Our Skills for Life Plan

Society is changing. In often fragmented communities, the pressures and expectations on young people are increasing. The future is uncertain. Scouts has never been so important in helping young people prepare for the future, developing the skills they need to succeed in a changing world. Each week almost half a million young people enjoy fun, friendship and outdoor adventure. They develop a sense of optimism and strong values as well as the leadership and team working skills that are more valuable today than ever.

Skills for life

Our movement achieves remarkable things. We have continued to grow for 13 consecutive years. Our previous plan, Scouting for All, inspired new Groups and sections to start across South London since 2013. We now help over 4500 young people aged 6-18 get the best possible start in life. Our social action campaign, A Million Hands, has enabled our members to make a positive contribution in their local communities.

Now we want to go further. Skills for Life is a strategy that supports and empowers our volunteers who are the people that make Scouts a reality. It’s a strategy to bring communities together and contribute towards a better society. But most of all, it’s a strategy for young people. They deserve the best skills, the best support, and the best possible future.

Our vision for scouting across South London

By 2025 we will have seen year on year growth and will be preparing more young people with skills for life.

Our scout groups and explorer scout units will be supported by a growing team of amazing leaders who together deliver an inspiring high-quality programme to suitably sized sections.


What our plan means for...

Young people

By 2025 our youth members will be better equipped with skills for life, including the character, practical and employability skills they need to succeed. They will be able to articulate these skills, ensuring better prospects in work and education, as well as enjoying better wellbeing by taking part in scouting activities that help them: keep Learning, be active, take notice, connect and give. They will make a positive contribution to their local communities and play an active part in wider society.

Our adults

By 2023 our adult members will feel more supported, have access to better tools, particularly digital support, so that scouting is easier and more enjoyable to deliver. Training will be less time consuming, more useful and easier to complete.


By 2023, scouting will be seen as making a significant and relevant contribution to wider society. Nationally, we will have a strong voice on issues that affect young people. We will bring people together, help break down social, ethnic and generational divides and improve the lives of those in our communities.

Time to reboot

Since our skills for life strategy was launched, the steps taken by our county have helped to support our volunteers and equip many more young people with skills for life through our amazing programme.  

But, during the pandemic, we couldn’t carry on as normal. We rallied and responded to the challenge, adapting scouting to meet new realities, and refocused on retention rather than growth. Doing all that was tough on all of us. It also meant pausing full implementation of our strategy plans.

Now, as we look to the future, with a renewed appreciation that scouting has never been more needed, it’s time for us to recommit to implementing our extended strategy, which will now run through to the end of 2025, as we look to realise the objectives in the plan that we agreed together at our county conference in 2018.

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