In the Scout unit, democracy starts in the teams - as they learn to dialogue and cooperate. The design of the team system needs to ensure that each person has an active role to play. These roles need to involve practical responsibilities - related to the needs and welfare of the teams. The roles need to be conceived so as to appeal to the young people and offer challenge. The responsibilities must also be adapted to the level of development and experience of the young people - i.e. less complex for the newcomers.

One of the roles is that of team leader. This young person’s responsibility is to coordinate the team, help the team members to reach a consensus on what they want to do and carry out their roles, represent them at the team leaders’ council, help coordinate activities involving the whole Scout unit, etc. As it requires maturity and experience of how the Scout unit functions, this is a role designed for senior youth members of the Scout unit.

The appointment of the team leaders is also part of the democratic process, based on who the team members and the adult leaders consider is most capable of doing the job. It is important, however, that the role of team leader is not the only challenging role for senior members.