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Youth shaped today

Youth shaped is nothing new. It started in 1907 and it’s been happening ever since. It's about young people working together with volunteers to shape, influence, and lead their adventure. Today, it forms a major part of our Skills for Life strategy (alongside inclusion, community impact, and growth), because a young person who knows how to shape their own experience through planning, leading and representing has a powerful skill that will carry them through life.

In Scouts, youth shaped is about:

  • Creating an environment where young people can take chances and learn from their mistakes.
  • Empowering young people to stand up for what they believe in and lead their peers.
  • Putting young people first and giving them the chance to work with their leaders to make a difference in their group, their community, and the wider world.

Now, more than ever, is the time to embed these opportunities into all experiences at Scouts and encourage our young people to make the most of them. This will help us keep Scouts relevant and alive for the next generation.

What is youth shaped?

Scouts is all about young people, and youth shaped Scouts is our way of reminding everyone to keep young people at the centre of everything we do.

We know that Scouts empowers young people. They learn to ask the big questions, play their part, and think for themselves. It can help them to build confidence in themselves and stand up for what they believe in. As Scouts evolves, we want young people to take an active part in shaping their activities, getting involved with governance, creating a culture, and being the face of Scouts.

How can we be youth shaped?

You’re probably already halfway there. For Scouts to be youth shaped, we need to continue helping young people develop the skills they need to give it a go.

Youth shaped is about embracing diverse views, new ideas, and opportunities, and building trust between generations.

As young people are developing their skills, it’s up to you to -: 

  • provide them with accessible and inclusive opportunities to plan their own programmes.
  • encourage them to take the lead on elements of that programme.
  • empower them to represent their views and ideas so that, ultimately, every decision we make has their best interests at heart.

The importance of youth shaped

Scouts is a movement for and about young people, and each young person in our movement has a lot to offer the world. As a volunteer, you have the unique opportunity to support them to develop the skills they need to succeed; youth shaped Scouts is the best way to do that.

The UN’s first priority for their Youth 2030 plan is to ‘Amplify youth voices for the promotion of a peaceful, just and sustainable world’. We believe in our young peoples' voices: youth shaped is the best way to make sure they're heard.

Young people are the future of the world and they’re already making a difference. As an organisation, we’re committed to helping our young people get ready to become our future leaders. 

YouShape award

At Scouts, young people learn how to speak up and take the lead. But they told us that the programme didn’t recognise this enough. That’s what the new YouShape Award is all about.

Check out the award >


The UK Youth Commissioner and team are here to help. Get in touch by emailing UK Youth Commissioner Ollie Wood, UK Deputy Youth Commissioners Ollie Smith or Alex Harvey