This post is targeted to Scouting, however other similar organizations that work with Youth will find this helpful.
What is Youth Involvement?
Youth involvement is a process that ensures youth have a voice in the decisions that affect their lives. It creates volunteer opportunities for youth to be a part of the changes and decisions being made in their communities.
There are two main ways in which voluntary organizations can engage in youth participation:
• Internally, ensuring that young people are listened to and involved in decision-making and planning within their own organizations;
• Externally, supporting the young people they work with to get involved in public decision making and address issues that are of concern to them.
In scouting we can take three areas where youth should be encouraged to be involved:
1. At level of the group/unit; it is important to include young adults in the functioning of the units or groups. Adult with more experience should mentor the young adults keeping their activities on the tight path, in accordance with the scout method, purpose and principles.
2. Within the movement at other levels; Young adults should be involved while taking major decisions in the local, provincial, regional and national level in scouting. It should be remembered that the scout movement is a movement FOR the young people and it should be of their interest and of themselves rather than an adult show. An equal share of adults and young people should be there in all decision making levels.
3. Within the community; Scouting is a movement which strives to create a better world, to create this better community scouts as young adults take up leading roles in upholding leadership roles and work in different social initiatives. Positive youth involvement in the community leads to a creation of a better society.