It’s hard to believe, but it was only in Autumn 2021 when we welcomed 4–6-year-olds to Scouts across the UK for the very first time. They already feel so much like part of the Scouts family. Squirrel Scouts has given a new age group the opportunity to explore the outdoors, make new friends, and start learning skills for life. It’s a safe, positive environment for our youngest members to develop.
And it is thanks to our backbone of Squirrel leaders and team who provide the opportunities to get active, get outdoors, explore nature, have adventures and make friends. They help give young people a great start in life – at a time when it makes all the difference.
One person doing just this is our very own Erin Whyte from the 1st Midlothian Scout Group in Gorebridge. Why not read her story and find the perfect volunteering opportunity for you?
Name: Erin Whyte
Scout Group: 1st Midlothian (Gorebridge) Squirrel Scouts
Role: Squirrel Leader
I started as a Beaver Assistant Leader back in August 2021. Until then I had no experience in Scouting.
We were proud to establish the first Squirrel Drey in Midlothian.
About the role:
As a Squirrel Leader I get to help our youngest Scouts gain a sense of achievement and pride through earning badges, helping in their community and working as a team.
We do a range of activities, from hiking to making campfires, mini beast hunting to bivvy building. It’s all the same things the older children do, just on a slightly smaller scale.
Why I am a Leader:
I decided to become a Leader because I wanted to be involved in something my son really enjoyed. I wanted to help other young people achieve badges and learn new skills. I work with young children teaching music, so I felt like it was a natural choice for volunteering.
The best thing I’ve done whilst volunteering:
There have been so many good things but some favourites would be singing songs and playing Christmas Bingo with the residents of our local care home, doing the Remembrance Day parade and taking the children to our campsite for campfires and woodland adventures.
Have I learned anything new since becoming a volunteer?
I am slowly learning things about Scouting – how to build campfires, how to tie knots, and what all the badges mean. But the most valuable thing I have learned has to be that our young people are super capable and are able to go above and beyond what we expect of them.
How does volunteering help in my life?
Well, it certainly keeps me mega busy! It has taught me that I can only do what I can do and that is perfectly okay. As long as the children are happy that’s all that matters.
What would I say to anyone thinking about volunteering?
I would say that it is such a special thing to be involved in. You get to do really cool things that you might not normally get the chance to do. And it’s also a great way to be involved with your children. If you think you have some good ideas that could help children then you could be a huge asset to a Group.
There are lots of ways you can get more involved with Scouts as a parent, carer or family member. From helping out occasionally on a family rota or playing a vital role behind the scenes, to stepping up as a leader, our volunteering activities are as varied as you.
We’re talking tidy uppers and tea makers, session planners and Zoom navigators, fundraisers and treasurers, and all round team players to support our young people.
The good news is you shape what you do and the time you have to give. Scouts happens when a lot of us give a little (and no, you don’t have to be a Scout or outdoors expert to volunteer).
Across the wider Districts, the current vacancies include:
What to expect:
* No two weeks are the same, but the impact you make is always great.
Make a difference, volunteer today
To find out more about helping out, speak to the leader at your local group or use our volunteer enquiry form which can be found using the option below. Share your details and a volunteer from your local team will be in touch soon.