gang
Cub Scouts from South East Scotland Scouts
  • Sunday 27 May 2018
  • St Anne’s Parish Church, Kaimes Road, Edinburgh
Boys and girls aged 8 years by the auditions on 27/05/18
  • 4.00 – 5.15pm

Note: Cubs do all performances.

Cubs must be at least 8 and a member of a Cub Pack at the date of the audition (a date which varies from year to year but this year is 27/05/18). As a member of Junior Gang, they must remain with their Pack until after the show week.

Cubs will be told the results of the auditions on the day. If successful, rehearsals will commence for Junior Gang in September.

After the auditions, a schedule of rehearsal dates and a Registration Form (to be signed by a Section Leader) will be issued to those who have been successful, along with other information.

To aid with registration on the day please complete the Audition Form in advance and bring to the audition along with the Activity Information Form.

Further information available by e-mailing edingangshow@hotmail.co.uk.

Blair Atholl training

Blair Atholl training

The first Regional Blair Atholl training took place during the weekend of 23 – 25 March at Bonaly. Seven out of the eleven patrols were able to attend and this gave everyone the chance to get to know each other.

Blair Atholl group meet each other

Blair Atholl group meet up

The camp started off with activities that allowed the patrols to mix and start learning about the different districts in our Region. Late morning saw us pitching the patrol tents and by early afternoon we were confident that everyone would have a roof over their head.

Patrol tents of the BA training group

BA training group

Axe and Saw, Firelighting, and Camp Kitchen Hygiene then occupied us up to late afternoon, followed by preparation and eventual cooking of our evening meal …

Ready to light the altar fire

Fire lighting practice

Some interesting initial versions of mince and tatties but glad to say, when cooked, all tasted good. Saturday evening saw ‘A first taste of Blair – what to expect’ and some pointers about how the camp operates. We then brainstormed ideas for the Country Fair and SE Region has some great options for all to try!  Pizza and some ceilidh dancing then followed, which was good fun, then it was time to turn in after a busy day.

Sunday arrived too quickly – well, we did lose an hour – and breakfast was first up.  You can’t beat the smell of sausages sizzling on an altar fire!

Two Zorb Balls moving about

Zorb Balls in action

Knots and lashings were followed by a fun activity – zorb balls.  Thank you, Meadows Explorers, for allowing us to use them. A quick lunch, then it was time to strike camp and, before we knew it, Sunday afternoon had been and gone and our first time together was over.

Game with Zorb balls in the field

Zorb game

The patrols now have some time to improve their wood preparation, firelighting and cooking skills ready for the next camp in June.

Explorer chopping wood safely

Safe chopping

A big thank you to the Core Team: Amy, Craig, Fee, Neil, Jackie and Barry as well as the Blair Coordinators / leaders Annette, Donald, Katie and David Growden.  Thanks also to members of the Region Team and DCs for joining us and lending your support.

Diane Marshall, Deputy Regional Commissioner