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News

Squirrels

9 September 2021

After a two-year pilot project and extensive consultation we’re absolutely delighted to introduce you to Squirrels, our new programme for four and five year olds.  
Today is the day when we tell the world about Squirrels.
There’s a sneak peek of our video with Bear breaking the news below. We’ll share this on our social media channels at 7am today – if you can share it on your own channels with anything else you see about Squirrels from 7am, that’d be amazing #SquirrelScouts.  Just like all our sections, Squirrels helps young people gain skills for life – with a focus on the outdoors.  
With Squirrels, we can open new doors with underrepresented communities. Our pilots have thrived in Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, and areas of deprivation. They’ve reinvigorated districts, allowing us to welcome a new pool of potential volunteers and families we wouldn’t ordinarily reach.  
It’s the best of Scouts – learning by doing and getting into the great outdoors – combined with early years best practice of storytelling, routine and play.  Check out our brilliant new badges such as Challenge All Adventure and Go Wild, plus the top award – the Acorn Award. The whole programme is designed to tap into the curiosity of this energetic age range, giving them new experiences that inspire and delight.  Challenge all adventure badgeGo wild badgeThe Acorn AwardThere’s masses of support available to start Squirrels including a system of ‘cohorts’ where leaders of ten new Squirrel Dreys get trained up and are able to access the full set of programme resources.
But there’s no rush. This is a new age range and we’re rolling Squirrels out steadily so that we prioritise reaching the families who can benefit the most – those hardest hit by the pandemic.   
Over 200 Squirrel Dreys are starting this term, with even more to come over the next couple years. (Commissioner approval is required to get started with Squirrels and join a cohort).
We’re also using this exciting news about Squirrels to attract funders and partners to support this new section, and encourage new adults to volunteer. They can get involved through the website scouts.org.uk/squirrelsSquirrels is big news for us – our first new addition for more than 35 years!  
It’s even bigger news for the young people who’ll join. After the disruptions of the pandemic, it’s all the more important to be making friends, having fun and finding their #SkillsForLife, at an age and in communities where access to Scouts can really shape their life chances.