Adult Roles In Scouting

Section Leader

Every Section (Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, Explorers and Network) has a Leader. The Leader has overall responsibility for the running of the Section. This means planning and delivering the Balanced Programme with the help of Assistant Leaders and Section Assistants.

Section Leaders can choose to lead one of the following Sections:

  • Beavers (aged 6-8) 
  • Cubs (aged 8-10½) 
  • Scouts (aged 10½-14) 
  • Explorers (aged 14-18) 
  • Network (aged 18-25)

Leaders are responsible for the young people in the Section and for any adults helping to deliver the Programme.

Assistant Leader

Assistant Leaders support the Section Leader in delivering the Balanced Programme. This can mean anything from helping to plan and run games or activities, or helping to keep records up to date. The responsibilities of an Assistant Leader will depend on their own interests and on what they agree with the Leader.

Assistant Leaders are supported by Section Assistants, as well as by other Assistant Leaders.

Section Assistant

All our Sections need helpers. Outdoor activities and nights away require a certain number of adults in relation to the number of young people.

So by helping out whenever they can, Section Assistants could be enabling an extra 6 (in the case of Beavers) or 12 (in the case of Scouts) young people to participate in Scouting.

More importantly, Section Assistants provide invaluable support to Leaders and Assistant Leaders. Regularly attending meetings to collect subs (fees) or to make refreshments means that the Leaders have more time to deliver the programme to young people.

Occasional Helper/Parent

Parents and family members are encouraged, where possible, to help out a Section in some way. Some Sections will organise rotas where support can be given once or twice a term by all the parents in the Section. This should be used as an opportunity to get involved in what the young people are doing.

Adults who have a specific skill or interest can also choose to run a particular activity or event one evening a term. Such skills are invaluable to Scout Groups and can usually assist young people in gaining, or working towards, a particular badge.

Young Leader (14-18 years)

The Young Leaders' Scheme is designed for those aged 14-18 who are primarily interested in helping out in one of the younger Sections (Beavers, Cubs or Scouts).

Young Leaders will be members of the Explorer Scout Section, which means that they can take part in all the activities and opportunities that Scouting in the Explorer Unit or District has to offer.


The Chairman of a Committee will manage meetings and will work with the relevant Commissioner or Group Scout Leader to ensure the Scout District or Group operates in accordance with the Policy, Organisation and Rules of the Association.

This is the ideal role for adults who do not necessarily wish to work directly with young people, but who are committed to the purpose, aims and development of Scouting.

Chairmen are responsible for members of the Committee, including the Treasurer and Secretary.


Treasurers assist the Chairman in the effective administration of the Scout District or Group by providing financial support. This could mean setting the annual budget or completing annual accounts.

This role is ideal for someone who does not necessarily want to work directly with young people, but who is comfortable working with figures and budgets.


Secretaries assist the Chairman in the effective administration of the Scout District or Group by providing sound administrative support. This could mean ensuring the completion of the annual census or maintaining records of members of the County/Area, District or Group.

This is the ideal role for someone who does not necessarily want to work directly with young people, but who is organised and enjoys administrative work.

Group Scout Leader

The Group Scout Leader (GSL) ensures the effective operation of the Scout Group. The Scout Group consists of the three younger Sections - Beavers (aged 6-8), Cubs (aged 8-10½) and Scouts (aged 10½-14).

The Group Scout Leader is responsible for ensuring that the Group has a team of ‘fit and proper' adults who are well inducted and supported, and that a Balanced Programme is being delivered to all young people in the Group.

A Group Scout Leader is responsible for all Leaders and Assistant Leaders in the Scout Group. This means that it is the ideal role for someone who is interested in working with both adults and young people.

District  Commissioner

The District Commissioner is responsible for Scouting in their particular area. So a District Commissioner (DC) supports the Groups in their District, and a County Commissioner (CC) supports the Districts in their County.

DCs and CCs are responsible for ensuring that their area has a team of "fit and proper" adults who are well inducted and supported.

This is an ideal role for adults who wish to work primarily with other adults as they are directly responsible for all adults with a District or County/Area appointment.

Training Adviser

Training Advisers work with other adults, making sure that they have the knowledge and skills to be effective in their roles. They act to support adults in their training by explaining how the Scout Association's Adult Training Scheme works, by agreeing Personal Learning Plans, validating the relevant modules and by keeping records of their progress.

Local Training Manager

Local Training Managers are in charge of Training Advisers. They are responsible for making sure that all adults new to Scouting are assigned a Training Adviser. They also assist the County Training Manager in the provision of training in their particular area.

County Training Manager

County Training Managers are responsible for the provision of training in the County. They have to ensure that all adults have access to the necessary training, and to a variety of learning methods.

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