Local Youth Commissioners update us on their new roles
We caught up with Emma and Alec, two young people who took on the new Local Youth Commissioner roles last year, to find out how things are going.
it has been a year since the County Youth Commissioner (CYC) and District Youth Commissioner (DYC) roles were first created. The CYCs and DYCs are appointed to represent the views and voices of the young people involved in Scouting locally, and to help make decisions about Programme activities alongside adult volunteers. These roles are important to really help embed Youth Shaped Scouting and reach the goals set out as part of Scouting For All.
We talked to two CYCs and DYCs who are flying the flag for Youth Shaped Scouting to see how they are finding life in their roles so far.
Emma Cooper East Lancashire County Youth Commissioner
Emma joined Scouting as a Beaver. When she was an Explorer, she decided to leave Scouting for a period of time after feeling frustrated with the Programme. Now she dedicates her time to making sure young people in Scouting are able to share their opinions about the activities they do. ‘Since my appointment we’ve held two County youth forums. We discussed the camps the young people would like to go on and we talked about having a County necker or badge. Now we have that information, we can work towards making them a reality.
‘I’ve met with the District Commissioners to discuss the DYC role. I want to start working with DYCs but I’m not going to pressure District Commissioners into appointing young people.
‘Working with the social media team is a lot of fun. The local news websites have picked up our social media posts. I want to raise the profile of Scouts in our area and change perceptions.
‘For the future, I want to run a regular County forum three times a year. This will be the place where District teams are able to put forward ideas at County level. My deputy has been appointed now, so together I’m sure we will be able to work on a good plan.’
Alec Tomlinson Burton District Youth Commissioner
Alec is currently studying food science at Huddersfield University, which is outside his Scout District. Like most volunteers, he manages to balance his student/working life with his Scouting responsibilities. Before being appointed DYC, Alec held roles as a Beaver, Scout and Network Leader.
‘My current role as DYC is my favourite role because it’s uncharted territory – nobody has done the role before and that’s exciting. Since my appointment, we’ve been running youth forums and have already seen a change in attitude towards Youth Shaped Scouting.
‘Youth forums are not a case of putting forward an idea and then leaving it. We ask young people to think about the ideas, how to make them happen and vote on the best. Ultimately, I would like to have more young people represented on decision-making panels. I also think forums are a great place to spot future leaders.
‘Being away at university means I’m not always on hand, so there is a team of us spanning different age ranges. We all work well together and I know the others will look after things when I’m not in Burton.
‘As a Movement, the closer we work with the young people we’re trying to help, the better we’ll understand them and the more effective we’ll be.’
To read more about the County Youth Commissioner and District Youth Commissioner roles, visit the YouShape section on our website.
This story was originally printed in the March issue of Scouting Magazine. Read the full magazine online.