Does your Unit have a regular Forum?

A Forum is a meeting where Explorers can offer ideas and suggestions, give feedback and plan their future programme.  It does not need to be a long, formal meeting, but it should happen, to allow you to have your say in what happens.  Remember:

Scouting takes place when young people, in partnership with adults, work together …

If you don’t already do this, why don’t you ask your Leaders to arrange one? They might actually be very pleased!

Do you have a District Explorer Scout Forum?

If not, ask your District to arrange one, perhaps as part of an event where you can meet up with Explorers from other Units (including Young Leaders) to do things you cannot do on your own.  Here are some ideas to help with setting one up.

Ideas for a District Explorer Scout Forum

District Explorer Scout Forums involve Explorer Scouts representing every Unit in a District, including the Young Leaders’ Unit, as well as a leader from each Unit and the District Explorer Scout Commissioner.

The format will be different for each District, but these are some suggestions:

  • Explorer Scouts should always outnumber leaders: we would hope to encourage at least 2 representatives from each Unit to attend each Forum gathering but you can also invite all Explorer Scouts within the District to attend.
  • It should meet at least twice per year in most cases, as the purpose of the Forum is to regularly review and make changes to the programme.
  • The Forum could take place at a different Unit’s meeting place each time, or be held in a more informal venue.
  • The structure is flexible, and they can be as formal or as informal as you and the members want them to be.
  • In order to encourage involvement, Explorer Scouts could be asked to mind-map ways to make participation more appealing.
  • Gatherings of the Forum could be “chaired” by the DESC, or at the first meeting you could see if any Explorer Scouts wish to take on that role and offer them on-the-job training/support.
  • Remember that the role of the few leaders at the forum is to seed ideas, if needed, not to lead on ideas!

The forum could be used for the following:

  • Young people putting forward programme and activity ideas: each Unit’s representatives to bring ideas from their Unit on what they would like to happen for Explorer Scouts within that District.
  • Young people planning an event for Explorer Scouts across the District: the forum becomes the planning team.
  • Reviewing the programme once it has happened, including gathering feedback on specific activities or events that were held for Explorers in that District.
  • Getting young people’s input on Regional/District-wide issues and events:
    • How might we be able to recruit more leaders, what kind of leaders might you look for?
    • How could we increase the diversity of the district?
    • How would you like to see funding spread across the district?
    • What kind of media would make you most proud to be a Scout?

Often a more informal style of gathering, possible with part of the evening involving a social/fun/adventurous activity, can attract young people to attend. Young people may still have to pay for such events but possibly the District could subsidise to make it more attractive (speak with your DC). Ideas include:

  • An activity night at Bonaly or Longcraig.
  • Meet before, as part of, a regular activity: a pizza night at Pizza Hut, going to the cinema or bowling
  • Visit an attraction and have part of the night to address the issues you want raised: Edinburgh Dungeon, Trip to zoo, Camera Obscura, Dynamic Earth, Ghost Tour.