Announcing Squirrels for 4–5 year olds: inspiring a new generation with skills for life
We couldn’t be prouder to announce Squirrels: our new programme for 4 and 5 year olds. It’s also a historic milestone for the Scout movement as this is the first time Scouts have lowered the age range in 35 years. We’re helping young people gain skills for life where and when it matters most.
We’re particularly proud to welcome those young people from underrepresented communities, including those who haven’t tried Scouts before.
Promoting key skills when it matters
Research from Ofsted tells us that children hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic are lacking basic skills and learning. We know that what happens in these critical early years, when vital connections are being made in the brain will fundamentally shape their future.
Our programme’s therefore designed to support informal learning and help 4–5-year-olds catch up. It’s about promoting key skills like working together, communication, and language, as well as creativity and community awareness.
Squirrels get active, explore nature and have fun learning with friends, all while earning badges – just like other Scouts. New badges include Feel Good, Be Active, Explore Outdoors, Brilliant Builder and Exciting Experiments.
It’s a positive, safe environment for young children to develop essential skills for life, starting them on a journey to become the active citizens and leaders of the future.
Calling for new volunteers
To support the roll out of Squirrels, we’re now calling for adults, including parents and carers to step forward as part of our #GoodForYou campaign, designed to recruit over 5,000 new volunteers. We’re showing adults how volunteering for Scouts not only helps young people, but is good for them too, supporting wellbeing and building skills for employment and education.
Bear Grylls, Chief Scout, is helping launch the new age range: ‘I’m so glad that younger children now have the chance to join our family of Scouts,’ he said, ‘and develop skills for life.
‘We know from our pilot programme that 4–5-year-olds can really benefit from the activities that we offer. We believe that by offering opportunities at this early age, inspiring a sense of wonder, fun and curiosity, we can have a long-lasting, positive impact on young people’s lives.’
Benefits of joining Squirrels
Squirrels is a completely new provision for 4–5 year olds. There are plenty of reasons to get stuck in, as Squirrels gives young people the chance to:
If you’d like to volunteer, find our more, or support the roll out of Squirrels, we’d love to hear from you. Join us as we start this exciting new journey, on the newest branch on Scouts’ family tree. Find out more here.