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Celebrating our 140th Anniversary

You will need the following:

  • Flipchart
  • PowerPoint (internet access for embedded videos)
  • Post-it notes

To define youth work, understand your role as a leader in the BB and acknowledge the organisation’s Vision, Mission and Values.

At the end of this module participants will:

  • Know the Vision, Mission and Values of The Boys’ Brigade
  • Identify what a BB leader needs in terms of knowledge, skills and attitudes in order to work effectively with children and young people
  • Be able to name the four core values of youth work and understand how these form the framework for the content of Youth Leader Training


Key Training Tip!

Highlight the importance of the partnership with the local Church and that there are local and national support networks through the BB to support you in your role.

We believe it is important that everyone in The Boys’ Brigade is aware of who we are, what we do and why we do it – this is set out in our Vision, Mission and Values.

In terms of Vision, Mission and Values, it is useful to think of the three as . . .

WHO we are…the Values
WHAT we do…the Mission
WHY we do it…the Vision

It might be easier to think of it in the picture form…the foundations of the organisation (the values), the advancement of Christ’s kingdom and growth within the organisation (the mission) and the core business (the vision).

Our Vision is scripturally based – Our vision is that children and young people experience “life to the full.” This is taken from the Bible – John 10:10.

Our Mission “The Boys’ Brigade has faith in young people and provides them with opportunities to learn, grow and discover in a safe, fun and caring environment which is rooted in the Christian faith”

Our Values:
Faith – We are a Christian youth organisation, and our work is rooted in the Christian Faith. We have this hope, a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul (Hebrews 6:19)
Caring – The Boys’ Brigade is a family. We believe in building loving, caring and inclusive relationships, as well as creating a safe and fun environment that is supportive and nurturing. We are responsive to the needs and aspirations of others regardless of ability, identity or background.
Inspiring – We seek to inspire children and young people, challenging them to live their lives in the fullest sense. We also believe in peoples’ abilities to inspire and act as positive role models to others.
Trusting – We are honest and trustworthy. We seek to empower children and young people to participate and to lead, believing in their skills, abilities and ideas.

Group Activity

Divide participants into three groups, and ask someone to be a spokesperson who will feed back to the whole group when we come back together again.

This activity provides an opportunity for participants to spend some time considering the Values and thinking about how they can be embedded throughout the organisation. Ask participants to take 10 minutes and to think of practical ways that they can demonstrate that value and ways that the value can shape what we do as an organisation.

Record the responses on a flipchart and post on the wall so you can refer to it throughout the training.

The trainer should emphasise that we need to be living out the values in everything that we do.

Group Activity

Move into the following exercise using the ‘Agreement Line’. At one end of the room stick a piece of flipchart paper with ‘strongly agree’ written on it, and at the opposite end of the room, stick a piece of flipchart paper with ‘strongly disagree’ written on it.

Explain to the group that you are going to read out some statements about youth work and The Boys’ Brigade. As you read out each statement, ask group members to arrange themselves along the imaginary line, whether they agree, disagree or for other reasons wish to place themselves in the middle of the line. (They may be indifferent or have a view that neither agrees nor disagrees with the statement.)

Then read out the following statements, giving people time to arrange themselves along the line. NB It is a good idea to start with some light-hearted ones so that people understand the idea of moving position to indicate their opinion. Always ask for volunteers to say why they have put themselves into a certain position, but never put anyone on the spot!

  • “Pointless is better than The Chase” or “i-phones are better than Androids” or anything the trainer prefers
  • “Life is harder for young people now than it was 30 years ago”
  • “The government should pay us for our BB work”
  • “The BB should scrap uniform altogether”
  • “Sunday School or church attendance should be compulsory for all BB members”

The trainer can ask all or some of these questions or use different ones, if that is more appropriate to the group and the local context.

Key Training Tip!

Allow time for discussion between each question as the participants rearrange themselves along the agreement line. After you have heard some views from each end of the line and from the middle ground, give the opportunity to participants to change position, if they are swayed by anything they have heard from the other participants.

The trainer can also ask why the participants think there might be different viewpoints – for example, someone who has been in BB as a young person might think differently to someone new to BB.

In conclusion, the trainer should point to the broad diversity of the youth movement and emphasise the unique points of BB. Finally, the trainer should conclude this session by speaking of the commonality of purpose of youth organisations i.e. youth work. The BB is a youth organisation that works from a Christian basis.

Introduce the four core values of youth work, which are referred to in later sessions of Youth Leader Training. Show on the PowerPoint slide.

The four core values of Youth Work:

  • Youth Participation is the process whereby young people are actively involved in decision-making on issues that affect them.
  • Youth Empowerment is the outcome by which youth people gain skills to impact their own lives and lives of other individuals.
  • Equality of opportunity youth work is inclusive and accessible to all. Young people experience equal opportunities to engage and are treated fairly.
  • Educative youth work is educative in that young people learn skills and knowledge, but they choose to be there and do this voluntarily. This is termed informal education as opposed to statutory or formal education which is mandatory.

The trainer gives a brief introduction that this part of the module encourages participants to think about the qualities needed to work effectively with children and young people. The trainer asks for a show of hands if participants identify as “youth workers” or not. Allow some discussion about this, and if the point arises, say that our mission of bringing young people to Christ is aided by adopting youth work methods.

Divide participants into three groups, and ask someone to be a spokesperson who will feed back to the whole group when we come back together again.

Allocate ‘Knowledge, Skills and Attitudes’ to the groups and ask them to spend 10 minutes looking at their specific area.

Group A will discuss what they think a BB leader needs to know
Group B will discuss what they think a BB leader does
Group C will discuss what they think are the attitudes that a BB leader needs to hold

After 10 minutes bring the groups back to the main room and ask each group to feedback and provide an opportunity for participants from other groups to add additional points.

The groups should come up with something similar to the following:

Knowledge (what we need to know)

  • The aims of the BB and the relationship with the church
  • Their own particular role within the company
  • BB policies and procedures (child protection, health and safety, etc)
  • BB curriculum, badges and awards
  • Some aspects of youth cultures

Skills (what we do)

  • Plan a programme
  • Organise activities
  • Take groups away on trips and residentials
  • Listen to young people
  • Mentoring
  • Conduct formal or informal worship
  • Resolve conflicts
  • Build relationships
  • Assist young people to find their own solutions to problems

Attitudes (how we approach the work)

  • Non-judgemental
  • Positive about young people
  • A Christian attitude
  • Understanding of and committed to equality issues
  • Trustworthy
  • Empathy
  • Open-mindedness

If the groups do not come up with the sort of examples listed above (particularly with regard to the attitudes we need to hold) then the trainer should introduce the concepts, for example, non-judgmental approaches, and ask the group what that means in practice and if they have personal experience of when they found it hard to be non-judgmental. It is worth spending some time exploring the attitudes needed for effective youth work as this aspect is probably more important (but harder to train in) than the skills and knowledge required.

Ask the participants which out of Skills, Knowledge and Attitude they feel is the most important in a BB Leader. Hopefully, they will say that a positive attitude towards children and young people is central to being an effective Leader.

The trainer summarises each sheet, draws out any themes and gives time for any questions, comments and discussion

Key Training Tip!

Explain that what we call “competence” is made up of the skills, knowledge and attitudes needed to do a job to the required standard. As BB leaders we need to know what it is we are trying to achieve and the appropriate training and experience can help us to develop the competences to be a really good youth worker. Return to the lists they have produced and point out which aspects we will be covering as part of Youth Leader Training. Show on a flipchart 3 intersecting circles labelled skills, knowledge and attitudes, where competence lies in the middle of all three.

The trainer emphasises that the skills, knowledge and attitudes needed to work with young people are what the group is here to explore over the period of training. The trainer should emphasise to the group that the main themes in Youth Leader Training are:

Show Slide – The Themes of Youth Leader Training

  • Building relationships
  • Working effectively with children and young people
  • Exploring faith
  • Planning and delivering programmes
  • Safeguarding & Managing Risk

Summarise by returning to the objective and learning outcomes for this module and ask if there are any further questions or comments.

Thank the group for their participation and bring the session to a close.