World Scout Environment Award
"Nature study is the key activity in Scouting and Guiding." - Baden-Powell
The environment is central to Scouting and a key element of developing good citizens of the world. Since Scouting began, young people have been connecting with the outdoors, learning from nature and taking positive action for their local and global environment. There are many more environmental challenges today than when Scouting started, making it even more important to keep the environment central to Scouting, to build on the momentum already established and to make Scouting a positive force for change.
Scouting plays an important role in connecting people with the natural world, especially given the increasing separation of young people from the natural environment. With nearly 50% of the world's population living in urban settings, it is important to incorporate the 'bigger picture' of the environment, which includes more than just plants, animals and conservation. Helping Scouts to see the relationship between their actions in an urban setting and the natural world is an important element of environment education.
The environment is changing all around us, with a loss of habitat and native species, reduced access to clean water and clean air, more harmful substances entering our environment and more people being affected by natural disasters. Scouts need to understand these issues and feel empowered to decide what are the most suitable environmental practices they can apply and take action to improve their local area. The environment is a global subject and Scouting is a global movement. Through environmental education and action, Scouting can really make a difference.
World Scout Environment Award replaces World Conservation Award
The 38th World Scout Conference passed the Resolution 22/08 which recommended the World Conservation Award be phased out during the next triennium by National Scout Organizations which use it. National Scout Organizations were encouraged to adopt the framework for environment education in Scouting and incorporate the ideas through a regular review of their youth program and by offering the World Scout Environment Award. This helps to bring the environment education dimension of the youth programup to date with the situation of today. WWF have been fully supportive of this transition to the World Scout Environment Award.
Scouts Canada is now ready to phase in the new World Scout Environment (WSE) Award.
The guidelines for the WSE program were established by a committee at the World level that consisted of a Scouts Canada member, Paul Whitfield, British Columbia. The Commissioners of the day approved Scouts Canada moving forward to adopt the new program and so with Paul’s help here at home, a committee of Scouters and youth went to work to establish requirements. Their recommendations were vetted through the National Program Network with the final requirements being established (see [www.scouts.ca] for section specific details of the new badge).
A highlight of this new Award is its’ focus on allowing youth to get “wet and dirty” while they learn. Experiential education is the primary mode of delivery; hands on learning just like Baden Powell wanted.
So are you ready?
Phase In Period (January 2011 to September 2011)
As part of the phase in period Scouters should note these points of interest:
- The WSE Award is to be worn in the same place as the previous World Conservation Award.
- Any youth who has already begun earning the World Conservation Award may complete the requirements of such (does not have to switch).
- If upon completion of the World Conservation requirements the badge is not available, the WSE Award badge should be used.
For the individual award requirements, please see:
- World Scout Environment Award - Scouts
- World Scout Environment Award - Cub Scouts
- World Scout Environment Award - Venturer Scouts (pdf)
New Climate Change Badges (Cub Scouts and Scouts)
The WSE program is a well rounded, comprehensive environmental education program. To ensure adherence to its intent, and to enhance youth opportunities in all areas of environmental stewardship, Scouts Canada is adopting our Climate Change badges as part of the youth programming for Cub Scouts and Scouts.
Both sections will now boast challenge badges for Climate Change. Cub Scouts will see the Climate Change Badge added to the “Natural World Activity Area” while Scouts will see the new Climate Change Challenge Badge added to the Challenge Badge “Environment” category. Both sets of requirements remain essentially the same as in the past and each badge will continue to promote the Climate Change image of the past.
If youth have completed the requirements of the Climate Change Challenge now in existence, they should be awarded the Climate Change badge.