The principle of young people’s participation in the government of their mini-society applies throughout the age range that Scouting serves. Evidently, the sphere of matters on which the young people make decisions and the kinds of responsibilities that they undertake in the management of their teams and Scout unit as a whole will be linked to:

• their level of maturity. The level of involvement will therefore be different in a group of 8-10 year-olds than in a group of 15-18 year olds.
• their experience of this form of operation. A Scout unit of 12-14 year-olds that has been  operating for a year or two may be able to have a greater degree of involvement in running their group than a newly constituted group of older young people.
This means, therefore, that the design of the Youth Programme needs to reflect a progression in terms of self-government in the operating structure across the age sections. It will also require some flexibility in terms of the extent of responsibilities for youth members in newly constituted groups.
Generally, in the youngest age section the nature of the decisions to be taken by the young people would be in the choice between several activities, for example. Responsibilities might be to remember to bring refreshments, or materials needed for an activity. In the subsequent age section, decision-making could extend to the theme of the summer camp, for example, and responsibilities could include looking after the team budget, being responsible for catering arrangements, compiling a diary of the team’s adventures, etc.