Today the Scouts launch Squirrels, the newest branch in our family tree, giving skills for life to four and five year olds.
This idea isn't new. Scouts across the world (and closer to home) have been trying this for years and in the UK since 2019. Early years pilots in Southampton, Portsmouth and Gosport have learned the lessons so now we're ready for more to join in.
This new section builds upon what the Scouts are known for today. So expect to find badges, adventures, making a promise and a uniform jumper in Squirrels.
With a programme based on fun, curiosity and discovery it sets a firm foundation for the future. Launched as part of the Skills for Life plan, this is the first step towards 940 Squirrel Dreys across the country by 2023.
Hampshire Scouts have our first advisor for Squirrels ready to help and new dreys are being started gradually so they have the support needed to make a strong start. Across the UK, we are targeting the places where Scouts are needed most and where we are looking to grow.
As we start this new journey, we need more volunteers to help us lead Squirrels. Signing up to register your interest is the first step to making the dream happen near you.
This is an exciting time for Scouts as we reach even more young people give them skills for life. We really believe Scouts changes lives and prepares our young people for whatever comes next. Squirrels will help even more do this and help Hampshire Scouts bounce back.