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Governance

In Scouting, many key decisions are made through our governance processes, ranging from deciding where to hold the next Beaver Scout Sleepover to appointing the UK Chief Scout. Governance in Groups, Districts and Counties refers to the Executive Committee, who are the Board of Trustees responsible for Scouting in that area. On a national level, The Scout Association is governed by the Scout Council and the national Board of Trustees.

Engaging all young people in Youth Shaped Governance
Ensuring the voices of young people influence each of these processes is vital to help the decisions we make stay true to the needs and priorities of those they affect. This could be done through:
•    Holding youth forums to gather the opinions of your members, to be fed back to the Executive Committee.
•    Involving young people in Executive Committee meetings, for example by inviting members from each Section to give a quarterly update in person to the Executive Committee.
•    Involving the members of the Executive Committee in the activities of young people, such as holding a Dragons’ Den style activity for Scouts to pitch project ideas to the Executive Committee (is there a link to the Youth Shaped Programme postcard?)
•    Allowing young people to take responsibility for decisions that the Executive Committee usually takes, which are accessible and comprehensible to them, such as evaluating projects that are seeking grant funding from the Executive Committee, or proposing themes and locations for camps.
•    Making young people members of sub-committees, don’t forget that there are no age requirements to be a full member of a sub-committee!

Young people on Executive Committees
Appointing young people (aged 18-25) as members of every Executive Committee is valuable to all members. This approach is beneficial for the Executive Committee to ensure it reflects a diverse range of opinions and for the young person involved who can use this experience to help build skills for life.

On District and County Executive Committees, the local Youth Commissioner is an ex officio member, and therefore a charity trustee.

Add links to the resources on:
•    If you’re a young person on an Executive Committee, or if you’re thinking of joining an Executive Committee, you might find that meetings look and feel different to your previous Scouting experiences, with different terminology, agendas and papers. Look here for your ‘Guide to Executive Committees for Young People’.
•    If you’re a member of an Executive Committee that involves young people, you may want to consider ways to facilitate their successful contribution to your meetings, perhaps through paying travel expenses or meeting in central locations. Look here for a ‘Guide to Supporting Young People on Committees’.

County Youth Commissioners and national governance
In September 2017, County Youth Commissioners (and equivalents) were made ex-officio members of the national Scout Council, to ensure that youth members are well represented in our largest national governance body. If you’re a County Youth Commissioner, here’s a handy Guide to the Scout Council to support you in fulfilling your new responsibilities.

 

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