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Some useful advice on how to best support a Young Leader on camp this summer (from our UK Scouting website's own BLOG)


YLSAs leaders in Scouting, summer has to be one of the most exciting times of the year: it’s the season for camping! No doubt you’ve planned lots of exciting activities with your section, you’ve briefed parents and you’ve taken care of all the logistics. One thing you might be struggling with is how you can best support and develop your Young Leader, so you and they get the most out of the camp. We've put together some useful tips.

1. Support their development

Getting a clear idea of how confident a Young Leader feels is really important to make sure that they are being adequately challenged, while not being put in a position where they feel uncomfortable. You may already have a good indication of how your Young Leader will feel about camp from supporting them in your meetings. However, talking to them about their previous experiences can be really helpful.

A more experienced Young Leader may take a leading role in a much larger part of the camp. Young Leaders could:
• lead some wide games (suggested for mission one)
• lead campfire songs
• lead an activity (suggested for mission two)
For an extra challenge ahead of your next camp, they could be responsible for setting the theme, or they could gain a leadership permit so they can lead a particular activity.

2. They aren’t there to wash up (any more than you are!)

Young Leaders are a member of your leadership team. Therefore, they are not there to wash up or sweep up after activities. Young Leaders can offer so much to your camp and with the right support can contribute to making it a successful event. That said, everyone should take their turn. Try to delegate out the jobs so that everyone does their fair share and has a chance to do different things. The leadership team working together also sets a good example for the section.

3. Make sure they are safe

It’s important to remember that Young Leaders are under 18s and as such the yellow card, safeguarding and child protection policies need to be followed. In particular, it’s important to remember that Young Leaders do not count as adults for your adult to young people ratio at camp and Young Leaders must sleep in separate accommodation to the young people in the section and the adult leadership team. This is because they are under 18, but also in a position of responsibility and therefore in a very different role to the other young people attending camp. An orange card is available for Young Leaders HERE.

4. Thank and review

As part of the leadership team, it’s important to say thank you to your Young Leader after the camp and spend some time reviewing how the camp went. In particular, if your Young Leader has worked towards any of their missions, it’s good practice to reflect on what went well and what they would do differently next time.

With your support, the camp can be a positive, formative experience for the Young Leader and something they can be very proud of. Hopefully, it will inspire them to continue to do their best and grow in their role. If correctly supported, their time as a Young Leader is potentially life-changing. They’ll be able to talk about their experiences and the skills they’ve learnt in job interviews or university applications in the future. Also, in a few years’ time, they could be a section leader, planning their own camps, using all the great experience you’ve helped them gain.

This advice will definitely help to get the best out of your Young Leaders.