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Specific issues Cub Scouts to Scouts

It’s easy for a Cub Scout to feel like a small fish in a big pond when they move onto the Scout section. With this in mind flexibility in the age ranges may sometimes be appropriate. 

The importance of adults

Adults have an important role to play in the successful retention of young people between sections. A particularly important aspect of this is to plan ahead to ensure that young people move at the right time for them rather than the time that suits the leaders.

Change can be difficult and as leaders, it is our responsibility to do all we can to continue to support our young people throughout their scouting journey. Remember to use the Moving On Awards when a young person joins a new section in conjunction with our Link Badges and to develop those all-important links between section leaders.  

Here are some practical things that all Leaders can do to support young people moving between the sections.

  • Regularly update your Group Scout Leader on who in your section who is getting ready to move on
  • Attending District meetings or events will give you the opportunity to meet leaders in your local area
  • Joint activities help members of both sections get to know each other and feel comfortable with others outside their own section
  • If a young people needs a bit of extra support in preparing to move on, our visual resources may come in use.  They are available with or without symbols, on the Print Centre. The resources are easy to understand and can help to put young people at ease when thinking of making the big move.  These may be particularly useful for a young person with additional needs or a young person on the autism spectrum, as this often involves increased anxiety about change or new situations.

  • The youth resources for each section provide key information for the young person, about their new section

The role of the Cub Scout Leader

  • Talk to Scout Leaders about places in the troop.
  • Agree visits for Cubs moving on - discuss best nights/activities for them to join in with.
  • Within the Group agree a standard record keeping system to ease transfer when moving sections.

  • Work with the Scout Leader to perform a moving on ceremony.

The role of the Scout Leader

  • Maintain regular contact with the Cub Scout Leaders and arrange termly joint activities with them for the Cubs and Scouts to join in together
  • Visit your Cub Scout Pack to run an activity once a term and speak to older Cub Scouts about the Scout Troop and promote the Scout programme – you could take Patrol Leaders with you
  • In conjunction with the Cub Scout Leaders, review the membership records of the Cub Scouts, and consider the date that young people should be invited to move up to Scouts (taking into consideration changing schools)
  • Produce ‘Welcome Packs’ (or use the national version, for young people, their parents to introduce the Scout Section, the activities and awards available.

Some great ideas

  • To prepare Cubs for the changes ahead, why not spend an evening completing part of a Scout activity badge? Giving them a taste of the exciting things that lie ahead of them.


  • To achieve their link badge, Cubs visit a Scout Troop for at least three weeks, and take an active part in the Programme. Cubs may struggle with finding their voice in their new Troop. To combat this, challenge your Cubs to suggest a game for the section to play while on their visit. This prepares them for sharing Programme ideas and speaking to others in the section.  


  • In the Cubs Activity Log, there is space for Cubs to record key information about their new Scout Troop. 


  • As a Scout Leader, you could ask Patrol Leaders to look out for younger Scouts by buddying them up. Scouts can use this opportunity to achieve their Team Leader Challenge Award.  


  • The Scout Leader can send birthday cards to Cub Scouts at the age of 10 to show that the Scout Leader is already thinking of them as prospective Scouts. Scout Leaders can attend the Cub Pack, joint camps or outings and get to know the Cubs’ names by leading games and activities. It is important to move young people into Scouts as part of a small group because at this age friendships become more important in young people's lives.


  • Keep young people who have just moved in pairs within Patrols rather than splitting them up, this way they always have at least one friend by their side. Many Scouts have the ability and maturity to be able to teach Cubs new skills and this should be encouraged to help Cubs and Scouts get to know each other. 


  • Remember to speak to parents about the key differences between the Cub Scout and Scout sections as these are greater than between the Beaver and Cub sections and this is often the only experience parents have of the process.