Youth Shaped Scouting put simply, is Young people shaping and influencing their Scouting adventure in partnership with adult leaders! 
Youth Shaped Scouting is not a new concept, and it is certainly nothing to be afraid about. The concept of young people being involved in shaping their Scouting has been an integral part of what we do since Lord Baden Powell founded the movement over 100 years ago. 

Young people who are involved in shaping their Scouting experiences the more they will get out of it, and the more likely they are to stay, do well and achieve their top awards.  This is why we want everyone from Beavers to Network, from individual Units to national level, working with adult supporters to create an amazing experience for everyone.

Skills For Life

The new strategy, Skills for Life, which I’m sure many of you will have seen, lays out a plan for the next five years to 2023, and a big part of the strategy is a focus on Youth Shaped Scouting. Empowering young people and giving them a voice is one of the many skills which Scouting aims to prepare its members for life with, and Youth Shaped Scouting is the perfect way of achieving this. By allowing them to help plan a camp, run an evening or get involved with delivering an activity, you are teaching young people valuable skills which they will be able to  put to use  in their careers and lives. 

More information on the Skills for Life strategy can be found here.

Top Awards

Youth Shaped Scouting isn’t something you can measure with a ruler or quantify into a fancy spreadsheet. It isn’t very easy to write a checklist for what does and doesn’t count as Youth Shaped Scouting, or even a way of showing who is the ‘best’ at it. There are however signs which show that a Unit, Group, District or County are likely to be doing it right. This might be because they have young people planning the programme each turn or running parts of it. It may be that they have young people on their Executive Committees or Appointment Advisory Committees. One particularly good example of Youth Shaped Scouting is if young people are achieving their top awards. 

Top awards range from the Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards in Beavers, Cubs and Scouts, right up to the Queen’s Scout Award, Explorer Belt Award and Young Leader Belt which can be achieved in Explorers and Network. For young people to be achieving these awards they must be getting engaged with their programme, getting involved in amazing opportunities and getting stuck in to fun activities. 

Measuring Youth Shaped Scouting

As previously mentioned, it is hard to measure Youth Shaped Scouting, but there are a few ways of knowing if you are doing it right. As well as the number of young people receiving top awards, the number of young people in a Unit, Group or District can often be a sign of how ‘Youth Shaped’ it is.

A Unit which listens to its members is much more likely to have a higher retention rate and lower turnover of young people, because they will be doing the activities which they enjoy, and which make them want to come back week after week and maybe even bring their friends along too.

The best way of measuring how ‘Youth Shaped’ you are, is to check out our ‘Getting Started' tab and seeing how many of the different ideas you are doing / can get involved with.