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Progress through the Pandemic - The Boys Brigade KGVI Programme

By Alan Hunter, Leader Development Manager, Boys’ Brigade


KGVI – our SCQF credit rated Youth Leaders Course - is often described with a bit of smile as a ‘53 week course’ with a year of learning and experience for young leaders within their local BB group, bookended by two week-long residential courses.

Little did we know in 2019 that our New Entrants cohort would become the first participants of a 105-week course! After being unable to run any face-to-face courses in 2020 we were finally able to welcome everyone back to our Scottish Training Centre, Carronvale, to complete their Second Year course last year.

The course programme was, of course, adapted, by a staff team that prepared with a number of virtual planning meetings for what would be a hybrid model of delivery, ensuring that all the learning outcomes were met. The first two days of the course were completed on Zoom with everyone involved. Despite not being together as a group for two years it was encouraging to see how quickly relationships reformed, even virtually.

“I most enjoyed getting back together with my course mates from two years ago and sharing our experiences from the past two years, particularly learning how we had each adapted to COVID-19 and how we could use these skills after the course.”

Duncan Cameron, Young Leader in Edinburgh

The remainder of the course was completed in two groups for the face-to-face element, in order to limit the numbers of people physically together at any one point. Of course, protocols on face coverings, physical distancing, hand hygiene and cleaning were all carefully followed as well and as many sessions as possible were delivered outdoors.

The 2nd Year residential course of KGVI is much more practical in nature with the young leaders preparing and delivering sessions focused on one of our learning themes, like Get adventurous, Get creative, Get into the Bible or Get involved. Naturally, one of the messages we emphasise during the course is that youth work is by definition always about being adaptable and flexible… even a global pandemic is just another challenge to be overcome.

“I really enjoyed seeing everyone again and continuing to build friendships with my course-mates. Splitting the group in half did mean things were more intense, but the rest of the changes to the course I don’t think had too much of an impact. KGVI was and is an incredible experience, where you can build lifelong friendships and learn so much about how to be a good BB leader.”

Andrew Wells, Young Leader in Aberdeen

It would be easy to focus on the differences to how KGVI took place in 2021 – the adaptions that were forced upon us. However, I think it’s also worth reflecting more on what wasn’t different. The friendships and fellowship of a KGVI course are always something special and unique, and genuinely wonderful to be part of. Despite all the changes and challenges, everyone commented on how good it felt to be together and learn from one another after such a long time apart. KGVI also continued to provide our young leaders with the opportunity to learn, grow and discover and return to their local groups stronger and better equipped.

The KGVI Leadership programme is at SCQF level 7 with 13 credit points. To find out what other programmes are on the SCQF, have a look at the SCQF Database.

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