Badge support | World Faiths Activity Badge
Scouting has always been enjoyed by young people and adults of many different faiths. Giving young people the chance to explore faiths, beliefs and attitudes, including their own, is an important part of Scouting. Exploring faiths and beliefs contributes to the creation of a more tolerant and peaceful society.
For leaders, it can sometimes seem challenging to broach the subject of faith with young people. But, with badges and awards for every section offering a structured way to discuss different faiths and beliefs, there are plenty of fun, hands-on activity ideas to capture everyone’s interest.
There are some great activities for all the sections in the Rise To The Challenge: Exploring Spiritual Development In Scouting PDF, which you can download for free.
The Autumn term is a great time to work towards these badges, as there are lots of different religious festivals and celebrations taking place. 13-20 November 2016 is Inter Faith Week: this is something you can plan into your Programme and work towards throughout the term. There are plenty of opportunities to celebrate Inter Faith Week within your section, or organise an event for the Scout Group, District, or community.
Beavers – Faith Activity Badge
To help Beavers think and reflect, you can use The World Around Us activity in the Rise To The Challenge resource. This activity is a good starting point for helping Beavers to develop their own reflections – about something that they are grateful of or something that is important to them. They could use their creativity with this, and do this in the form of a poem or song.
Alongside the badge requirements, there are plenty of activities which you could tie into your Autumn Programme, to coincide with the celebrations of several different faiths.
Why not create your own mini faith walk - use the information from the Gilwell Park Faith Walk and invite the Beavers to take part in activities to explore each faith within your meeting place. This could include tasting foods, craft activities and telling traditional stories.
Cubs – World Faiths Activity Badge
On Friday 16th December, to mark the end of Cubs100, there will be a huge national Promise Party, where Members of Scouting, particularly Cubs, will be encouraged to make or renew their Promise.
There are many versions of the Promise, which means that each Cub can choose a Promise that is meaningful to them, and make a Promise to themselves that they will not break. As the versions of the Promise reflect different faiths and beliefs, you could use these as a way to start exploring faith and what it means for different people to have different faiths. You can download a free Cub Scout Promise poster, showing all of the versions.
There are also lots of different religious festivals and celebrations coming up, that you can plan into your Programme. For example, from 2–11 October, members of the Hindu faith celebrate Navratri, which symbolizes the triumph of good over evil. The festival lasts for 9 days and incorporates lots of dancing and nightly feasts. During 11 and 12 October, members of the Jewish community celebrate Yom Kippur which means Day of Atonement. From 30th October, people of many faiths celebrate Diwali, which is known as the ‘festival of light’. Find some great activity ideas to celebrate Diwali here.
If there are Cubs in your Group who have a faith that they want to explore further, they could also look into the My Faith Activity Badge.
Scouts – World Faiths Activity Badge
Attending a religious festival or visiting a place of worship is a great way to get out of the usual meeting place and to give the Scouts a new experience on a tight budget.
The Inter Faith website is also an excellent resource for finding out about upcoming religious festivals, which can offer young people a stepping stone into the exploration of a faith. Events could be incorporated into the Programme along with relevant activities – such as cooking dishes commonly eaten at these festivals or holidays.
While there is no specific faith badge for Explorers, it is still important to create opportunities for Explorer Scouts to explore a broad range of faiths and beliefs, and to support them in their own spiritual development. The Rise To The Challenge resource provides a range of activities your Unit could use.
The 'values' section of the International, Values and Environment list within the top awards, also provides opportunities for young people to explore different faiths, beliefs and attitudes.
Network members can arrange projects through the UK Scout Network website, allowing them to team up with people in their local area or across the UK. Ideas for projects could include:
- Organising or attending an event for Inter Faith Week
- Planning a visit to a place of worship, and undertaking some volunteering while there
- Planning a project around community cohesion
There is useful guidance in the Rise To The Challenge resource about how to plan inclusive events.
Read more about exploring faith and beliefs through Scouting:
- Download Promise posters to display in your meeting place
- Inter Faith Week
- Scouting and Hinduism (Magazine story)
- Muslim Scout Fellowship Groups (Magazine story)
- Badge support: World Challenge Award