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, Scouting is investing in this area 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 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.


ESYL Logbook cover

The new Explorer Scout Young Leader Logbook, contains much useful material and should be used by all ESYLs, including DofE helpers from outwith Scouting, as it 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.  To support this, the Region has agreed to fund the cost of the Logbook, and this will be arranged with the DESC/ ESL(YL) as appropriate.

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
  • Enter details and sign Expectations section (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
  • 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 recorded 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)


  • 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

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 section leader:

Signed by Explorer Scout Leader (Young Leaders) or DESC:

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 an ESYL 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 additional copy of the summary record should be issued and completed.
  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 birthday.
  17. Training should be recorded in the Logbook and signed off by the person delivering the module(s).
Further information