Special Interest badges
In order to reflect the diverse range of abilities and interests of young people, Special Interest Badges recognise personal progression in different areas even those one would not necessarily associated with scouting. Special Interest Badges are based on individual youth member’s hobbies and interests. They can used to acquire a new interest/ hobby/ skill or develop ones they already have.
The requirements are designed by the young person in consultation and agreement with their Scouters. Badge requirements are designed to allow exploration of the subject, develop and improve skills, and put the new knowledge into practice, preferably as a practical project which will benefit others.
To help organise the Speical Interest area five general areas have been identified:
|Skills: This allows for individuals to develop their personal skills base. – e.g. drama, cooking, painting, martial arts, web site design, musical instrument, foreign language etc.|
|Adventure: This should be an adventure journey that includes something completely new i.e. a new location, new method of travel, etc|
|Physical: Any physical pursuit or activity – e.g. athletics, sports team, caving, archery, training for a marathon.|
|Community Involvement : participation in a community organisation, volunteering, a community service project – e.g. St Vincent de Paul, After School Club, assisting in another section in your Group, Young Social Entrepreneurs, sports coaching, tidy towns etc.|
|Environment: an activity or series of events which makes a positive impact on the environment/natural world – e.g. running a Leave No Trace day for a Scout Group, cleaning up a natural area, caring for an allotment, membership of a nature club/environmental society, learning about pollution and personal responsibility.|
Creating Your Special Interest badge
The principle of ‘doing one’s best’ is the key feature of badges awarded in this area. The system allows everyone to choose what they want to do, it provides recognition for personal effort, rather than achieving a grade, so everyone has a chance to achieve the badge. Badge requirements are designed to allow exploration of the subject, develop and improve skills, and put the new knowledge into practice, preferably as a practical project which will benefit others. Each youth member can do up to three challenges in each area.
How do I Design my Special Interest challenge
Step 1 – Read the Booklet
Step 2 – Pick your subject of interest
Step 3 – Decide what Special Interest Area your subject of interest falls into.
Step 4 – Design your challenge in consultation with your Scouter or Mentor.
Step 5 – Complete and record the challenge in the agreed time.
Step 6 – Wear the badge with pride
When designing your badge it should :
• Challenge you to learn new skills or develop existing ones
• Help to increase your knowledge of the particular area
• Contain a practical element which will benefit others.
You can download the Special badge interest templates for beavers and cubs that will allow you to track what you have achieved
Choosing a subject or interest
Below are some suggested subjects that have been aligned with the Special Interest Badge areas. There are many more ideas that can be included. No matter what subject or interest you choose if will fall into one of the areas, sometimes it will fall into two or even three areas.
|Community Involvement||Personal Skill||Physical Recreation||Adventure Journey||Environment|
|Good Turn / Service||Photography||Archery||Cycling Expedition||Ethical living|
|World Cultures & Ways of Living||Entertaining||Orienteering||Wilderness Experience||Eco-energy|
|World Scouting||Film/video production||Athletics||Horseback Expedition||Organic Gardening|
|Guide / Interpreter||Home repairs||Ball Games||Sailing Adventure||Weather Watch|
|Heritage||Information technology||Climbing Wall||Canoe Adventure||Animal welfare|
|Health Awareness||Music & Dance||Cycling||Bivvy Adventure||Conservation|
|Representation||Painting / Art||Gymnastics||Camp Leadership||Nature Study|
|Tidy Towns||Crafts / Sculptor||Water Safety||Back Packing||Carbon footprint|
|Disability Awareness||Cooking||Personal Fitness||Journey in a Strange Land||Environmental Audit|
|Active Citizenship||Motors||Swimming||Mountain Journey||Recycling|
|Faith & Beliefs||Navigator||Martial Arts||Hiking Expedition||Food Production|
|Community Radio||Observer / Tracker||Triathlon||Exploring||Naturalist|
|Current Affairs||Leadership / Mentoring||Caving||Camping||Sustainable Building|
|Campaigning||Public Speaking||Snorkeling / SCUBA||Nature Study Expedition||River Care|
|Languages||Archeology||Mountain Biking||Photography Safari||Local Beautification|
|Surveys||Creative Writing||Canoeing||Treasure Quest||Tidy Towns|
|Interculturalism||Farming||Rock Climbing||Overseas Project||Nature Reser|