Young Leaders’ Scheme

With Young Leaders you:

  • Get to join a leadership team and have a say in the decisions made
  • Work with our younger sections to show them your skills and teach them things they might not learn otherwise
  • Get a structured and rewarding pathway for volunteering in your local community
  • Learn and hone your teamwork and leadership skills by getting hands on

When you complete your Young Leaders award with Leeds Templars, you can get invaluable experience as a Leader, get a head start with your training for becoming an adult Leader and work towards your DofE, Chief Scout and King Scout Awards.

What is Young Leaders?

The Young Leaders scheme is a training programme for Explorer Scouts aged 14-18 so that they can volunteer with a younger section and become a core part of that leadership team with adult leaders. The award is designed to give skills and knowledge to act as a Leader coving a balanced, quality programme, child protection, first aid and leadership skills.

The Young Leaders unit can also include Non-Scouting members that are volunteering in Scouts e.g. as part of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) or the Queens Guides Award. This ensures that these Young people that are volunteering in Scouting also undertake their compulsory Safeguarding and Safety training (Module A) so that they and the young people around them stay safe in Scouting.

What does it involve?

Explorer Scout Young Leaders (ESYLs) have 11 Modules and 4 Missions that they complete to earn their Young Leaders award, badges and belt buckle. You’ll work with not only your Young Leaders advisor but with the Leadership team of when you will help, dedicating parts of the programme to help along the way.

Besides Module A – Safety and Safeguarding (which must be done within 3 months), young leaders can choose when they want to work towards each section with help from the Young Leaders advisor and the Section Leaders of where they will be helping.

What badges do I earn?

Young Leaders has its own badges, belt and certificate to award your achievements. After completing Module A, you will earn your centre acorn badge and then each mission completed will earn you a mission strip. This can be worn on your uniform. When you complete the whole scheme you earn your Young Leaders belt, Certificate and the Young Leader service badge that can be worn on your Adult Uniform.

Young Leaders also works hand in hand with other top awards in Explorers. This means you can also complete your DofE awards and that the achievements you get doing Young Leaders work towards your  Chief Scout’s PlatinumDiamond and King’s Scout Awards.

Your Logbook

Keep track of your Young Leaders journey including your missions, modules and when you get signed off.

Missions and Modules

Module A – Prepare for take-off

This covers all of the essentials you’ll need to perform your ESYL role safely including an introduction to the scheme, safety and safeguarding.

Module D – Understanding behaviour

There are a number of reasons young people behave in different ways, not just because they are ‘behaving badly’. This aims to teach you the different behaviours of young people and explores some of the potential reasons underpinning them giving you the skills to recognise and explore strategies for dealing with different behaviours.

Module F – Making Scouting accessible and inclusive

This module will teach you how to create an environment that is inclusive and welcoming for all young people. It will give you an understanding of some different additional needs a young person might have, and show you how to make reasonable adjustments to make the programme more inclusive for all.

Safety and Safeguarding

This Module focuses on keeping you and young people in Scouting safe, what to do in an emergency and what to do if you have concerns.

Leadership skills

This Module focuses on transferable skills that can help you become a better leader and better at teaching others.

Diversity and Inclusion

This Module focuses on teaching you skills that you can adapt to ensure that everyone can get involving in Scouting.

Planning and Programmes

This Module focuses on the value of planning activities and how it can give young people a more structured, high quality and better balanced Scouting experience while also gaining badges and top awards.

First Aid

First Aid training is a core requirement for every leader. The skills you learn as at a First Response course you hopefully will not need to use but you will be ready if you need them.


Missions focus on a few aspects of what you have learnt in modules and apply them to working with young people. They cover multiple types of the skills you’ve learnt and put them into practice.

Frequently asked questions

How old do I have to be to do Young Leaders?

You can start young leaders as soon as you start Explorers which is usually 14 but can be as soon as 13½.

Module A must be done in the first 3 months of joining the Young Leaders scheme otherwise you cannot help at a section.

You have until you are 18 to complete all of the other 10 modules and 4 missions.

Do I have to be a member of Scouts to be a young leader?

Yes, Young Leaders is part of our Explorers programme and you must be a member to do your Young Leaders award.

Non-Scouting members should also be part of the Young Leaders unit to ensure they have done their Module A training. For example a Non-Scout DofE or Queens Guide award participant can volunteer in Scouting when they have spoken to the leader of the young leaders unit to complete their Module A but cannot take part in the rest of the badge unless they are a member of Explorers,

Are the any restrictions for where I can do my Young Leaders.

We recommend that ESYLs do not return to their old Scout Troop until they have had a break of at least 12 months. This extra time away enables ESYL to develop their skills before taking on more responsibility and gives their old Troop time to understand the ESYL’s new role.

We also recommend that each section have at most 2 young leaders as any more than two ESYLs at a time will make it difficult for everyone to complete their training individually.

Does this link into the training adult leaders need?

Yes ESYLs can use the training they have completed as prior learning when they come to adult training and working towards their Wood Badge. Like all leaders, they will still need to validate their learning.

Can I visit different groups and sections to see whether I want to join that section before I start?

It’s perfectly fine if you don’t know where you want to volunteer straight away. Speak to your Young Leader advisor and they will be able to help in contacting sections that have young leader spaces available and organising you to visit them or take part in their nights.

Each section has different leadership teams and leadership styles. You may find that you get along with some leaders more than others so it can be a good idea to visit a few before deciding where you want to do your Young Leaders award.

Can I move sections once I’ve started Young Leaders.

It’s generally not recommended to move sections after you’ve started as it will mean re-establishing your connections with Leaders and the Young People but it is possible under certain circumstances. Discuss with your Young Leaders advisor if you want advice on when you can move.