What makes a successful youth program?

A successful youth program consists of many components. Good teamwork and ground rules are two key parts of a strong group.

The way a group works as a team is critical. Each member must carry his or her own weight in order to contribute to the group. Additionally, cooperation is essential. An individual needs to be supportive of others' ideas and only offer constructive criticism to strengthen that contribution.

Rules help keep a group focused and structured. While they need to be a little strict, they must be easy for teens to follow. Most importantly, they should be created by the group itself. In addition, there should be an incentive for following the rules, as well as a punishment for breaking them. One example is in our Youth Enterprise Group.We use ground rules to not only stay on task, but also remain comfortable with each other.

In order to provide a sufficient evaluation to the ideas of group members, we use something called straight talk. Straight talk is a method of team evaluation, group planning, problem solving, and conflict prevention which allows for positive feedback It requires that, when someone is speaking, every one else must hear, open up, make eye contact, and listen for the truth. On the other side, the speaker must be kind, speak with details, balance affirmation with criticism, and most importantly stay focused.

From the perspective of a student, there are a few things adults should know. The first it to be flexible with schedules. Being a full time student with extra curricular activities makes being available all the time difficult. Another is give jobs to only the students who need it, or are seriously committed. The last is the providing fair, timely paychecks. This means that paychecks not only arrive the day they are expected, but also are the amount of money expected.

A good youth program will be successful if they work well as a team, and use ground rules to stay on task. Additionally, it helps to have an approach, like straight talk, which helps evaluate ideas and contributions. When starting a youth group program, it is extremely important to listen to the advice from the student.