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!