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Thread: The end of YouShape

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    ESL and DESC ianw's Avatar
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    The end of YouShape

    From the latest membership email....

    YouShape month 2019. Next February 2019, YouShape month will return for the final time to give young people a voice and the chance to shape their programme, take responsibility and develop independence and leadership skills.
    So...does that mean it's done what it's supposed to, and we're all being all YouShape now? Or was it funded and they've run out of money? Or is YouShape for life not just for February?
    Ian Wilkins
    Farnham District Explorer Scout Commissioner

    Jambowlree - Worldwide Scout Ten Pin Bowling Competition
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    Senior Member CambridgeSkip's Avatar
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    If it's the end completely then I think that's shame, although I won't be sad to see the awful branding going.

    Fact is that one of the core parts of scouting, of being youth led, is often only paid lip service to and the whole youth shape program was a very well intentioned and timely attempt to bring that back. What it shouldn't be though is a short term campaign. What it needs is for the concept of youth led/patrol system to be more fully imbedded in the adult training.

    I reckon at least half the threads on 1st Facebook could be replied to with one sentence, which is "go and ask your patrol leaders (or equivalent)"

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    Quote Originally Posted by ianw View Post
    From the latest membership email....



    So...does that mean it's done what it's supposed to, and we're all being all YouShape now? Or was it funded and they've run out of money? Or is YouShape for life not just for February?
    It probably means, what ever wonk at HQ thought it up was feeling a wee bit insecure in their job.


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    I can't say I'll be sad to see the branding etc disappear. The reality for me was that it always seemed sensible to ensure we were doing what the kids enjoy doing, not least because if they are engaged and interested, they are generally easier to manage! However it probably varies with section. Certainly my experience with Cubs is that if you ask for suggestions for the programme, its almost always, "Play more games, play football, what we did last week" etc. They don't know what they need to experience for the first time to realise they enjoy it. Probably the least well regarded sessions are the sort of feedback and youth led sessions that the YouShape programme tended to demand - to paraphrase "Why do we have to sit here talking about what we want to do, can't we just go outside and light fires or something".

    That said its probably helped change the culture in some areas where old imposed programmes were getting stale but the kids had to like it or lump it. We'll presumably keep the Youth Commissioners although its harder to see what their role will be in operational terms given that they seem to spend a lot of time running YouShape type forums for groups (maybe that's just locally).
    Does anyone know what's going on?

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    Assistant Beaver Leader Keith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    It probably means, what ever wonk at HQ thought it up was feeling a wee bit insecure in their job.

    I suspect its to do with the change of UK Youth Commissioner - Hannah Kentish's term as UKYC has finished and there's a new one taking over who will appoint a new team.
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    I'm still not entirely sure what Youth Commissioners are supposed to do on a day-to-day basis.
    James

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    Medicationed BenOfThe12th's Avatar
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    All part of moving to Skills For Life direction.

    ** Warning ** I like my humour Very DRY, same as my Martinis, so don't take anything personally..

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    Senior Member Kastor's Avatar
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    YouthShape seemed to be a solution looking for a problem. It never quite managed to define what it was supposed to be achieving. Other than a load of stuff about running forums etc (which we were already doing) there wasn't any substance to it.

    Out of all the forums (under whatever name was trendy at the time) we rarely got anything that we hadn't had before.

    We've now been told that Youth Commissioners are no longer required so I assume they are last years "grand scheme" along with the rest of YouthShape.

    I await the "Skills For Life Commissioner" role to appear so we can have someone chasing us all about that.
    To get more kids we need more adults - are we getting the message yet?

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    GSL & AESL shiftypete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kastor View Post
    We've now been told that Youth Commissioners are no longer required so I assume they are last years "grand scheme" along with the rest of YouthShape.

    I await the "Skills For Life Commissioner" role to appear so we can have someone chasing us all about that.
    Interesting as POR says otherwise

    Peter Andrews AESL of Headingley Pirates ESU, Group Scout Leader & Webmaster of Falkoner Scout Group
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    Please note all views expressed are my own and not those of any organisation I'm associated with

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    Keith at 2M Keith at 2M's Avatar
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    I think generally most posters on escouts are the sort of leaders who include and always have included the YP in forums and planning anyway which is why the whole concept of YouShaped has been much derided here as un-necessary. There are however many leaders out there who do not subscribe to the theory. We all know who they are in our Districts and generally theirs are the less successful units - sadly for obvious reasons. The idea was therefore to organise a forum where the young people can compare experiences and go back to their leaders and demand similar experiences in their Unit.

    The flaw in this theory was twofold - firstly PoorLeaderA wouldn't promote the forum anyway if they even got to hear about it and secondly the kids in PoorLeaderA's Unit will just defect, thereby increasing the discrepancy in Unit sizes. SO while the attempt to introduce some sort of a mandatory requirement was sound in objectives it was never really likely to reach the people that mattered. Plus the YP talk at school and both they and their parents know where the good Units are and as a result we're now seeing the more successful units with waiting lists going down to Age 2, whereas those at the other end have vacancies now and a zero waiting list.

    Youth Commissioners and involving the YP more however has been a great success where it has been allowed to be and a suitable YC has been chosen - I question why do awards have to be presented by some old fossil like me who has to be revived just to get them to a meeting on time - why not have a YP address the masses/present top awards/be the public face of scouting? And if just one of those Youth Commissioners goes on to become a DC or ADC because of their experience then the scheme will have been a success.

    I can see Skills for Life going the same way. Will it even out the discrepancy in provision? Probably not as many of us are already providing that level of activity, just without the attractive tagline. Will it actually inspire more YP to join undersubscribed Units in the hope of learning SkillsforLife only to discover that skill is Dodgeball? Possibly, but will they still be there in a month's time?
    The Roman Empire did not become great by holding meetings. It did so by killing everyone that opposed their point of view.

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    We tried with forums, but the young folk weren't interested. So it was left to leaders to make do.

    I don't think there is much of a correlation between successful units/troops and forums. You get the kids that suit what ever you're doing and your leader's personalities. For us, I don't think we attract the kind of young people that want to sit in meetings and discuss stuff, they just want to be doing things and (so far), trust the leader team to deliver it.

    I mean, we still ask, but we never actually get any practical suggestions...

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    Senior Member bernwood's Avatar
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    My pack always decided the program, badges to be covered, how many trips, and camps they wanted to do. We held sixer forums where they would decide who they wanted in their six, suggest new seconders, vote on new sixers, and discuss which six the new up coming beavers would go. We did reflective forums, where they voted on aspects of previous badges, camps etc, so that we could adapt the program. We were doing that 10 years before Youth Shaped was even thought of, come to think of it we were doing Skills for Life too. You can't reinvent the wheel, especially if it's round in the first place!

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    ASL and YLUL wealdbrook's Avatar
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    We gave the Scouts a few items they might like to do, some they had done and some they had not. We also offered them a chance to suggest new things. The only surprise was a request to go dry slope skiing so that is added to next term, otherwise the leaders planned the term and included the not surprising items - making pancakes!
    John Alexander,
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    Youth have the enthusiasm and energy but I've always been surprised by the lack of imagination beyond the impractical and expensive, quad biking, camp in new York etc. I've also sat through a forum proudly described by the leader as youth shaped where she led through an entire programme and the PLs agreed it, though to be fair they were bereft of ideas. For those who do the challenge badges as part of the award scheme the forum needs some considerable guidance on how to create a supporting programme.

    So I suppose I'm going with this is that a successful youth shaped section is likely to be just shaped rather than designed or fundamentally created.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RisingStar View Post
    Youth have the enthusiasm and energy but I've always been surprised by the lack of imagination beyond the impractical and expensive, quad biking, camp in new York etc. I've also sat through a forum proudly described by the leader as youth shaped where she led through an entire programme and the PLs agreed it, though to be fair they were bereft of ideas. For those who do the challenge badges as part of the award scheme the forum needs some considerable guidance on how to create a supporting programme.

    So I suppose I'm going with this is that a successful youth shaped section is likely to be just shaped rather than designed or fundamentally created.
    We usually have one or two young folk who are confident enough to suggest things, but as above, it's usually stuff which is too expensive/impractical.

    One of the great things about Scouts, is you can ask to visit places that aren't really open to the public - and it often doesn't cost anything. You just need to pick somewhere, and ask nicely.

    More generally, I suspect young folk are just used to being spoon fed. I think we've discussed that before.

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