Badge support | Top awards
Scouting offers young people the chance to try many new things and to learn new skills. Our system of awarding badges recognises the efforts of young people, and rewards their success. The top awards for each section are the real culmination of those efforts, and young people achieving them is a great sign of a high quality, well-balanced Programme.
Beavers – Chief Scout’s Bronze Award
Beavers need to complete all six Challenge Awards, plus any four Activity or Staged Activity Badges to earn their Chief Scout’s Bronze Award. They will start to develop skills in teamwork and leadership, get the chance to try new adventurous activities and have nights away from home. This should be an exciting challenge for the young people to work towards throughout their time in the section.
To help Beavers see their progress towards their award, the My Beaver Adventure Logbook has space for them to track the badges and awards they have received. You can also use record cards to keep track of each Beavers' own achievements, which can be ordered from Scout Shops.
When a Beaver has completed their award, certificates are available from the Print Centre or to order from Scout Shops, to help you mark the occasion. Don’t worry if a young person hasn’t quite finished their Chief Scout’s Bronze Award before they move up to Cubs: they can finish it off in their first term as a Cub Scout.
Cubs – Chief Scout’s Silver Award
Cubs need to earn all seven of their Challenge Awards and any six Activity or Staged Activity Badges to gain their top award. The increasing number of Challenge Awards across the sections reflects the age of the young people, and the increasing length of time they spend in each section.
There are loads of activity badges to choose from, to satisfy young people with all sorts of interests: from cooking to photography, disability awareness to road safety. Young people can also work on badges at home: for example, the Animal Carer Activity Badge is ideal for a young person who has a pet.
Scouts – Chief Scout’s Gold Award
Scouts have nine Challenge Awards to complete, plus any six Activity or Staged Activity Badges. Scouts will spend up to four years in this section, giving them plenty of time to achieve all of these awards before they move up to Explorers. Although, if they haven’t quite finished by the time they move on, they can complete in their first term in Explorers.
There is a lot to keep track of with this Award, so these record cards may come in handy.
One of the Challenge Awards for Scouts is the Expedition Challenge Award, where Scouts go on an expedition or exploration over two days. Whether this is doing an investigation in a new city, or a hike through the countryside, it’s a great opportunity for Scouts to develop their skills in planning and navigation. It also helps to prepare them for great adventures in Explorers, like doing their Explorer Belt.
The Chief Scout’s Gold Award is a great foundation to move forward with – top awards for Explorers and Network Members will tap into skills formed during time in the Scouts section. You can buy certificates at Scout Shops or download them on the Print Centre to celebrate achievements.
The Diamond and Platinum Awards represent the highest levels of the Chief Scout’s Award, and both can be achieved when young people are Explorer Scouts.
Explorers can truly own and shape their top awards, choosing items from the International Community and Values (ICV) lists to complete, and planning what to do for their challenges. They can shape it to be valuable and enjoyable for them, achieving something they can be really proud of. Along the way, they will develop skills that could be very useful in later life, like planning and time management.
Explorers could use these record cards to track their own progress through their badges and awards.
If an Explorer is completing the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, this can count towards their top awards. The Adventure Begins leaflet shows the links between the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and the top awards in Scouting.
From the age of 16, Explorer Scouts can take on the fantastic challenge of the Explorer Belt and can also start their Queen’s Scout Award, the highest award for youth members. The Awards are progressive, so if they’ve achieved their Chief Scout’s Platinum or Diamond Awards, they will have a great headstart. Take a look at the badge support blog for the Queen’s Scout Award and all the support materials. As with all badges and awards, there is flexibility in the requirements, although with these top awards, any necessary adaptations should be discussed with the Commissioner who signs off the award.
The Queen’s Scout Award must be completed before a Network Member reaches their 25th birthday. Take a look at our badge support blog for the Queen’s Scout Award and all the support materials. Upon completing the Queen’s Scout Award, which is the highest award for youth members in the UK, award holders will be invited to Windsor Castle to celebrate their achievement.
The Queen’s Scout Award is designed to be challenging but entirely flexible to suit the needs of the young person engaged in it. To complete it, participants must undertake six items from the International, Community and Values (ICV) list.
The Scouts of the World Award is a unique opportunity, specifically for Scout Network members. It requires participants to undertake a project of their choice within the themes of Peace, Environment and Development, either within the UK or abroad. This is an opportunity for Scout Network members to have an impact on their local, national or international community. It complements both the Queen’s Scout Award and the Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award. For information about upcoming Discovery Events, which Scout Network members need to attend to start their Award, check out the UK Scout Network website.
Completing either of these top Network awards can help develop lifelong key employability skills, that can help young people in their future college or university application, careers and leadership in Scouting. Find out more here.
Find badge support blogs for the Chief Scout’s Awards and the Queen’s Scout Award on our badge support blogs page.