What did they say?

Objectives

This module aims to make you aware of the importance of listening to the views of young people. It gives an overview of how to bring their ideas to life, how to adapt their ideas where necessary, and how to and involve them in the planning of their programme.

By the end of this module, you will have an understanding of:

  • why it is important to get feedback and input from young people in the section
  • different ways you can gather ideas and feedback within your section
  • how you can bring your section’s ideas to life and make adaptations where necessary

Feedback

Feedback is the mechanism that allows young people to voice their views and for leaders to get ideas and the ability to evaluate the programme. It allows previously run activities to be reviewed to allow alterations to be considered for future sessions. By undertaking feedback, it allows leaders to gain a better understanding of their section and what they look to get out of the programme. It is also a good way to come up with new and exciting activity ideas.

Feedback is important to young people because it makes them feel their views have been taken seriously. It lets them know that action is being taken on their ideas and decisions. We want the young people to be able to express their views as Scouting aims to be a youth-led organisation, which allows young people to be able to influence their programme as well as the wider aims of the association.

If feedback was not collected it can result in programmes being run that are of no interest to the young people. This can stop them from enjoying themselves, their engagement levels lowering and can lead to a greater drop out level. Not collecting feedback also can prevent development of leaders’ skills as they may be unwilling to or aware of the desire to try new activities, which they themselves may also enjoy running.

Ways to gain feedback

There is no right or wrong way to gain feedback from young people. It can be done as a whole group, in Lodges/Sixes/Patrols or by small chats. Young leaders can play an important role in gathering feedback as the young people are usually more open to expressing their true feelings on subjects to YLs as they do not see as large an age gap.

Gaining feedback can be done somewhat informally by chatting to the young people either on an individual basis or whilst in small groups whilst they take part in activities or games. Simply by asking them if they are enjoying it or what rule changes they would like in-game, count as generating feedback. Having quiet, informal chats are a good way to ensure that the views of the quieter, less confident young people are getting heard.

There are many different ways to collect feedback. Log-chews, pack chats or scout forums can also be run that generally involve the whole section or smaller groups. You may know these by other names such as pack forum. The best way for these to be run is to make them fun, interactive and embedded into the programme by turning them into activities and games in their own right, such as:

  • Playing the four-corner game – giving young people four options and they have to run to the corner that represents the idea that they favour
  • Asking each lodge or six to act out their favourite activity of the last term for the others to guess – would work towards their Entertainer badge
  • Running a night that teaches them about democracy and each kid is able to vote in a ballot box for the badge they want to work on in the next term

Activity One

Come up with 5 other ways to gather feedback from your section.

Take a look here for more Youth Shaped inspiration

No idea is stupid

The young people are usually much more imaginative than the leader team and may come up with some completely out-of-the-box ideas. Some of these ideas such as Going to the Moon may be impractical, but they can be a strong basis for ideas in the programme. The key is to be able to take an idea and adapt it so that it is suitable for your section.

Activity Two

Using the methodology above, come up with ways to make these ideas happen:

  • Beavers want to climb Everest
  • Cubs want to camp in the rainforest
  • Scouts want to go skydiving

Activity Three

Write up your feedback about the Young Leader Scheme

Conclusion

You should now be more aware of the importance of listening to the views of young people. You should find it easier to bring their ideas to life, how to adapt their ideas where necessary, and be able to involve them in the planning of their programme.

You can upload the evidence for this module to OSM – we’ll review what you have done and update your YL training.