How Do I Support A Youth Leadership Training Workshop?

Scouts Canada’s new Youth Leadership Training is now available for all Sections. Workshops are facilitated by senior youth for members in younger Sections, but this doesn’t mean that there isn’t an important role for Scouters to play.

How can you support youth facilitators and ensure Youth Leadership Training workshops are successful?

When youth in your Section are planning for the Scouting Year or the upcoming program cycle, make sure they’re aware of Youth Leadership Training as an adventure opportunity for the Leadership Program Area within the Canadian Path program. Youth in your Section may want to take part in a workshop as participants, or they may want to plan a workshop for youth in another Section—or both.

Be prepared to describe Youth Leadership Training and answer any questions your youth may have. If youth in your Section would rather pursue different Leadership adventures for the season ahead, that’s still beneficial for their growth and progression; remember, The Canadian Path is youth-led, and it’s important that Scouters step back and support youth as they create their program.

If youth in your Section would like to facilitate a workshop for a younger Section, point them in the right direction with the best advice you can offer. Make sure that youth facilitators review the Trail Cards for the workshop they’re overseeing, and that they are prepared to make any adventure participants choose a reality. As some adventures might not be possible depending on the resources needed or the time of year, it’s a good idea to remove any Trail Cards ahead of the workshop that aren’t a good fit.

Encourage youth facilitators to bring their own best ideas to the workshop, too. Rather than jumping right into selecting Trail Cards, it can be helpful for participants to share an icebreaker game—especially if the participants are from different Groups. Some of the activities described in the YLT Trail Cards make great icebreakers, and there are other great icebreakers in the regular Canadian Path Trail Cards; however, Youth facilitators should do their best to keep as many Trail Cards in the deck as possible.

Remind youth facilitators that the time they commit to Youth Leadership Training can be counted as service hours for their Top Section Awards. A YLT workshop can also be a Top Section Award service project in its own right, especially if an individual youth takes charge of planning and organizing the workshop.

As a Scouter, you can be a facilitator of a YLT workshop, but it’s ideal for senior youth to facilitate the activities for younger members. Support the facilitators and set them up for success by ensuring the they commit plenty of time to preparing the workshop they’ll facilitate and review their plans in detail with them ahead of time.

Be present for the workshop and remind the youth facilitators that you’re there to lend a hand if they need it.