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Group Scout Leader's Toolkit

Since its inception, Scouting has been focused on providing great Scouting opportunities within the communities it serves and the future of scouting rests firmly with our adults, who work in our Scout Group and deliver activities directly to young people that are challenging, adventurous and fun.


Having effective Scout Groups that offer good quality scouting is our number one priority and a Scout Group is most effective when well managed. The most successful groups are those who offer the full family of scouting where the sections work together and interact so that young people can progress through the group.

A 'complete' Scout Group does not just happen. It takes a great deal of effort and enthusiasm to make it work and it needs good quality leadership. This comes from you as the Group Scout Leader. It can also take some years to develop. The Scout Group is the most important part of scouting. Without the Scout Group, scouting does not exist. This fact should always remain at the forefront of our mind at all times particularly when you carry out your managerial role.

The role of Group Scout Leader is pivotal to make scouting work in the local community. It can be said there is a lot to managing a Scout Group, but it is very rewarding. When you see the influential contribution you and your leadership team make to the development of young people to take an important role in their local, national and international communities there is an enormous feeling of satisfaction.

If you have any comments about the handbook or its contents please email them to

This toolkit is divided into various different sections and aims to provide you with support for each aspect of your role. It is best used as a reference or a dictionary so it does not appear intimidating.

When you look through it if you cannot find what you are looking for please contact your District Commissioner or the
County Development Service who will be able to provide further information and support.

At the end of each section there is a checklist of good scouting practice. You may wish to use each checklist to self‐assess the delivery of scouting in your group.

If you do undertake the self‐assessment exercises, make a diary note to have a look at this six months or a year later to see if things are different – for the better, the same or worse. Equally, not every issue is relevant to your group so you may prefer to use the points that are important to you. 

Remember - You do not need to commit to lots of work reinventing the wheel every time.  The tools and resources section on the County website has lots of great ideas to help you in your role and the County Development Service can help you in many areas of development and improvement.

Note - items marked by the wood badge symbol  are part of the series of independant learning units available as part of The Scout Association's Leadership and Management Training. Once completed they count towards your GSL woodbadge or ongoing learning requirements.

  Download a PDF of this page

Please note - Some of the content in this toolkit is still in development


Your role


Being effective

Growing your Scout Group

Managing your Scout Group

Our Movement

Further support