- YouShape Award
My name is Dominic and I am the District Youth Commissioner, responsible for ensuring that that young people in Barnsley are involved and engaged in every decision that shapes their Scouting experience and to empower young people to share their ideas and have a meaningful voice in planning, implementing and reviewing their programme and opportunities. We’re so excited to be announcing the launch of a new UK YouShape award, which will help make it easier and more accessible for young people to shape their Scouting experience.
This award seeks to embed Youth Shaped Scouting in the programme even more so that it moves from an annual campaign to a core part of the programme throughout the year, allowing leaders to integrate youth shaped scouting into every aspect of Scouting. To support our leaders in developing #Skillsforlife in our young people, the Youth Commissioner team across the country has put together some amazing resources which can be found on the Scout website by clicking here alongside the requirements of the award! We know that this is a new award, and we expect lots of questions so please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
The award is split into 4 different parts, each one has age-appropriate variations. The badges can be ordered individually on the Scout store. The badges are as follows:
CENTRAL- Young people should set a goal or idea to achieve and set about doing it. This could be in a youth forum or through a suggestion where they discuss the ideas on what activities they want to do.
LEAD – Young people should support others and help deliver your programme by being encouraged to lead an activity, camp or forum, or help lead a new member.
PLAN – Young people should think creatively, work together, and plan some exciting activities for your programme such as an evening, camp, activity or other suitably age-appropriate
REPRESENT – Young people should represent their peers and/or Scouting in a decision-making event such as a committee meeting, a public event or a larger event.
It’s important that whilst the leaders support the young people and provide direction the young people themselves should be choosing their own requirements and activities for this badge, as far as possible with the given age range. It is really easy to introduce the requirements into all aspects of your programme so please ensure that you begin to undertake these in the next few weeks.
What else can you do?
- Put the Award as an item on the next Group Leaders Meeting to update leaders across sections
- Use your group resources to show badge-work in action ie. boards in huts (GSL’S/Section Leaders)
- Promote examples of efforts towards badge requirements ie. youth forums and community engagement through social media (such as the District Facebook page) using #YouShape
Make sure you keep an eye out for other cool opportunities from the District Team to help with this award and feel free to let us know when members have fully completed the award so that a District Team Member can try and come and present their badges!
- Scouting in 2021 and how it’s #GoodForYou too
If you’re on social media (and we appreciate not everyone is), you’ve probably seen a lot more activity on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram than normal over the last week or so. Woven between the posts about regular Scouting, future events and useful updates, we’ve been sharing volunteering appeals in varying forms. Everyone is different; we all have different skills, availability and capabilities – that’s what makes us unique. It’s also why one-size messaging doesn’t appeal or resonate with everyone.
Alongside our posts, the local and national media have been sharing some fantastic content about Scouting. From BBC Radio Sheffield and Toby Foster’s breakfast show speaking with young people and some local leaders to Sky News interviewed the Scouting Chief Exec and Deputy UK Chief Commissioner. There have been articles in the Guardian, Independent and more. This terrific level of awareness highlights the force of good scouting is for young people, and for those who volunteer too.
There are two key messages amongst all of the reporting:
Firstly, that like many other organisations, COVID has massively impacted Scouting.
Active membership slumped by a quarter over the past year, with 117,000 fewer beavers, cubs, scouts and explorers taking part. One in 10 of its adult volunteers, many of whom were key workers, have also slipped away, with the ranks of its volunteers reducing from 156,000 to 141,000 in the last year. Many adults who lost jobs or had to change jobs during the pandemic were no longer able to helpThe Guardian
Secondly, that despite all this, scouting is still a massively positive experience and an opportunity that’s enjoyed by both young people and adult volunteers – it’s also critical in supporting our mental health and wellbeing. Many of the young people only had scouting to lean on during lockdowns. Our volunteers conveyed that scouting meant they didn’t feel isolated and had rewarding experiences to look forward to supporting young people.
Both of these tie into the National Scouting campaign #GoodForYou. Our Chief Scout, Bear Grylls, summarises things nicely in the following video.
But what can I do, really?
We can’t emphasise this enough – Scouting is a flexible volunteering opportunity. It doesn’t matter if you can give 50 hours a week, an hour a month, or are there to support a day trip or event. However much you volunteer, you will make a difference – both to the young people and to yourself.
The best thing you can do is let us know you’re there, and let’s talk about what could work for you. We are all different – let’s see what rewarding opportunities fit for you.
Scouting in the media
- BBC Radio Sheffield – “We’re looking for the goers and doers” [Audio – 6 mins]
- The Guardian – “Scouts suffer worst membership slump since second world war” [Article – 2 min read]
- Sheffield Star – “Scouts launch campaign to help Sheffield youngsters recover from impact of pandemic“[Article 2 min read]
- Independent – “Young people need the Scouts now more than ever – and you can help by volunteering” [Article – 3 min read]
- UK Scouts – “Scouts launch #GoodForYou to recruit volunteers and help Generation COVID recover” [Article – 3 min read]
- Third Sector – “Why now is the time to champion the power of volunteering” [Article – 3 min read]
- Sky News – “Scouts Volunteer Recruitment” [Video – 7 mins]
- BBC Radio Sheffield – “Make a difference” [Video – 67 secs]
- Happy St George’s Day
HAPPY ST GEORGE’S DAY! St George’s Day is traditionally a time for Scouts to come together, renew their Promise, and celebrate. However this year, we are celebrating ‘together’ virtually!Enjoy our incredible St George’s Day video featuring our amazing young people, our brilliant volunteers and our very own Mayor!Thank you to everyone who helped film their parts including our wonderful parents and guardians!
- Cynthia Celebrates 60 Years!
We our volunteers! They are amazing and give hours of their own time to make sure that our young people can gain skills for life! Today, we are delighted to present Cynthia with her 60 Years Service Award! This is an incredible accomplishment and on behalf of everyone at Barnsley Scouts, past and present, thank you! You are incredible! Well done!
- Easter Egg Competition
As it is approaching Easter, I thought it would be nice to run a little competition for everyone in the District to take part in. Nothing too difficult – design your own Easter egg! It is open to every young person in Barnsley Scouts and there will be a winner from each section (Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers). You can download the template below for them to design their egg on and once completed, they need to email their design to [email protected] – of course, parents/guardians may do this for them! They can use whatever they want to design it (on the computer, pens, paper, leaves – whatever they fancy!) and they have until 23:59 on Monday 5th April 2021. Please share amongst your groups!