Volunteering & the benefits

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Adult volunteers, the amazing benefits!

Getting involved as an adult volunteer is hugely rewarding, and we offer a range of different roles depending on your interests.

The good news is you shape what you do and decide how much time you 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).

Scouts is needed now more than ever. The pandemic has hit our young people hard – with two thirds saying is impacted on their mental health. Having people positive role models to guide the way, and give that extra bit of encouragement is so important in times like these. We help young people step up, speak and find their place in the world. We help them gain skills for life.

All our activities are run by volunteers, who might join us because they want to:

Try something new

  • * Spend time with their children – or gain experience with young people
  • * Do something good for their community and themselves
  • * Keep their bodies and brains active and happy – whether that’s by scaling mountains, sharing skills or serving tea.
  • All end up making a huge difference to young people’s lives – gifting them with skills for life, and learning a whole lot about themselves along the way.

There are many reasons why adults choose to volunteer for Scouting. Here are some that existing volunteers have given:
* To give something back to the community
* To support the Leaders
* Because volunteering is a ‘good thing’
* As an enabler, so the Leader can do more
* To spend more quality time with your child
* To develop your own skills
* To enjoy and rediscover adventure for yourself

What’s the real impact to volunteers? Whether you are a Network Member, parent of a child in Scouting, or someone who is totally new to Scouting you’ve come to the right place.

One of the biggest myths about Scouting is that Groups are closing down due to a lack of young people wanting to become Members. Nothing could be further from the truth; Scouting in the UK is a growing Movement and we currently have 30,000 young people on our waiting lists simply because we do not have enough adults to help out.

Research has shown that volunteering has a hugely positive impact on the lives of those who volunteer in the charity sector. In aid of Volunteers Week we want to recognise the incredible work that Scouts volunteers do. Whether you’re a Group Scout Leader, Occasional Helper or an As-Often-As-You-Can-Er!

According to the research, the majority of volunteers reported having improved life satisfaction (70%) and self-esteem (66%) since beginning volunteer work, as well as having reduced feelings of loneliness (42%) and stress (33%).

Nearly two thirds (65%) also said that since beginning volunteer work they have developed useful employability skills; with 59% saying they feel more confident and 54% feeling more motivated in their jobs.

Whether you want to work with young people directly or help behind the scenes, there’s something for everyone at Scouts.

  • * To provide support every step of the way
  • * To have roles to suit you, your lifestyle and time 
  • * To provide support, training and assist with succession planning
    * To base our volunteering on our core values of care, integrity, respect, belief and cooperation 
    * To be flexible to work around your needs 
    * To be fair, honest and transparent  
  • * To work together to build livelong memories 

Volunteer stories

Scouts is full of ordinary people making an extraordinary difference to young people’s lives and learning a whole lot along the way.

Read their stories and find the perfect volunteer role for yourself. Whether you want to work with young people directly or help behind the scenes, there’s something for everyone at Scouts.



Cubs (and Squirrels):





Scouts Activity Centre

Do I really have the Skills you need?

You don’t have to be an adventurer like Bear Grylls to get involved with Scouting. Do you have first aid knowledge? Are you good with numbers? Handy in the kitchen? Or are you a DIY whizz? We all have useful skills and you can volunteer and help in many ways.

What if I don’t have much spare time?

Volunteering with us is easy, fun and flexible – how much time you give is completely up to you. Whether you help out once a fortnight, month or term or just at special events or camps, there is bound to be a role you can play, and no matter how you get involved, we’ll make sure you’re properly trained and supported.

What will I get out of volunteering?

As well as gaining externally recognised skills and having a brilliant time, Scouting also offers the chance to build on personal skills, like teamwork, confidence and leadership. A study found that over 90% of our volunteers believe that the skills and experiences they have gained through Scouting have been of relevance to their working or personal lives.

My child is in Scouting – is there anything I can do to help?

The short answer is yes. Many of our helpers and leaders are parents of our youth members because they’ve seen first hand how Scouting benefits young people and want to give something back. It’s also a chance to spend more time with your children and learn new skills.

Is there an age limit?

As long as you’re over 18, you can help out as an adult volunteer in Scouting. There is no upper age limit for adult volunteers. If you are aged between 14 to 18, there is the option of becoming a Young Leader.

Anyone who volunteers with the Scouts will be part of a great team of leaders and will work with some amazing young people who are keen to try new and positive experiences!


Volunteering roles

Volunteer to help Scouting and help your community

Put your skills to use, learn new ones and play an active role in your local community.

Scouting in South East Scotland Scouts is run completely by volunteers to ensure that young people can enjoy as much fun and adventure as possible. However we still have many young people on waiting lists who want to join Scouting, but can’t because we don’t have enough volunteers to allow all the extra young people to join.

We don’t just need people to volunteer to help run weekly meetings. There are also plenty of support roles working behind the scenes. You could help with maintenance, assist with finances or record keeping, help with a badge of specific activity, provide training support or help with social media.

When you volunteer with us, you can give as much or as little time as you want, whether that’s committing an hour or two to a weekly meeting, undertaking administration at home at a time which suits you, or attending on an occasional basis as time commitments allow.

There are a variety of roles in Scouting to work with a range of different age groups, meaning that there is an opportunity for everyone to get involved, regardless of how much time you can commit:

  • Section Leaders: Organise and lead the meetings. It sounds like a big job, but as a team its manageable. We have a number of our members running sections and have helped to put on some of the best events and activities in the Region.
  • Assistant Section Leaders: This is the role most members pick. It provides the opportunity to run games and activities, but with slightly less involvement than a full leader. An assistant leader attends (almost) every week to help with whatever the group is doing.
  • Section Assistants/Occasional Helpers: Don’t want to commit to a weekly basis but to help? Occasional helpers still run games and activities, but less frequently. It could be anything from once a term to a couple of times a month. This is perfect for the busy yet helpful adult/carer/parent. It’s also a great stepping stone for anybody not quite sure about Scouting!
  • Other: There are plenty of other opportunities in Scouting, we can basically accommodate anything. Maybe you have a specific skill or particular interest to share with the young people, or you would rather just offer a bit of time to help with the upkeep of our district campsite. For example:
    • Young Leaders (aged 14-18) to support our young people and volunteers at regular meetings.
    • Managers to lead and support teams of adults to deliver Scouting.
    • Trustees to make sure property and resources are properly administered.
    • Instructors to run a huge range of adventurous activities.
    • Media and communications people to promote Scouting and improve our communication.
    • Administrators to maintain finances, records and ensure policies and procedures are followed correctly.
    • Training Managers to co-ordinate our comprehensive adult training programme
    • And more!

East Lothian Scout District covers the area of the local authority of East Lothian Council.  It is responsible for the Scout Groups (each of which includes Beavers, Cubs and Scouts) and Explorer Units in the District. 

East Lothian Scouts District is made up of 12 Groups.   


1st Aberlady Scout Group 

1st Cockenzie 

1st Dunbar 

East Linton 

1st Gifford 

1st Gullane 

2nd Haddington 

1st Longniddry 

1st Musselburgh 

1st North Berwick 

1st Pencaitland Scout Group 

1st Tranent 

Hilary Cartwright, District Commissioner, East Lothian Scouts District  

Email: dc@eastlothianscouts.org.uk 

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