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YouShape Award

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The YouShape Award is here!

At Scouts, young people learn how to speak up and take the lead. That’s what the new YouShape Award is all about.

The YouShape Award makes it even easier to embed being youth shaped into your programme. At the same time, it’ll help young people work with their leaders to learn leadership skills that they’ll use for the rest of their lives.

A webinar was held on 25th October explaining more about how the Award is structured, how to include this in your programme planning and taking your questions. If you missed this or would like to catch-up again, you can access the webinar on our YouTube Channel here.

County Youth Commissioner Jack explains more…

“I’m thrilled to say, that after over 3 years of planning, the YouShape Award has now launched for Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers. Myself and some of our other Youth Commissioners across Leicestershire have been involved in the award’s planning and development – including consulting Scouts and Explorers from across the UK at Charnwood 2019, developing resources and requirements for the award and testing them out in local Sections. We’re now really excited to launch this award to all of our Districts, Groups and Sections and are looking forward to our youth members getting the opportunity to take the lead, shape their own Scouting experiences and earn their YouShape Award in the coming months!

The badges are now available in the County Equipment Department and can be ordered via www.leicestershirescoutshop.com.  In the message below, you can see how you can find out more about the award, why we are launching this, how District teams, Exec Committees and GSL’s can get involved, and how you can get support from your DYC / the Youth Commissioner team to get started in your Section!

You can see all of the badge requirements for each of the Sections here: https://www.scouts.org.uk/volunteers/running-your-section/youth-shaped/youshape-award/

Connected to each set of requirements, you will see that there are activity ideas and resources to support. These have all been trialled with Young People – including some in Leicestershire and should help you deliver this in your Section. You will also see that all of the badge requirements link to other badges in the programme – this is because Youth Shaped Scouting should be embedded in your weekly meetings and the award complements things we should all be already doing. This isn’t something ‘new’ or ‘extra’, but part of our usual activities. The YouShape Award helps you to identify the areas of the programme where there is an opportunity to give your young people the lead.

The Award has a central badge to earn, followed by three segments – Plan, Lead and Represent. Young People are encouraged to decide for themselves which requirements they will take on, how many they will aim to achieve and also at what point they have completed this, in partnership with their leaders. This may sound a little strange, but you are probably already operating like this more than you realise!

And if you haven’t already, check out our County resources at: https://www.leicestershirescouts.org.uk/local-scouting/you-shape/ where you can find tips and ideas on how to support your Young People to give their ideas and take the lead. This page will be updated over the coming months as we start to launch the new Award in Leicestershire!

Why are we launching this?

We all know that our Young People are more engaged and gain more from their Scouting experience when they have been given the opportunity to shape their own involvement and take the lead in activities. Although we didn’t always call it this, Youth Shaped Scouting has existed since 1907 and has always been a central part of Scouting – for example with peer leadership (Sixers/Patrol Leaders etc.), Forums – where our members give their ideas and thoughts on Scouting, and opportunities for Young People to lead games, activities, or even whole camps on Nights Away Passports. I know that lots of Sections in Leicestershire are brilliant examples of YouShape – and this award is a brilliant opportunity for these efforts to be recognised and rewarded. There are lots of great ideas and opportunities – probably including things you haven’t tried before, to allow you to maintain and improve your Young People’s Scouting experience.

Equally we know that this isn’t the experience of every Young Person in Scouting across Leicestershire and the country. For those Sections, Groups and Districts, the new YouShape Award is a brilliant opportunity to change this – and to ensure that all of our members are getting the opportunities to take the lead and give their ideas. If you’ve never given ‘YouShape’ a go, don’t understand it or ‘don’t see the point’ – then give this a try – you won’t be disappointed! The YouShape Award is accessible to all Sections, can be earnt by everyone and most importantly, makes sure that young people get the most out of their Scouting experience (and so do their leaders!). There is lots of support available to you as you can see in the resources and webinar above – and keep reading for more people who can help!

How Districts, Execs and GSL’s can support the YouShape Award:

Whatever your role, age and experience in Scouting, you can be Youth Shaped! Check out the ‘Represent’ segment of the Award, which requires Young People to engage and have a voice outside of their Section. This includes giving ideas to Executive Committees and having involvement in the governance of their Groups/Districts. Exec members can support this by engaging with Section Leaders to ensure young people are getting the opportunity to have their say, listening to their ideas – making sure they are replied to and where possible, those ideas are carried forward. You could even go and visit a Section to explain what the Exec does, and the kinds of decisions they take, to support young people to make informed suggestions and decisions when completing this segment.

Another ‘Represent’ requirement is to be part of District Forums or give ideas at a District scale. ADC’s and District Teams, together with your District Youth Commissioners, can support this requirement by setting up Forums and chances for young people to share their views – either as new events, or as part of your existing ones. Beyond that District Teams can support Section Leaders in delivering the Award, and making sure that young people’s opinions are truly listened to and acted upon.

Similarly, GSL’s can support Sections in the delivery of the new award, make links with Execs and also support older Sections to earn their Award by allowing them to ‘shadow’ adult volunteers or take on responsibilities within Groups. (For example, one suggestion in the requirements is that an Explorer could try out supporting a Quartermaster for an agreed period.)

If you aren’t sure where your role fits and how you can get involved, get in touch!

Invite your DYC to visit and help!

Your Youth Commissioners are here to help! We now have 12 District Youth Commissioners across 7 of our Districts, with support in place for those currently without a DYC. We’re all really excited for the award to launch and would like to visit as many Sections as we can over the coming months to support with the delivery of the initial central badge, as well as giving Section Leaders the tools to complete the rest of the Award. Please get in touch with myself or your DYC with your questions, support you need and to arrange a visit.

Ashby and Coalville: Sophie – dyc@ashbyandcoalvillescouts.org.uk

Charnwood – Tyler, Ben and Raeven – dyc@charnwoodscouts.org.uk

Harborough – Katie and Kyle – youth@harboroughscouts.org.uk

Hinckley – Liam – dyc.hinckley@gmail.com

Loughborough – Hannah – dyc@loughboroughscouts.org.uk

Melton – Contact Jack on jack.barber@leicestershirescouts.org.uk

North East – Contact Bijal on bnzb.07@gmail.com

South East – Contact Sam on sam.harrison@southeastscouts.org

South West – Jenny – youshape@lswds.org.uk

South Leicestershire – James, Jamie and Emily – dyc@southleics-scouts.org.uk

Looking forward to seeing lots of Youth Shaped activity across the County in the coming months, and plenty of YouShape Awards being earned. Let us know what your young people get up to!”


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