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The Sustainability Badge is Scouts Canada’s support for international Scouting through the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. Together we are working towards a healthy planet, reduced inequalities and vibrant communities!

Discover how you can work towards your Sustainability Badge and what tier you want to pursue—Bronze, Silver or Gold!

 

Achieving the Sustainability Badge

Overview

You’re probably already doing great activities and having adventures that you tie in with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Let us help you connect the dots!

Beaver Scouts should be encouraged to plan activities that touch on some of the SDGs during their cycle planning, while making connections between the activities they do and the positive contributions they make toward overall sustainability.

Beavers are empowered to take a leading role in selecting which activities they would like to do as a Colony. While it may be difficult for your youth to understand all of the goals, it may be easier to encourage them to think about what category (Environment, Society & Culture or Innovation) their activities could connect with.

What does this look like for Beavers?

Discover the various levels for Beavers to choose from here. Here’s an example of how Beaver Scouts can incorporate SDG activities into their Scouting adventures:

Rainbow from 1st London Colony takes her Beavers hiking along their favourite local trail. While hiking, they notice garbage along the trail, which they decide to pick up as they hike. In their Review, they discussed the most common pieces of garbage they found, and thought about solutions to prevent litter. While the Colony intended for the hike to be a simple hike, by picking up garbage along the way, they also worked on #15 (Life on Land) as they helped their planet to stay healthy and learned more about how they can help to prevent more litter.

SDGs and Badges

Youth are welcome to count projects towards the Sustainability Badge and other badges they’re working on, including Personal Achievement Badges and Outdoor Adventure Skills.

White Tails can also be encouraged to consider what SDGs might connect to their North Star Award project, or they can select an SDG and base their North Star Award around that topic.

Not sure where to start? The Personal Achievement Badges offer some great project ideas that link directly to different SDGs. Use the chart below to see how Personal Achievement Badges and Outdoor Adventure Skills connect to the SDGs!

Overview

A Cub Pack provides great opportunities for youth to build on what they have learned from their Beaver Colony, allowing them to continue engaging with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) while planning for their program.

While planning as a Pack, youth are better positioned to understand the SDGs and are able to make stronger connections between the activities and challenges they are interested in, and how it relates to the Goals.

Cub Scouts are also a great age to begin reflecting on activities – how were the Goals integrated into Scouting activities, and was this connection planner in advance or discovered after reflection? 

What does this look like for Cubs?

Discover the various levels for Cub Scouts to choose from here. Here’s an example of how Cubs can incorporate SDG activities into their Scouting adventures:

Hathi, of 101st Langley Pack, is trying to help his Cubs design an activity related to composting as the Pack has expressed an interest in learning more about it. They decide to build compost bins for their backyards. The Cubs are excited to learn that their project touches on lots of different Sustainable Development Goals! During their review, they realize that by designing and building their own compost boxes, they have worked towards Goal #9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure). They also discover that by starting compost piles in their backyards they have helped to make their communities a little greener (#11 Sustainable Cities and Communities).

SDGs and Badges

Youth are welcome to count projects towards the Sustainability Badge and other badges they’re working on, including Personal Achievement Badges and Outdoor Adventure Skills.

Cub Scouts can be encouraged to consider what SDGs might connect to their Seeonee project, or they can select an SDG and base their Seeonee Award around that topic.

Not sure where to start? The Personal Achievement Badges offer some great project ideas that link directly to different SDGs. Use the chart below to see how Personal Achievement Badges and Outdoor Adventure Skills connect to the SDGs!

 

Overview

At the Scout Troop age, many youth are ready to take on harder challenges related to the Goals and learn more about making strong connections between their activities and the resulting positive impact.

During cycle planning, Scouts should be encouraged to match their activities to different Goals they want to accomplish to work towards overall sustainability. A great way to kick-start Scouts with thinking about the Goals is to introduce the different Goals, have the youth brainstorm what each Goal might mean, and then break into smaller Patrols within the Scout Troop to work through the activities that they’ve already done together – what Goals have they already touched on while participating in Scouting?

After reviewing activities, Scouts should also be encouraged to think critically about what Goals they actually achieved during their adventures, and reflect on whether or not they actually worked towards the Goals they set out to achieve.

What Does This Look Like for Scouts?

Discover the various levels for Scouts to choose from here. Here’s an example of how Scouts can incorporate SDG activities into their Scouting adventures:

Scouter Bethany’s Troop is concerned about how much plastic they use in their lives. They decide to go home and survey all the single-use plastic in their homes. Then, they decide to learn about how they can use less plastic and make their own reusable bags to take to the grocery store with them. One of the Scouts, Thomas, is working on his Chief Scout’s Award and decides to plan a zero-waste camp for the Troop. As they reflect on these adventures, the Scouts realize they have worked towards more Goals than they anticipated. By reducing the amount of waste they create, they worked towards Goal #12 Responsible Consumption and Production.

SDGs and Badges

Youth are welcome to count projects towards the Sustainability Badge and other badges they’re working on, including Personal Achievement Badges and Outdoor Adventure Skills.

Scouts can be encouraged to consider what SDGs might connect to their Chief Scout’s Award project, or they can select an SDG and base their Chief Scout’s Award around that topic.

Not sure where to start? The Personal Achievement Badges offer some great project ideas that link directly to different SDGs. Use the chart below to see how Personal Achievement Badges and Outdoor Adventure Skills connect to the SDGs!

 

Overview

At the Venturer Scout age, youth are encouraged to take their leadership skills to the next level by working with younger Sections and other Groups to work towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), whether through service projects, awareness events, activities or other adventures. Achieving their SDG badge through linking with other age Sections or helping to run events and activities for younger Sections is one option for Venturer Scouts. Ultimately, they should be encouraged to think about what is important to them and what they want to get out of their program.

Our Scouting youth are passionate about major issues, including climate change—creating a better world for the people around them. The SDGs not only help Venturer Scouts work towards their aspirations in the world, but they also help Venturers prepare for future careers.

What Does This Look Like for Venturers?

Discover the various levels for Venturer Scouts to choose from here. Here’s an example of how Venturers can incorporate SDG activities into their Scouting adventures:

The Venturers in the 12th Calgary Company are looking for ways to help the environment and want to start a long-term project related to this. One of the Venturers, Amelia, mentions that one of the houses in her neighbourhood recently installed solar panels to create electricity. The Venturers brainstorm and decide that they will help their meeting space (a local community hall) to raise the funds needed to install solar panels. As they review their project, the Venturers realize that they not only worked towards Goal #7 (Affordable and Clean Energy) by helping the community hall to switch to green energy, but they also worked on other Goals as well. By installing solar panels on a community building, they have helped their community to be a little more green (#11 Sustainable Cities and Communities).

SDGs and Badges

Venturer Scouts can be a tricky age as youth find a balance between planning a high-adventure program, and making that program as youth-led as possible. The SDGs are a great starting point for creating adventures and giving the youth something tangible to work towards that will help them build and lead a program that interests them. The SDGs also offer a great starting point when pursuing a Queen’s Venturer Award project - what Goals are Venturers interested in, and how can they create a project related to these Goals?

 

Overview

Young adults in a Rover Crew may choose to engage with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) without working towards a badge. The SDGs offer a different level of engagement for young adults in university or who are beginning their career path. Finding ways to engage with the SDGs can be an interesting planning tool for Crews who are looking to embark on more adventures, help the world by organizing ambitious projects, and find new ways to work together as a Crew.

What Does This Look Like for Rovers?

Discover the various levels for Rover Scouts to choose from here. Here’s an example of how Rovers can incorporate SDG activities into their Scouting adventures:

The Halifax Rover Crew is not sure how to fill their winter cycle. They’ve planned some outdoor activities, but the colder temperatures and darker days make it hard for them to do as many outdoor activities as they do in other cycles. One of the Rovers mentions that he is not sure what he wants to do after university, and other Rovers share that they are also worried about their post-graduation plans. James, who is working on his Canadian Rover Scout Award, says that he was in the same position a few years prior, and what really helped him was talking to people in different career fields. He decides to organize a career fair for the Rovers and Venturers in Halifax and surrounding areas, bringing in people from different career fields to share what they do for a living and what kind of training prepared them for their field. When he reviews his project with his mentor, James realizes that he touched on a lot of Goals. First, James realizes that by helping to equip young people with the tools they need for work, he helped people to work towards Goal #8, Decent Work and Economic Growth. He also realizes that by helping encourage young people to explore different options for education and learn more about what different options are available to them, he helped work towards Goal #4, Quality Education.

SDGs and Badges

Crews should be encouraged to learn about the different SDGs and determine how they fit into their existing program – which Goals have they already touched on? What Goals have they not engaged with already and how can they find ways to engage with them? Act-level Trail Cards are a great way to stay involved with Scouting and the SDGs, and may offer interesting ideas that could be engaging to Rovers, especially as many of them are longer-term projects with bigger impacts.