Planning for success: Create an action plan to grow your group

A cub cooking on a campfire

Whatever challenges your group is facing, now is the time for you to decide what you will do in response.

These pages are a guide to support you in evaluating your current position and identifying the areas you need to focus on. They cover topics from re-engaging families to fundraising, identifying potential barriers that you may face and offering suggestions for how to overcome them.

Don’t forget to have young people in the heart of what we do. Whether that’s programme or decision making at executives. Now more than ever, it's important to make sure scouting is relevant and the best way we can do this is by talking to our young people.

Assessing your current position and action planning

Now is the time to identify what's going well and what could be improved. COVID has impacted everyone in different ways but understanding that impact allows us to put a plan in place to re-build and look forward to the future ahead.

Use the action plan template to help you to identify strengths and weaknesses to form a plan of action.

Click here to download our ideas generator


First steps: Assessing your current position by identifying what is going well and what is not. You can then use this information to work with your team to create your plan.

Getting back together safely:

What are some of the challenges for groups returning to face-to-face scouting and what can be done to overcome these? For example, risks assessments, venue, myth busting etc.

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Making the most of your people:

Understanding everyone’s current situation and how to reconnect, re-energise, re-engage our volunteers. How to provide ongoing support for volunteers.

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Re-engaging families:

What are the potential barriers when re-engaging members and their families and how to overcome these?

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Building you programme:

Creating an accessible, adaptable and exciting programme for members which is key to the recovery of groups. Sharing examples of good practice and ideas.

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Filling the gaps:

It’s inevitable that you may have lost a number of young people and adult volunteers due to COVID-19. However, we know that young people need scouting more than ever right now!

Click here for information about supporting your existing volunteers

Adult and youth recruitment can be challenging but you can be empowered with recruitment tools so you can recover from COVID and continue recruiting into the future.

Adult Recruitment
Whether we are doing face to face, blended or online scouting there are still opportunities to recruit more adults, no matter their changes in circumstances.

Have a look at our recruiting more adults pages for information and support on planning for successful adult recruitment.

Here’s a few ideas to get you thinking… 

  • Hold an online information night for parents/carers and other adults interested in volunteering, this is a great chance to answer any questions and let them know how much fun volunteering can be
  • Family surveys are a great way to find out about the families of your members and any special skills they have
  • Use your page on the county web site, which has your virtual vacancy board on it to make your group or unit more visible. Does your page need updating? Click here to find out how to do this
  • Social media can be a great tool to use to interact with your community and ask for new adults. Try using the same adverts that you would normally use on a public Facebook page or Instagram account– then link to it for Twitter. Take a look at our ready to use social media ads here
  • Engaging with those who have / are turning 18. Look at "What Next 18th birthday card” on the Brand Centre website
  • The 4-week challenge can work in digital sessions just as easily as in person. Just make sure you get Adults involved and give them a great welcome. Have a look at the 4-week challenge page for more ideas 
  • Think about the tasks that need doing, not the roles that need filling to entice new volunteers in – more info here
  • Put an on-going adult recruitment plan in place – adult recruitment should be continuous and not just when it’s needed. Take a look at our step-by-step guide to success!
  • Use our going for growth adult recruiter badge 

Youth Recruitment
Don’t be put off recruiting new young members. Whether you’re meeting face-to-face or virtually, we’ve got some great tips on how you can use our existing tools to engage with young members:

  • Get in touch with local schools and ask them to share a digital flyer with pupils and their parents – you can make one easily on the Brand Centre
  • Run a ‘Bring a Friend’ session
  • Use our county going for growth friendship award badges
  • Use up-to-date examples in your advertising – showing scouting how it looks at the moment (socially-distanced or online) to show people that we are still open for fun and adventure!
  • Consider joining forces with another group or unit to run a bigger media campaign across a wider area? This can offer great value for money when pooling resources!
  • Run our Shouting about Scouting badge with your section
  • Use social media to interact with your community. Try using the same adverts that you would normally use on a public Facebook page or Instagram account– then link to it for Twitter. Take a look at our ready to use social media ads here

For more ideas, take a look at our recruitment pages here 

Long-term sustainability:

What has been learnt from the current situation and asking the tough questions about the long-term sustainability of groups. How to future proof local scouting.

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Looking at potential funding opportunities and how to support local groups with applying.

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