The Youth Involvement Toolbox
The Youth Involvement Toolbox is the second book of the series "Toolbox Handouts". It provides practical guidelines to Unit Leaders, Programme Developers and Trainers on the ways to develop youth involvement in decision-making at the level of the Scout unit, at institutional level within Scouting and finally at the level of society.
The complete Toolbox is available as a pdf file.
Youth involvement in decision-making is priority number one in the World Strategy for Scouting adopted by the 36th World Scout Conference in Thessaloniki, Greece and confirmed by the 37th World Scout Conference held in Tunisia in 2005.
The issue of youth involvement is sometimes rather controversial in our Movement. In Scouting, youth involvement should not be the result of a struggle of power between adults and young people. On the contrary, it should be based on an alliance between the generations. Scouting needs to foster youth involvement in order to improve the quality of its programme and make it more attractive and useful to more young people.
The Youth Involvement/Youth Empowerment Toolbox give Scout leaders the necessary guidelines and tools to implement this strategic priority.
Like all the books of the series "Toolbox Handouts", it comprises a number of very simple and concrete handouts covering the following topics:
Toolbox 012: What is Youth Involvement?
This handout defines who young people are and describes the various areas of youth involvement: at unit level, at institutional level within Scouting and within society.
Toolbox 013: Why involve young people in decision-making?
There are general reasons for involving young people in decision-making. It is firstly a right enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. However, there are also reasons specific to Scouting. This handout describes these reasons and shows the various advantages of youth participation for young people, for adult leaders, in the short term and long term.
Toolbox 014: Barriers to young people's participation
This handout analyses the various barriers, which prevent us from developing youth participation: cultural norms, poverty and disabilities, gender, bad management, lack of skills and training, time and money, etc.
Toolbox 015: Principles of good practice for youth participation
This handout lists the principles that we have to take into account in order to achieve a good level of youth participation. For example: respect young people's views, respect young people's needs, target the right level of participation, etc. It provides several helpful models such as the "ladder of participation" and the "empowerment model" and explains how to implement them.
Toolbox 016: How can adults foster youth involvement?
This handout introduces the concept of "play" as a key element to help adults develop the type of relationships with young people, which are necessary to foster youth participation.
Toolbox 017: The Team System, a tool for youth participation
The Team System, one of the most specific elements of the Scout method, is often presented wrongly as a "way of working in small groups". It is in fact a powerful tool for involving children and young people in decision-making. This handout introduces the various elements of the Team System and explains how to use them properly accordingly to the characteristics of each age-range.
Toolbox 018: Interpersonal relationships within the group
This handout introduces the "sociogram" as a very powerful and simple tool to analyse the relationships within a group and identify the spontaneous leaders as well as those young people, who need a specific support from adult leaders in order to find their place in the group.
Toolbox 019: How to prepare a council meeting?
Running effective council meetings is one of the conditions of youth participation. This handout explains what should be taken into account for convening a meeting, preparing a meeting, choosing the venue, etc. It presents several methods for running a meeting, which should be selected according to the situation and to the expected outcomes.
Toolbox 020: How to run a council meeting?
This handout lists the various functions to be fulfilled in a council meeting and who should be responsible for them. It explains the various causes of failure we may meet and how we can overcome them.
Toolbox 021: Peer education and youth participation
Young people are very keen to develop positive relations within a group of peers and this is one of the main reasons why they are attracted by Scouting. However the influence of peers can be positive or negative. We can get the best from peer influence by involving young people in peer helping. This handout analyses various types of peer helping: peer mentoring, peer mediation, peer tutoring and explains how they can be implemented through the Scout method.
Toolbox 022: Youth participation and moral autonomy
This handout introduces the Scout Law and the Scout Promise as practical tools for developing moral autonomy through youth participation. It shows how the Scout Law and the Scout Promise are very effective and modern educational tools if they are well understood and well implemented.
Toolbox 023: The programme cycle
The "programme cycle" is a very effective and powerful tool for youth participation, which has been developed for the first time in the Interamerican Region, but should be now practised everywhere in Scouting. This handout explains the 4 phases of the programme cycle and explains how to implement it in order to involve young people in decision-making at all levels of the Scout Unit life.
Toolbox 024: Youth involvement at institutional level
How to involve young people in the various institutional decision-making bodies at local, national and international levels is one of the main issues of youth participation for a youth organization like Scouting. This handout analyses the challenges we face and provides several models to be used.
Toolbox 025: Youth involvement within the community
For many years now, Scouting is involving young people in community development projects, mostly within developing countries but more and more in industrialised countries as well. This is the best way for educating young people in citizenship and supporting them in accessing to adult roles. This handout proposes several approaches and strategies to improve the ways we are involving young people in the development of society.