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You Shape at The Great Escape - ‘you change’ or ‘you decide’.

The Great Escape is over for another year and it was great for the Youth Commissioner team to get involved this year and run a base, with help from our new Assistant County Commissioner for Scout Network, Matt (Fitz). The base saw 75 teams of Scouts over the weekend, all with smiling faces and it was great to hear so many of their ideas and opinions on what Youth Shaped Scouting should look like.

The code-cracking base sent the Scouts on a hunt for numbers, which in the correct order would unlock the padlock and allow them to open the next part of their challenge. The group had the letters to spell YOUSHAPE (did you know, these letters also spell the words ‘pay house’). The quicker they cracked it, the more points they received! The final part of the base asked the Scouts to come up with a definition of what You Shape is. I have never thought about You Shape in so many different ways before, it was fantastic to hear so many different ways of defining Youth Shaped Scouting and how the young people have experienced it themselves. My favourite definition came from a group very early on Saturday morning. They said that You Shape could be seen as ‘you change’ or ‘you decide’. It was a lovely way of explaining You Shape, so simply and effectively. Over the course of the weekend, when groups struggled to put what they meant into words, I used this idea and it helped everyone to understand what You Shape really is.

As each group was leaving, our final question was ‘do you do Youth Shaped activities in your troop?’ and I am proud to say that every group over the weekend, said they did! We know that so many groups are putting Youth Shaped Scouting into practice and it was amazing to see that the young people recognise that their voices are being heard.

Alongside the base, we also created a You Shape wall. By the end of the weekend, this wall was full of the Scouts ideas, what they want to do on future camps and what they enjoy the most about Scouting. We have gone through all of these ideas and they are fantastic. We saw lots of suggestions for adventurous activities such as archery and rifle shooting; lots of water-based ideas, canoeing, kayaking, raft building and water fights/ games; lots of requests for lighting fires and cooking on them too. One of my favourite comments was ‘have another Tawd 25’ and I am pleased to say that Tawd 25 will run again this year, WAHOO!!! Most of the ideas and requests for activities that the Scouts have suggested over the weekend, will be running at Tawd 25 so we hope to see even more troops there this year!

A massive thanks goes out to the Great Escape team for organising another fantastic weekend, Team Tawd for all of their hard work over the weekend and to all of the Scout Groups for coming, participating and enjoying a fabulous weekend.

Youth Commissioner Team.