In 2018, the next vision for Scouting was launched, a 5-year plan which looked to prepare more young people with skills for life, supported by amazing leaders delivering an inspiring programme. Vision 2023 looked to grow Scouting, making it more inclusive, shaped by young people and having a bigger impact on our communities. #Skills for Life was born.

Whilst a considerable amount of early work was undertaken with focus groups, questionnaires, and discussions across all parts of the movement, the Covid-19 Pandemic put the brakes on much of the subsequent phases with other priorities and a significant reduction in volunteering capacity. Over the last 12 months, many of the workstreams have been reactivated and there are numerous groups of volunteers and employed HQ staff undertaking much detailed activity built upon that early consultation and feedback. Now, over 10,000 people from both within and outside Scouting have been consulted. They have given their comments, opinions and suggestions as to how we can make volunteering with the Scouts easier and more fun.



The programme of changes and enhancements will help Scouting across several areas. We have already seen some of the changes, Squirrel Scouts, introduced in 2021 are the cornerstone of the Early Years pillar.

The next phase will be structured around four focus areas being designed for delivery to:

  • Creating a warmer welcome for new volunteers

This will mean using new digital tools to recruit volunteers and speed up the appointments process. The volunteer is likely to have a more relevant experience during the process for which they will be able to track progress.

  • Simplifying volunteering with changes to roles and team structures

The creation of a new approach to volunteering at all levels which will improve clarity of roles and simplicity of delivery to support our programme.

  • Making learning more valuable and convenient

Greater use of digital tools for learning which will mean volunteers have greater control of what and when they complete their learning. There will be more optional learning and a change in the composition of the Wood Badge so that it is more relevant to their needs. A reduction in the need for validation will speed up the process from completion to recognition.

  • Providing a new digital experience for managing adult membership data

A new digital system with a single sign-on giving access to membership information, learning, permits and awards all available through

To learn more about any of these elements, click on the box below.

We cannot grow to meet our ambitions for young people, from section level to the whole of the UK, without making some fundamental changes.



This month, I have provided two Transformation Guides to appropriate volunteer roles in the County.

Firstly, one covering the planned changes and approach when we move from training to learning. This was circulated to all Local Training Managers, Trainers, Training Advisers and District / County Commissioners.

The second, looking at the changes to the way we work together covering Section and Group structures together with the transition from Executive Committees to Trustee Boards. This guide was sent to all Group Scout Leaders, District / County Commissioners and all Chairs at Group, District or County.

As we learn more about impacted areas, I will capture the key topics and circulate to the impacted areas as necessary to ensure all are aware of the planned changes in their volunteering environment.

In January, I circulated a Transformation “One Pager” to all adults in the County with appointments. A copy is still available, see below, but I have now added three more to the library and will expand on these as and when required.

If you just want a one page summary – click below



Spring will see the next version of Policy, Organisation & Rules (POR) in April containing details of the transition of Executive Committees to Trustee Boards.

Scouts has taken the opportunity with the current change environment to catch up and align with the relevant regulatory requirements governed by, amongst others, The Charities Commission. Executive Committees will automatically become Trustee Boards in April 2023 and Executive Members will be Trustees.

This is more than just a change of name. The Trustee Board will be focused on making sure the charity is well managed, risks are assessed and mitigated, buildings and equipment are in good working order, and everyone follows legal requirements and Policy, Organisation and Rules (POR). Trustee Boards will no longer have responsibility for the operational matters currently undertaken in Executive Committees such as premises or equipment maintenance, social or fund raising functions or media and outreach.

The April POR will clearly outline the purpose of the Trustee Board and the responsibilities and requirements that go with that.


The clean up of current Compass data has been operational for several weeks now and appears to be in full swing. Some Groups have already completed the extensive task and others are close to completion.

This work is vital to ensure that migrated data is as tidy and correct as possible so, if you are contacted, please do support the clean up.


One of the primary pillars of Transformation is to increase the use of Digital Tools so that, for many elements it is “Digital First”. Our digital strategy supports our members, grows our movement, and puts our people at the heart of what we do.

Becoming a digital first organisation allows us to transform the Scouts experience. It helps us produce tools and services for our volunteers, staff and young people which are easy, enjoyable, engaging and efficient. Being digital first isn’t about being digital only, and it’s not about being digital for the sake of it.

To help our volunteers learn about, understand and use Digital Tools, the Scouts Website has a dedicated area which provides useful information – see below for link.



A key element of Transformation will be the introduction of a new Membership  System. This will be accessible to all adult volunteers through a single sign on from within the Web pages. The new system will incorporate three areas covering

  • New member joining
  • Membership Records
  • Learning

For some members there will be a requirement to change the e-mail address that they use for Scouting. This is because the underlying database that the membership system runs on expects a single email address per user. Where this not unique, records are unable to be stored. As this membership record will also form the basis for DBS’s we need to ensure the correct person is processed. Those impacted will receive guidance in the coming months to remind and help them with this change.

The system will be launched at Transformation Date, read about the latest on the system by clicking here.



Change can bring uncertainty, discussion, debate, and some resentment, which is inevitable of many changes in which we are engaged. There will also be work to undertake, sometimes against some stretching deadlines so it may not all be “plain sailing.” Change does, however, also bring reward, refreshed interest, improvements and reflect the current expectations and environment.

If you want to know a bit more about change, click on the link below for more information from Scouts.



To see the latest version of the timeline, click on the box below



Looking ahead over the next couple of months we will see

  • Completion of the first phase of Compass clean up
  • Details of the transition from Executive Committees to Trustee Boards
  • Introduction to the new ways of working with planned Team Structures at Section, Group, District and County
  • More information about the introduction of Core Learning to replace Getting Started.

As the year progresses there will be further updates via the web page here as well as meetings and presentations in your Groups so do watch out for those.

Please, if you have any thoughts, comments, or questions, please do get in touch by mailing the following address

I look forward to your continued support in the weeks and months ahead.

Dene Bonar

Nature and the outdoors are languages that can be learned. Once you identify a beech tree, tie a clove hitch or cook a simple meal over a fire that you’ve built yourself, you’ll never forget it.'
Bear Grylls, Chief Scout Bear Grylls