Youth Shaped Scouting is all about ensuring our 5000+ young people are given the opportunity to shape their Scouting adventure in partnership with adults.
So how can we do this? We can work on every level to ensure that youth shaped Scouting is taking place. The chances are, a lot of leaders are already encouraging it without realising it, even if it’s just asking their young people what they want to do on a section night, or what activities they want to do on camp.
It’s important to realise that it isn’t a new idea. We’ve been youth shaped from day one right back in 1907, and now it’s time to return to the traditional aspects of Scouting where young people had more responsibility and involvement in the planning and running of the programme.
It doesn’t have to be difficult and youth shaped scouting can be really fun. You can do it in all sorts of ways from having a log chew with your Beavers to ask what games they’d like to play to giving your Cubs a selection of badges that they can choose from and make the choice using a game. For Scouts why not ask the Patrol Leaders to organise a weekend camp, allowing them to take on a challenge and learn new skills. It’s both fun and empowering for the young people.
It’s important we listen to our young people in order to keep the movement exciting, modern and relevant to today’s society, whilst also being mindful of keeping the traditional values of Scouting. We want our young people to feel empowered and therefore enthusiastic about Scouting.
The same goes for young adult leaders. Leaders aged 18-25 are just as valuable as a leader who has been in the movement for over 30 years. It’s about attitude, not age, and we should value and allow opportunities for every adult volunteer regardless of age or experience.