The Scout Association announces this week the launch of 19 new activity badges for its youth Members. The badges allow Scouts to show progress in a wider range of existing pursuits, and encourage Members to form new interests and skills.
Ten of the new badges are aimed squarely at the Beaver Scouts who are the youngest of age range that Scout Movement works with. From today onwards six to eight year old young girls and boys will be able to gain awards for developing skills such as photography, gardening, camping.
As well as the traditional areas of interest Beaver Scouts will be encouraged to learn about Space. The new Space Activity Badge requires Beaver Scouts to develop a greater knowledge of the solar system and space missions. Closer to home Beaver Scouts will be able to gain a Disability awareness badge by learning about how support young people with disabilities and how to communicate effectively using methods other than speech. Young people will also be encouraged to engage with para athletes and find out what they can do rather than what they can’t do.
The launch of these new badges follows an extensive 10-month consultation process within and outside of the Scouting Movement, during which The Scout Association consulted with over 12,000 Members through focus groups, surveys, social media and events. The consultation identified the need to create new badges that allow younger Scouts to develop a wider range of skills.
There are also new badges for the older age ranges with Cub Scouts, Scouts and Explorer Scouts being able to gain badges for Fundraising for Charities. To gain the badge they will be required to communicate clearly to donors why they should donate, how a campaign can be promoted by social media and share their skills with others.
Traditional Scouting skills are not left out with new badges being made available to those who camp out or hike or sleep out under the stars. Badges are now available for those who clock up 200 nights away camping throughout their scout career.
Chief Scout Bear Grylls said:
“We’re delighted to be launching a new range of badges that guarantee fun and adventure while encouraging Scouts to develop a greater understanding of modern society and the contribution they can make to society. Throughout its 107-year history the Scouting Movement has continued to evolve: these new badges make sure we are able to keep offering activities that educate and enthuse young people in equal measure”