The most important people in Scouting are the scouts themselves.

From the youngest Beaver scout through to a Scout Network member, Scouts have a say in how their scouting journey is run.

In recent years, Scouts from across the country have been empowering our young people and encouraging them to speak up and make change. Hampshire have been pioneers in this journey for some years. Here are some of the ways in which we listen to our young people:

Youth Shaped scouting badges

YouShape is a national initiative to boost youth-led scouting and create inspirational opportunities for our young people.

From hints and tips to programme ideas, it is a brilliant way to empower Scouts and give them a voice. There are lots of activity ideas to listen to the ideas and how to choose them.

Discover the resources from this year and previous years at the YouShape pages on the Scout website.

Section forums

Many sections will ask their members how they want their programme will run. For the youngest sections this may focus on picking which games are played or what activities they enjoyed. Older scouts, such as our Explorers and Network, should take the lead on deciding what they want to do.

This may be done casually during a normal weekly scout activity. It could also be done through a more formal forum such as a Beaver Log Chew or a Troop forum. This will depend on the section.

Find out more about sectional forums for Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, Explorers and Network at their respective pages on the Scout website.

Ollie Wood, the UK Youth Commissioner
Youth Commissioners

Hearing the voice of the scouts doesn’t stop at the end of the section meeting. Across the country, hundreds of district and county youth commissioners speak up for all scouts at the highest levels of the district and county.

In New Forest North our youth commissioner is Jake Beach. He speaks up for the young people in the district at the highest levels.

In Hampshire, our youth commissioner is Peter Marcus. He can be contacted on youth.commissioner@scouts-hants.org.uk or follow him on twitter @HampshireCYC.

The UK Youth Commissioner exists to speak up for scouts at a national level including on decision making strategic boards. The UK Youth Commissioner is Ollie Wood. Contact him through Facebook and Twitter or you can find out more on the Scouts website.

Youth Council and Scouts Speak Up!

Hampshire Scouts run a youth council, comprised of two representatives from each district, to feed back ideas to county and UK HQ. What’s more they take part in lots of fun activities at their conferences. They’re held throughout the year at locations around the county.

At present, both representatives are vacant – if you want to know more then get in touch with Fi Durrant at youth.council@scouts-hants.org.uk.

Hampshire also run Scouts Speak Up, where young people learn how to shout about scouts. It builds your confidence, teach you how to speak to the media and other people about what scouting does. Run by friendly volunteers as a residential camp with engaging activities, it is a great way to shout about what we do. Find out details of the next event at www.hampshirescouting.org.uk/ssu or on their Facebook and Twitter.