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The word ‘programme’ in scouting refers to the range of activities, challenges and experiences that young people experience. This programme of activities is planned by the leadership team in partnership with young people. The Programme should be flexible and have room to adapt and accommodate the needs of the individuals in the section.
The scouting programme for all sections is based around three main themes: outdoor and adventure, world and skills. In each section a range of badges and awards support all aspects of Scouting, including the main themes: leadership, teamwork and personal development. The programme should be delivered in a balanced way that incorporates elements from each theme, to offer young people the most interesting and diverse experience.
A Quality Programme is Challenging, Relevant and Rewarding for every young person.
What we mean by challenging
- more opportunities for outdoor and adventurous activities in safe environments
- gaining confidence by participating in new or less familiar activities and stepping out of their comfort zones
- all young people regardless of their abilities, can enjoy and achieve
What we mean by relevant
- young people shape the programme based on what they want to learn and explore
- ensuring the needs of every young person are met
- responding to what young people are currently inquisitive about and reflecting this in the programme
What we mean by rewarding
- developing skills for life, including teamwork and leadership
- supporting young people with their progression through the sections
- young people are excited about Scouting, having fun and increasing in confidence
In order to make sure that the programme meets Scouting’s fundamental purpose, a number of programme objectives set out what young people of different ages should gain from taking part in Scouting. The programme objectives underpin the requirements of the badges, awards and other programme elements. This means that if you are running a quality programme and young people have the opportunity to achieve Chief Scout’s Awards and the Queen’s Scout Award, they will be meeting the programme objectives.
The objectives are based on Scouting’s Purpose: ‘Scouting exists to actively engage and support young people in their personal development, empowering them to make a positive contribution to society’.
Personal development in this context is about meeting the needs of young people in terms of holistic self development. Scouting addresses many needs of young people including: having fun, building and maintaining relationships, personal development, self-respect, discernment and empowerment. Personal development includes social, physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual development.
The programme objectives are broken down into these five areas of personal development. Detailed objectives relate more specifically to the needs of young people.
Physical - There are two objectives in this area of development – health and fitness – which include the impact of diet, illness and exercise, as well as how to take action in an emergency.
Intellectual - There are three objectives in this area – learning skills, creativity and judgement. These are about young people developing skills and talents, expressing themselves creatively, problem solving and making choices.
Emotional - There are two objectives in this area – self-identity and emotional expression. Young people in Scouting explore their own identity and personality, learn how to deal with and express their emotions, and learn to respond to others’ emotions.
Social - There are three objectives in this area – relationships, teamwork and community – all of which are about how we live and work with others as part of our local, national and international community.
Spiritual - There is one objective in this area, which focuses on exploring faiths, beliefs and attitudes that are meaningful to young people individually, and to others around them.
In total there are 11 objectives for each section, which are what a young person should be able to do by the time they leave that section. To view the Programme Objectives, click here.
The Scout method and Programme methods
Scouting takes place when young people, in partnership with adults, work together based on the values of Scouting and:
This means that young people get to experience or take part in the following things as part of the programme.
Each of the Scout methods has a number of Programme methods. These are:
- Enjoy what they are doing and have fun
- Having fun
- Meeting new people, making friends and developing relationships
- Take part in activities indoors and outdoors
- Undertake new and challenging activities
- Spending time outdoors
- Games, physical and adventurous activities
- Design and creativity
- Visits and visitors
- Camps, sleepovers, international trips and other residential experiences
- Learn by doing
- Take responsibility and make choices
- Working in small teams
- Trying new things, and learning new skills
- Team building and leadership activities
- Taking responsibility, giving ideas and opinions, making choices and decisions
- Share in spiritual reflection
- Make and live by their Promise
- Spiritual reflection
- Finding out about themselves
- Community action
- Keeping the Promise
Our quality programme benchmark guidelines
We believe that a quality programme includes:
- complete one challenge award per term
- complete at least one activity badge per term
- hold two nights away events per year (Ideally at least one of these under canvas)
- attend one district event per term
- hold one visit / day trip per term
- invite two visitors to talk to the section per year
- award joining in awards and moving on awards as required
- ensure regular opportunities are provided for young people to express their views on the programme and running of the section, and where possible act upon their views.