Badge support | Photographer Activity Badge
Photography is a great way to channel your Scouts’ creativity: from Beavers trying out using a camera for the first time, to Explorers learning complex camera functions and exhibiting their work. As the young people move up through the sections, the badges and tasks become more challenging, allowing their skills to continue to develop.
Photography can be easily linked to all sorts of other activities and badges, particularly the Digital Citizen Staged Activity Badge, where young people can hone their skills in digital media. As part a Community Impact project for A Million Hands, your section could use their photography skills during an audit of your meeting place or community, photographing anything they believe could be improved in order to learn and take action. Or, your section could make dementia-friendly signs, starting out with a photo walk around your local area, taking photographs of the signs they spot and creating new versions of the signs that are easier to understand. For older sections, the young people could use photo editing software to digitally alter their photographs, to create something unique while also learning a new skill.
Here are some great activity ideas to get you started on photography with your section:
Take your Beavers out on a digital treasure hunt, to get them used to taking photographs. In this activity, Beavers create a mystery route for others to follow, using photographs to guide the way. Each time the Beavers change direction, cross a road or pass a landmark, they should take a photograph to illustrate their journey. They can use these to create instructions and clues for others to follow – either another lodge, another section, or another Colony.
This activity also supports Stage 1 of the Digital Citizen Activity Badge.
Cubs – Photographer Activity Badge
Make a fun and simple stop-motion animation with your Cubs. They will need to design characters, make scenery and come up with a simple storyline. You could use toys like Lego, or encourage the Cubs to draw their characters and cut them out of paper. Mount the camera or phone somewhere secure, ideally using a tripod so that it stays still, and encourage the Cubs to move their scene a tiny fraction, take a photo, and then move it again. If you have editing software, the Cubs could work on sound effects for their animation too.
This is a great activity which could also be used towards the Artist Activity Badge. There are more tips for trying out photography with your Cubs on this Photography 101 blog, and you can watch the Scouts minifigs on YouTube for some stop-motion inspiration.
Scouts – Photographer Activity Badge
Take your Scouts out on a photo walk, and encourage them to try Alphabet Photography: working independently, or in pairs (depending on how many cameras you have), the Scouts must take a photograph of something beginning with each letter of the alphabet. They may need to think creatively in order to find X, Y & Z! Back at your meeting place, encourage them to look through their photographs, share their favourites with the group and critique their own work. What worked and what didn’t? Do any of the images lend themselves to a series? Could they use editing software to improve their photograph - for example, by cropping the image or adding a coloured filter?
You could alter this activity to fit anything your section is focussing on: rather than photographing the alphabet, you could challenge your young people to find images representing Scout values, the Promise or any other relevant topic.
Explorers – Creative Arts Activity Badge
Explorers can continue to develop their skills in photography for the Creative Arts Activity Badge. Have a go at making short films with your Explorers. They will need to consider the plot of their film, and map out the scenes. Then, they’ll need to decide on a shooting order which may not necessarily be chronological (for example, shooting all the outdoor scenes on one evening for consistency with the weather). Finally, they’ll need to think about props, costumes and equipment: a tripod or steady base for a camera will be vital, as will a microphone for recording the sound.
Explorers can use film and photography to capture their experiences of the Explorer Belt, Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and Queen’s Scout Award. They can use anything they make or capture in their presentation, to share the experience with their Unit. Scout Troops could be invited to these fun and exciting evenings, to encourage the young people to continue through Scouting and aim for the top awards as Explorers.
Network members can utilise the UK Scout Network website to create projects and events, which may allow them to develop their skills and interests further. Photography or film projects could be organised, or these skills could be used to communicate ideas about or take action on an environmental or community issue.
Here are some more resources, designed to support leaders when running activities about photography:
- A guide for leaders when downloading images to a computer or device
- Picture editing advice from the BBC
- Advice for generating media interest in a Scouts project, specifically an A Million Hands Community Impact project (including a press release template)
- Scouts story submitter: the best way to send us your photos from the activities and camps you take part in. They could end up being shared on social media or printed in Scouting Magazine!
Guidance and inspiration for other creative badges:
- Badge support for the Creative Arts Activity Badge
- Badge support for the Digital Maker Staged Activity Badge