Programme Sparks

11. Debate Night




  • Pens and paper
  • Objects for voting

One meeting.

Programme Spark

Debating is useful skill for life that young people need to learn. It teaches them to get their point across effectively, whilst being respectful of someone else's opinion. This activity could be used in conjunction with #YouShape month or to debate a topic in the world, relevant to the members of the section. 

Start by giving the Section the topic for the debate such as:

  • What badge should we do next term?
  • Where should we go on camp next year?
  • Should the voting age be lowered to 16?
  • Which charity should we support for our Community Impact project?

Options could be given for them to choose, or they could have free choice of their argument. Group the young people together based on their initial opinion and give them time to write down the main points of their argument. 

Ensure you have an independent person to chair the debate, then let one side begin. The chair should ensure the debate remains fair and everyone is respectful of others opinions. Giving a time limit for how long a side can speak for is a good way to ensure this.

At the end of the debate ask the members of your Section to give their final vote, after listening to all sides of the debate.

Adapting for each Section


Badge Links

Beavers and Cubs will need help with structuring their argument. They need to ensure they give convincing reasons to persuade others.

Scout and Explorers could conduct research beforehand and back up their points with evidence. 



  • Teamwork Challenge



  • Team Leader Challenge
  • Teamwork Challenge



  • Team Leader Challenge
  • Teamwork Challenge



  • Global Issues
  • Fundraising (To decide the charity)
Can the activity be run through Peer Leadership?   Yes - However someone completely independent should chair the debate. 
Can the activity be run by Young Leaders?   Yes


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