Kaiārahi are the adult leaders who are there to help guide youth on their journey through the Kea Club, Cub Pack, Scout Troop and Venturer Unit at Kirikiriroa and St. Peter’s Scout Group.
The Maori saying Ko te ahurei o te tamaiti ka ārahi i ā tātou mahi may be translated as let the uniqueness of the child guide our work.
The Maori dictionary Kaiarahi defines Kaiārahi as a guide, counselor, conductor, escort, leader, mentor, pilot, usher.
Kaiārahi support youth to own their own unique adventure. This means being a guide as they learn new skills, a coach to the youth leading for the first time, a counsellor for when things don’t go the way they had planned, a conductor to make sure that the bits of the programme come together smoothly.
Most importantly, being a Kaiārahi means supporting young people to lead their own lives, their own adventures, and their own unique Scout experience.
Role of Kaiārahi
As Kaiārahi, it is our role to understand the development our young people need, and support them to plan a programme that facilitates this development in an adventurous, fun, challenging, active, and inclusive way. Finding the Youth Leading, Adults Supporting balance in this will change and evolve over time, depending on the needs and strengths of the individual rangatahi in the Section at the time.
Sometimes you will need to step in and take a more leading role, while at other times it will be important to take a step back and allow youth members to learn through their mistakes. Remember that it’s not about them doing it perfectly the first time, it’s about learning how to do it better next time, and the fun that can be had along the way.
There are many ways you can provide support to your young people as they lead their programme:
- Support the use of the Plan, Do, Review cycle
- Offer programme suggestions and ideas
- Provide resources or assist in sourcing them
- Act as a subject matter expert when required
- Advise youth members on making sensible and informed decisions
- Support a successful Youth Leadership Team
- Set boundaries, or assist youth with setting boundaries
- Manage some of the more mundane details of running the Section
- Support the personal progression of each member of the Section
- Provide a safety net and backup if things don’t go as planned
- Ensure youth members are having fun, are appropriately challenged, and feel included
- Ask leading questions to prompt thinking
- Ensure the safety of youth members, and compliance of activities with Scouting policies and procedures – including the Code of Ethics and Safe From Harm
This support will look different for each Section, and vary from Group to Group, depending on the strengths and maturity of your youth members. The aim is to support young people to develop leadership skills through Learning by Doing .