Scouts Australia successfully hosts regional workshop, highlights importance of youth involvement in decision-making
Scouts Australia successfully hosted the Asia-Pacific Regional Workshop on Youth Involvement inspiring the participants to engage more young people in decision-making at national, local and institutional levels.
The workshop was held during the weekend of the 7th until the 10th of July at Pax Hill Activity Centre in Victoria, Australia. It brought together key stakeholders from over 19 National Scout Organizations (NSO).
“It was fantastic to see, hear, and feel a dynamic group of young and old Scouts come together for an intergenerational dialogue [on youth involvement],” said workshop director Steve Tyas.
The recent experience of Scouts Australia during its programme review contributed additional value to the workshop, he added further. “In our review, we have reinforced World Scouting’s fundamental concept of empowering young people to become responsible citizens of their local, national and international communities. Our own experiences have shown that by involving young people, we are consistently achieving higher quality outcomes that meet the expectations of young people today, while remaining adaptable to the young people of tomorrow.”
“This is the “youngest” workshop that we had in the Asia-Pacific Region, having a really young pool of participants with 31 years old at the average,” said Syd Castillo, APR’s director for youth programme.
Lisa Kim, one of the young participants from South Korea said, “I was really inspired to see it happening in [Australia], in our region. This allowed me to [better] understand how Scout groups in Australia encourage young people to get involved.”
During the weekend, participants were able to gain a strong sense of appreciation of the World Scout Youth Involvement Policy through interactive and informative sessions designed to unpack the policy, experience it in action, and put in place strategies of greater involvement of the young people in decision-making. A significant amount of the participant’s discussion provided attendees with the time and confidence to formulate an action plan that meets the needs of their own NSOs.
A highlight of the event was the opportunity to see youth involvement in action with Australian Scout patrols from Carlton Scout Group which provided guided tours to the participants around the city of Melbourne. The Scouts, aged from 10 to 14, used their planning, team work, and intergenerational dialogue skills to show visitors the exciting locations of the capital city. The tour demonstrated the patrol system in action, with the experience providing an example of the Scout method and youth involvement in action.
Participants embraced the typically cold and damp southern Australia winter to collaborate, formulate and network strategies and tools to further the involvement of young people in Scouting. It was also participated by key regional and world officials including APR Scout Committee Chairperson Paul Parkinson, APR Regional Director J. Rizal C. Pangilinan, and World Scout Committee member Peter Blatch and WSC Youth Advisor Mori Cheng.
-- With reports from Steve Tyas and Luke McIvor of Scouts Australia