Recently, Scouts Australia hosted international Scouts from the Asia-Pacific Region to look at how the World Scout Youth Involvement Policy is effectively implemented in National Scout Organisations. Here, were take a recap on the event.
The Asia-Pacific Region Workshop on Youth Involvement has recently concluded, with participants leaving inspired and with a renewed vigour to fast track youth involvement at local and institutional levels. Held during the weekend of 7-10th July at Pax Hill Activity Centre in Victoria, Australia, the Scouts Australia hosted Workshop brought together key stakeholders from over 19 National Scout Organisations (NSOs) on how to better include young people in decision making. The event, a landmark occasion since the introduction of the World Scout Youth Involvement Policy, comes 8 years after a similar event was hosted by the National Scout Organization of Thailand in 2010.
Participants from thirteen NSOs, in addition to thirty support staff encompassing the hosts, Regional, and World Committee members, 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 our organisation.
Youth involvement activists, Paul Parkinson (Regional Chairperson, Asia-Pacific Region), J. Rizal C. Pangilinan (Regional Director, Asia-Pacific Region), and Syd Castillo (Director, Educational Methods, World Scout Bureau Asia-Pacific Support Centre), were also in attendance to share their expertise, experience and guidance on the Policy. The Workshop were also honoured by the contributions of Youth Advisor to the World Scout Committee, Mori Cheng, and Peter Blatch, Member of the World Scout Committee.
Workshop Director, Steve Tyas, celebrated the Workshop as a success. “It was fantastic to see, hear, and feel a dynamic group of younger and older Scouts come together for intergenerational dialogue on the topic.” Steve added that the recent experience of Scouts Australia during their program review contributed additional value to the Workshop. “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.”
During the weekend, participants were able to gain a strong sense of appreciation for the World Scout Youth Involvement Policy through interactive and informative sessions designed to unpack the policy, experience the policy in action, and put in place strategies for a future of greater youth involvement. A significant amount of participant discussion provided attendees with the time and confidence to formulate an Action Plan that meets the needs of their own NSO. After sharing and refinement amongst attendees, these Action Plans provide the empowerment necessary to influence a cultural change to foster a greater sense of youth involvement.
A highlight of the event for many was the opportunity to see, feel and hear youth involvement in action, with Australian Scout Patrols from Carlton Scout Group providing guided tours around the city of Melbourne for Workshop participants. These Scouts, aged from 10-14, used their planning, team work, and intergenerational dialogue skills to show visitors the exciting locations of the capital city. The educational tour concluded with a visit to Ballarat Wildlife Park which provided many guests their first opportunity to meet native Australian wildlife such as koalas, kangaroos, wombats and emus. In addition to the fellowship aspect, the tour demonstrated the Patrol System in action, with the experience providing an example of the Scout Method and Youth Involvement in action.
The National Scouting Organisations that attended were:
Workshop facilitators and presenters were: