The History of England

from Celts through 20th century

British Youth

Category: Land + People

Most 18 and 19 year-olds in Britain are quite independent people. English people say that children grow up more quickly now. Relationships within the British family are different now. Children have more freedom to make their own decisions.

For example, children aged 13 may be employed part time in Great Britain. Age 15 is legally a “young person” not a “child”. Age 16 is a school leaving age. They can leave home, drive a moped, marry with “parents’ consent” buy beer. Age 17 can drive a car. Age 18 can vote, get married, drink in pubs.

Education is a very important part in the life of British youth. One can’t become an independent person without it. When time comes to enter a college a young Englishman chooses one far away from home. It is a necessary part of becoming adult.

During the last 30 years there were a lot of different trends in youth movements. All of them were characterized by their own philosophy, way of life, style of dressing. Each tendency was born by the influence of economic and political changes in the society. Those trends are known as the “hippies” the “punks” the “rockers”.

But certainly there are different traditional youth organizations in Great Britain. Among them — the Scout Association, the Girl Guides Association, the National Union of Students, the Youth Club. The latter offers, for example, a wide range of sporting and social activities.

The National Union of Students was founded in 1922. It operates through local branches in colleges and universities. It promotes the educational, social and general interests of students.

But certainly the most numerous is the Scout Association, founded in 1908 for boys and in 1910 for girls by Lord Baden-Powel. The Scout movement is to encourage a sense of adventure and of responsibility for others among young people. The programme of training is planned to develop intelligence and practical skills, to promote health and a sense of service.

Scout training is complementary to the ordinary education. Scouts train in mapping, signalling, first aid and all the skills that arise from camping and similar outdoor activities.

British scouts take part in international scout meetings, which are held approximately every four years.

The membership in this or that youth organization is not compulsory in Great Britain. But everyone can find the activity he likes most.

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