Cumbria Scouts have launched a campaign to find more volunteers to help young people reconnect with others.
The organisation said its youth membership in Cumbria fell by 28 per cent over the past year, falling from 3,152 last year to 2,272.
Adult volunteer numbers in Cumbria are also down from 853 in 2020 to 820 for 2021.
The drop in numbers follows a sustained period of growth, it said, where total membership rose by nearly 900 people between 2006 and 2020 across the county.
Scout groups across Cumbria are now looking to build back better and empower the COVID generation when they need most.
It is calling on adults to step up and volunteer to lead young people.
Eddie Ward, county commissioner for Cumbria, said: “Young people have lost out on so much in the past year and our membership numbers show how many were unable to continue with Scouts due to lockdown.
“The good news is they are coming back in droves, so we need more people to help us ensure young people can meet friends, have fun and fulfil their potential by learning skills for life.”
Over the next six months the Scouts will be running a series of recruitment campaigns, designed to encourage young people and adults who drifted away during the pandemic rejoin and to create new Scout groups in areas of greatest need.
Matthew Horne, a Scout volunteer from Ulverston, said: “At a time when communities have been divided through lockdown rules.
“Scouting is able to bring communities back together. With more volunteers, we would be able to positively impact even more young people and adult volunteers and as we pass on new skills.”