A Promising Future:
Youth Engagement in Scottish Groups

Greetings to all!
My name is Rianna Crawford, and I was this year’s youth ambassador for the Scottish North American Leadership Conference. On behalf of us all, I am excited to introduce some very exciting news to you!
On the front of youth engagement, the Scottish North American Leadership Conference 2017 was a smashing success! Myself (Highland Dancer), and participants Rowan Gladish (Clan MacLeod Society of Canada) and Zachary Wallace (The Gaelic Society of Toronto), participated in a youth panel at the event to present ideas on how to get young people involved in Scottish culture. We have developed a plan that was a hit with all of the delegates in attendance and got near-immediate approval from everyone; a Scottish youth organization that is unaffiliated with the clan societies, runs primarily across social media platforms and plans youth-specific events across the North American region. We collectively feel that this group will be a surefire way to engage young people and inspire them towards involvement in Scottish culture, leading them to then follow that spark of interest into adulthood where they will join other groups, such as clan societies and other related Scottish organizations. The effort, which we are all ecstatic about, has already been offered various sources of funding and should be underway in the coming months. The future of youth involvement in the Scottish Cultural Community of North America is looking brighter than ever!
Below, you will find the notes scribed from the youth panel of the conference.
Alba gu Brath!
Rianna Crawford

Youth Presenters at the Scottish North American Leadership Conference
August 10-11, 2017
University of Guelph

From left to right,
Rowan Gladish
Zachary Wallace
Rianna Crawford

SNAL 2017
Youth Session

Youth are interested in:

• social media (Facebook, twitter, Instagram)
• consider a separate youth account or a Social media ambassador position for youth
• while they may seem to live on-line, they also want real connections with people
• Help connect youth locally, nationally & internationally with similar interests
• The arts (music, dance, literature)
• As the focus of an event

What Youth Engagement might look like:

• A social society (non group/clan specific)
• No membership fees (But youth would pay to go to an event)
• An independent youth group that would organize events for youth (a youth movement)
• Role of mentors (from established groups) important
• This youth group might grow to be a number of people that would participate together in different Scottish events (such as Clan Celidhs, Highland Games, concerts etc.)
• Once the youth group is established and up and running, members may be drawn to join specific clan groups and other Scottish Societies that align with their specific passions

Additional Things to Consider:

• Charity work also a draw
• Internship as a draw? (support in Canada through the gov)
• International contacts would be great for travel
• A new youth group would need to be promoted through our clans and games and on our websites


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