Purpose: This study aims to explore the narratives that young leaders from leisure time educational institutions have drawn from the impact of the lockdown and mobility restrictions on their activities.
Methods: The study population are the young leaders who lead leisure time educational institutions, who had to deal with a prolonged lockdown in 2020.
A semi-structured interview guide was designed and four focus groups were organized with twenty young leaders, aged between 19 and 26. The data collected was also analysed by following a content analysis inductive process, based on the principles of the grounded theory.
Findings: Young leaders report creativity and adaptation in their activities during the lockdown as an important provisional measure taken to continue to deliver children’s services. To do this, many had to break/bend Covid-19 regulations and restrictions. As ‘educators’ this appears reasoned and critical but undertaken as ‘young people’ it looks rash and spontaneous.
Research limitations: The paper only uses only the qualitative data gathered during the project and, without triangulation, the results must be given
Social value: The young leaders’ voices and testimonies provide a fresh source of reflexivity to question the dominant approach to managing the delivery of youth services during the pandemic period. This study shows us how young leaders belong to a very heterogeneous generation who react to social
challenges in diverse ways.
Keywords: Youth, leisure time educational institutions, scouting, participation, resilience, youth policy, Covid-19.