Youth in Governance Network
The Youth in Governance Network is a group for the members of National Council who are under the age of 26. The Youth in Governance Network is focussed on supporting our members and developing our skills, so that we are better able to create an impact as National Council members. As National Council members, together we govern SCOUTS New Zealand, much like Parliament governs New Zealand, meaning that we create the long-term vision and overall direction for SCOUTS New Zealand but don’t manage the day-to-day running of SCOUTS New Zealand.
Having young people involved in our governance is integral to our commitment of having youth at the centre of everything we do, and is one of our organization's greatest strengths. Young people contribute to and drive many of the decisions we make about the future of SCOUTS New Zealand, particularly as experts on the experience of the youth programme.
Who is on the Youth in Governance Network?
All National Council members who are under 26 years old are members of the Youth in Governance Network. This includes elected members of National Council, National Section Leaders, and members of the Board.
The Youth in Governance Network is facilitated by the two members of the Board who are elected into under 26 year old positions.
What does the Youth in Governance network do?
National Council has two meetings in Wellington each year (the third weekends of March and September). As a member of National Council, we attend these meetings and contribute to discussions and decisions about the future for SCOUTS New Zealand. Often the meetings will require reading some background documents in preparation for the conversations at the meetings in order to make informed decisions.
Some of the recent decisions made at National Council include setting our Better Prepared strategic plan and refreshing our Scout Law and Scout Promise. This is where the Youth in Governance Network comes in - it’s a group of young members on National Council supporting each other and making sure we all understand what’s being discussed, so everyone can fully participate in the meetings.
How can you get involved?
There are two main ways of joining National Council:
Become a National Council member
There are 5 regions and they each elect 5 members of National Council. There is no minimum age for these roles, but two of them must be under the age of 26 (these are elected for two years) and the other three can be any age (these are elected for three years). You just need to be a current member of SCOUTS New Zealand and the main time commitment is two National Council meetings a year.
For more information about becoming a National Council member please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Become a Board Member
Two Board Members must be between 18 and 26 years old, and are elected for two years. The other three are any age over 18 and are elected for three years.
The time commitment is 6 Board meetings per year, and some subcommittee meetings as required.
For more information about becoming a Board member please email email@example.com.
For help and support on applying for these roles as a young person, feel free to reach out to the Youth in Governance Network facilitators: Ross and Vincent.
How can you prepare for a role?
The best way to prepare is to look for opportunities around you which contribute to Scouting. These opportunities allow you to grow your leadership and understanding of our organisation, which are awesome skills.
Examples of great ways to get involved are:
● Being a Patrol Leader
● Getting involved in your Patrol Leaders’ Council if you have one
● Taking on an Executive role in your Venturer Unit
● Getting involved with your Zone or Regional Venturer Council
● Helping to organise a Group camp
● Helping to deliver training or a training course
What would you get out of it?
There are two main things that our young people say they have gained from being involved: helping create a better future for SCOUTS New Zealand, and developing new skills.
National Council makes decisions about what the future of SCOUTS New Zealand will look like, and what we need to do to get there. We need young people involved in all of those conversations to make sure we make the best decisions we can. As a member of National Council, you can contribute to those decisions and lead our organisation to a better future.
There’s also a lot of new skills that you will learn along the way. These include: understanding how our organisation is structured and led, what governance means, what your role is, and how to work with others to make decisions. You’ll get to learn alongside some pretty awesome people as well!
For more information about the Youth in Governance Network and how you can get involved, contact the Youth in Governance Network facilitators Ross Jordan or Vincent Rijlaarsdam. They will happily provide you with support and guidance!