We’re announcing that we have been approved to run the first Squirrels Drey in Elstree and District, a brand new programme for children aged 4 and 5 years old.

Squirrels offers the best of Scouts – learning by doing and getting into the great outdoors – combined with early years best practice of storytelling, routine, and
play. It’s a huge leap forward for us: our first new age range in 35 years. And it is a key part of our response to the challenges facing young people.

Giving children the best start in life
Research from Ofsted tells us that the young people hardest hit by the pandemic are not developing the basic skills and learning they need. Early years children have returned less confident and more anxious after lockdowns. Squirrels offers skills for life when and where it’s needed most. This is our opportunity to help enrich the lives of young people, preparing them for a brighter future. We’re offering this brand new programme, with wellbeing, kindness and social action at its heart.

Squirrels comes at a time when inequalities in our society are all too clear. So we’re:
– Helping 4 and 5 year olds gain key skills like communication, teamwork and resilience through structured play and story telling
– Giving them a sense of achievement with great role models and a positive environment encouraging kindness and aspiration
– Strengthening the bond between parents or carers and their children by encouraging family volunteering
– Creating closer, more connected communities with volunteering at the heart.

A great leap forward
This is all part of our wider Skills for Life strategy 2018-25 to give more young people the skills to succeed in life, and to make Scouts more inclusive, youth shaped, growing and contributing ever more strongly to our communities.

We hope you’ll agree this is a great leap forward for our movement, and a proud moment for the volunteers, staff and supporters who’ve worked so hard together. It’s the start of a new journey and a moment of renewal, providing great energy and optimism for the future.