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Volunteering at Scouts is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing to help us reach more young people

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Promoting positive behaviour

Guidance for volunteers on promoting positive behaviour during Scouts activities

Nights away and having adventures is key to the Scouts achieving its aim of developing skills for life in young people.

With the excitement of being in new and unfamiliar environments young people often exhibit behaviour which is unusual or out of character for them. Young people will have increased freedom, gain a sense of independence and explore boundaries.

As we are out and about enjoying activity days and nights away activities we must remember that setting clear expectations relating to behaviour can reduce incidents and keep our members safe.

During the summer months, the Safeguarding and Safety Teams receive a higher number of cases around behaviour, some of which result in harm being caused.  Some of this could be prevented or minimised by discussing expectations between young people and adult volunteers ahead of the event.  These include concerns relating to behaviour between young people on the camp site, behaviour when young people are in tents at night, incidents on activities, or how young people should behave during free time.

Remember if you see something which isn’t in line with your code of behaviour then challenge it in the same way as you would stop something you see that is unsafe. 

Where Safeguarding concerns or allegations arise, please report them in line with the Yellow Card.

Before you go away, please discuss behaviour - make sure young people are involved in setting what is acceptable, what good looks like and be clear on what happens if the expected standard of behaviour is not followed. Talking about respect and care can provide the link to the Promise, Laws and Values. Make sure parents/carers are also involved and understand expectations and consequences so they can reinforce this to their young people too ahead of the nights away activity. The young people should also know what they can expect from the adults around them and what to do if they have any concerns.

This isn’t something to only discuss before you go, it can be used to bring a group back together during activities too when some reflection is needed.

We encourage you to do this as part of your risk assessment and planning of your camp, event or activity.

While setting expectations around behaviour, you should also set consequences if the young people are not acting as expected.

No one wants to have to stop a young person's participation, but it's important that the young people know there is a consequence if they behave badly. This may include stopping them from taking part in an activity, stopping them from participating in a future activity or being collected by a parent and sent home. You should discuss this with the young people and their parents/carers before trips so everyone is aware, and parents/carers can remind their children before the trip.

Don't forget we also have leadership positions for young people, like being a Sixer or Patrol Leader, and the young people chosen to take on these positions should act as role models for the rest of the Section.

Promoting positive behaviour training

15: Promoting Positive Behaviour

Risk assessment

Risk assessments

Safe Scouting Cards

Safe Scouting Cards