It may well be over 100 years old, but the Scout Association is not afraid to change with the times. It has decided to re-vamp the requirements for existing badges and introduce new ones. The changes are intended to more closely reflect the wide variety of activities that modern-day Scouts take part in. The task is no small undertaking, as it is believed that 165 badges from the total of 250 are to be modified or brought in.
Since its founding in 1908 by Robert Baden-Powell, the Scout Association has looked for its members to "be prepared". Their activities seem to expand year on year with that in mind and the badges act as a tangible reward and recognition for their efforts. Originally set up for boys, the organisation has allowed girls to join since 1976.
The current Chief Scout is none other than Bear Grylls, an appropriate 'leader' for them given his adventurous background in such as the TV programme Man vs Wild. He became their youngest ever leader at just 35-years-old in 2009. Clearly, his appointment was intended to give the association a fresh impetus, which the new badges will continue to build on. Mr Grylls 'get up and go' attitude to life typifies the sort of image a new Scout commonly aims to portray.
Many current parents of Scouts may be amazed by the latest badges on offer to their offspring:
Team Leader Challenge Award - management and leadership skills are a valuable commodity in the business world and elsewhere. Scouts will be required to lead a camp or all-day event to be considered for this badge. They will be responsible for looking after the others involved and ensuring that team goals are achieved.
Digital Citizen Staged Activity Badge - in line with most businesses, the Scouts are embracing the digital age. Tasks such as demonstrable computer usage, internet research and digital art creation would all be expected to be met.
Global Issues Activity Badge - this badge involves developing an understanding of global concerns. Scouts should educate themselves on natural disasters in the news and determine which countries clothes come from. Worldwide diseases also come under consideration. Scouts can also earn the badge through educating others on the issues caused by HIV and Aids.
Community Impact Staged Activity Badge - this badge has been introduced to mirror the recent involvement by Scouts in their local communities. The collection of food bank items last year prompted this new badge to be developed. Similarly, Scouts have helped to create facilities used by #Youngsters with learning disabilities.
Clearly, the slightly comical references to 'dib dib dib' and mockery of youngsters' Scouting involvement are some way off the mark nowadays. Scouts are being prepared for many of the issues and challenges they will face in the modern world. The new badges are a step in that direction. #Social media #Society