At last weekend’s Winter Camp, The Scout Association launched its largest ever revamp of the activity programme with the launch of 40 new and modernised badges. In order to reflect the changing demands and interests of today’s young people, these new badges include areas such as Health and Fitness, Healthy Eating, Street Sports and Parascending.
The story was taken up by all the major national newspapers, along with BBC Breakfast, BBC News24, ITV Local News and BBC Radio 4.
Explorer Scouts Nancy Ibrahim and Kirsty Wright accompanied Chief Scout Peter Duncan on a whirlwind tour around BBC Television Centre, to talk about the updated programme and the new badges being launched at Winter Camp, held at Gilwell Park.
Peter said: ‘Young people today have a larger choice than ever before of activities to fill their spare time with. This includes challenging themselves with exciting activities and adventures, meeting new friends throughout the world, and creating a real difference in their communities.'
The introduction of Heathy Eating and Health and Fitness badges really caught the attention of the journalists. These badges have been introduced in consultation with young people, sports governing bodies and educationalists. They aim to reflect the interests and concerns of today’s young people and society in general.
Peter added: ‘The health of young people has always been of utmost importance to us, and through many of these badges we can help to further encourage young people on the choices they can make to lead a healthy lifestyle.’
Explorer Scout Nancy Ibrahim said: ‘It’s great that the badges have been updated to include activities that are important to today's Scouts. The best thing about scouting is that we get the opportunity to try new adventures, when we might not have been able to do so otherwise.
‘We are always hearing that young people aren’t healthy enough and I think it’s really important for everyone to learn what healthy decisions they can make.’
Full list of new Scout badges
(age 5 to 8)
Health and fitness
(8 to 10)
(10 to 14)
(14 to 18)
Activity centre service
Snow boarding, above
Picture: Some of the new Scout badges - top row: Public Relations, Science & Technology, Street Sports
Bottom row: Healthy Eating, Astronomer, Parascending.