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About the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The Sustainable?Development Goals (SDGs) are a?global plan for a better world and a brighter future.?Created by the United Nations in 2015, the?17?SDGs?are a road map for Agenda 2030, a timeline for making a global difference to?eliminate poverty, reduce inequalities and fight climate change.

The Goals affect all seven billion people on Earth in one way or another, so we all need to do our part. The more others are aware of them, the easier it is to take action and contribute to making our world a better place. While the Scouting community has already contribute to the Goals, we can challenge ourselves to continue making a difference.  

About the Scouts for Sustainability Program

The goal of our national initiative will be to?recognize?the existing accomplishments of youth on The Canadian Path in working towards the SDGs,?inspire?them with new ideas and resources, and?celebrate?their accomplishments. Scouts for Sustainability will start the conversation on how we can continue to make a positive impact and turn small steps into huge leaps. 

Scouts for Sustainability will start more conversations on relevant issues that youth are facing, and will further explore how they are contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals through their experiences on The Canadian PathYouth will have the ability to take the lead on how they want to be change-makers and goal-setters.

Scouts Canada will provide new resources to allow youth and Scouters to feel confident implementing the SDG initiative as part of their program. Existing resources, such as Trail Cards, will be updated to incorporate the SDGs. In 2021, members can also expect increasing content on the Scouts for Sustainability webpage, as well as SDG kits.  

Scouts for Sustainability is scheduled to roll out over 2020-2022, with new resources being launched in stages. The 17 Goals are divided into three themes: Environment, Society & Culture, and Innovation. While each theme will have its own launch, youth can work towards any Goal at any time. The first four Goals will launch in Summer 2020.  

The SDGs are the start of a great adventure in Scouting! There are so many ways to?take action on?The Canadian Path. Start a discussion on?what?you would?like to do in your Group and explore the steps you can take together. Check out the Scouts for Sustainability website for ideas, resources and stories from across the country.    

Scouts for Sustainability is applicable to any age, and our programming will adapt for younger and older youth. First, in order to receive the Sustainability Badge, there will be different expectations dependent on the Section. For example, a Beaver will be expected to complete fewer or smaller projects than a Venturer in order to receive the badge. Regardless, the core programming is youth-led, even if some Goals may require more Scouter facilitation for clarity. As much as possible, youth should decide how the SDGs are integrated into The Canadian Path and how they would like to take part.   

Section Scouters should not have to commit any more time than they already are to facilitate the Scouts for Sustainability program. This initiative is meant to enhance The Canadian Path and complement its practices and expectations. There may be slightly more time required of Scouters depending on the activities youth choose to pursue as part of the initiative.  

Scouts for Sustainability is fully embedded into The Canadian Path program and the adventures that youth are already sharing. With encouragement for the challenge and positive role modeling, the Sustainability Badge should be an inspiring achievement.

Scouts for Sustainability is planned to roll out between 2020-2022, but the impact of the initiative will be long-lasting. The SDGs are meant to be accomplished by 2030, which allows us lots of time for this initiative to develop and grow within Scouting. 

With the framework in place, youth are in the position to make Scouts for Sustainability exactly what they want. Although these are climate change and human rights are serious issues that we are facing, each project or activity can be fun and rewarding. It feels great when you make a positive difference with your fellow Scouts and Scouters!  

Badge Requirements

What better way to celebrate successes than with a badge to wear proudly? The three-part Sustainability Badge is one way to bring us together in the quest for creating a better world and challenge ourselves to step out of our comfort zone to go for Gold. The Sustainability Badge reflects our membership’s commitment to building a better world through reducing inequalities, fighting poverty, and combating climate change.  

The Sustainability Badge is a three-part badge that?will celebrate youth action?across?the?SDGs. The three joining badge pieces comprise of the  three SDGs themes:?Environment, Society & Culture and Innovation.?Once all three pieces are achieved, the Sustainability Badge is complete. 

Scouts will demonstrate action on a certain number of Goals within?each?theme,?encouraging them to explore?at least half of the 17?SDGs?to?complete?the entire badge. 

Yes! Any relevant accomplishment can be used towards the Sustainability Badge, including Personal Achievement badgesTop Section Awards and any relevant activity youth do that connect to an SDG. The purpose of the badge is to celebrate youth contributions to the 17 Goals; how they choose to do that is up to them. All positive actions take us one step closer to achieving a better world.

To make the Goals easier to understand, we have divided them into three themes: Environment, Society & Culture and Innovation. Each of the themes has three tiers of badges – Bronze, Silver and Gold, for a total of nine badges.

No – although it is recommended in order to take larger steps towards creating a better world, this is up to you. It is perfectly fine to prioritize one theme over another.

No, the SDG badges are meant to complement the existing badges, including Personal Achievement Badges, Outdoor Adventure Skills and Top Section Awards. The badges can be done as a part of other badge work, or can be done on their own.

When reporting your badge requirements online or via Scout Tracker, feel free to include other activities from the 2019-2020 Scouting Year, onward.

Yes. Although not all WOSM badges are not fully immersed into the program, the activities and actions associated with them can definitely be used towards the Scouts for Sustainability Badge. It’s ok to work on the SDGs with other activities in Scouting.

Your Section Scouter who works closely with you and can approve, track, and document your progress towards your Scouts for Sustainability Badge. If you have any questions or need further clarification, reach out to sdgs@scouts.ca for assistance. 

Yes. Commitment to a better world spans further than just through Scouting. If you’ve joined in or led a positive action at school, home, or through other extra-curricular activities, share them with your Section to recognize it as one of your components to getting the badge.  

The badges are meant to be worn on the uniform, and you can find a diagram of the placement for each Section here to celebrate your success.

 

The badge can be purchased at ScoutShop.ca.

Keeping with sustainability mindfulness, the badges are made from fully recycled materials to minimize Scouts Canada’s overall footprint. While they may look and feel differently, they are meant to withstand the elements as well as any other badge.  

The SDG badges can be attained across three different tiers: Bronze, Silver, and Gold. Each level requires increased engagement and action with more of the 17 Goals than the level below it. You do not need to start at the Bronze level, and can choose what tier you would like for each individual part of the Sustainability Badge. As you move up the tiers, you will be expected to demonstrate action on more and more of the SDGs.  

The tiers are not levels but are meant more as a guideline for what types of activities or actions you will take on. The tiers are meant for a way to challenge yourself to strive for the next level and step out of your comfort zone to take on a variety of positive actions. As youth progress through Scouting, they are also encouraged to work towards new challenges and actions, and therefore reach a new tier objective.  

The tiers are not meant to be Section-specific. That being said, it would be very difficult for a Beaver Colony to achieve Gold based on the requirements set out. We recommend striving for your personal goals, and the tiers might be helpful in guiding your Section to success. 

As a good rule of thumb, we would expect Beavers to work on Bronze badges, Cubs primarily Bronze/Silver, Scouts & Venturers ;primarily Silver & Gold, and Rovers Gold. This is similar to the ‘Keep It Simple’ and ‘Take It Further’ components of the new Trail Card format. Determine your capabilities and take actions on a better world at your own pace! 

You can start striving for whichever tier(s) you would like. Whether you want to work your way up from Bronze, or go for Gold – that is up to you. It may be easiest to plan your approach and priorities based on your own goals for the Scouting year. 

Similar to the tiers, the levelled concept on the new Trail Card format is not meant to be Section-specific, but is still built with Sections and the age of youth in mind. 

For example, it will be easier for Beaver Colonies to take on Discover to Engage level Trail Cards, but more challenging for Act activities. Vice versa, Act Trail Cards will be more engaging and applicable for Venturers and Rovers than many of the Discover cards. Each card also has two areas to explore increasing or decreasing the difficulty and engagement with an activity: ‘Keep it Simple’ and ‘Take It Further’. All of these activities could then be applicable to the 3 badges of any tier: Bronze, Silver or Gold! 

Reporting is the best way to share your success across the country. Not only is it great for us to measure our collective impact, but there is also something special about seeing all of the positive actions and changes from across the country and serving as an inspiration to others. 

You can report on our online map by giving an overview of your action(s), and then see all of the progress from other Groups across the country, too. 

A compatible ScoutsTracker functionality is also in the works, so keep an eye out for the reporting form on there as well!

 

How to Make an Impact

Scouting youth are already contributing to many of the SDGs?through the experiences they have navigating The Canadian Path via the six Program Areas. We encourage both Scouts and Scouters to connect the 17 SDGs to what you are already doing and discuss what can be done to explore a wider range of Goals. 

The intention of the Better World Framework is to promote the engagement of young people in community development, and this works hand in hand with the Sustainable Development Goals. The Better World Framework encourages Scouts to align their community actions with the SDGs.

One of the key ideas behind Scouts for Sustainability is to allow Scouts and Scouters to recognize the things they are already accomplishing, and to inspire them to take on new challenges related to the SDGs. Many of the Goals are environmental in nature, so Scouts can find new ways to help the planet while exploring the SDGs. 

As an organization, Scouts Canada is also keeping sustainability in mind. We are creating policies to foster sustainable practices at large-scale events (like jamborees), reducing our own energy and resource use in our facilities, and sharing ways that we can all live more sustainably in our everyday lives.  

Volunteer or Partner with Scouts for Sustainability

As the backbone of our organization, we’re always looking for help from our volunteers! Do you have a passion for youth programming and sustainable development? Join the volunteer committee and share your ideas, knowledge and enthusiasm. This committee will take on tasks such as creating new program resources, facilitating workshops on sustainable development and collaborating with local Groups to discuss and gather feedback on the SDGs

If you are interested in joining in, contact sdgs@scouts.ca.

The commitment will be approximately five hours per month. The committee will also be divided into smaller teams, by theme (Environment, Society & Culture, and Innovation). They will focus on both program design and implementation. Time commitments may vary depending on committee role. 

 If you are interested in joining in, contact sdgs@scouts.ca.

Scouts for Sustainability is an opportunity for you to share your great ideas on how to make the world a better place. We want your help developing this program! Get in touch with us to learn more about volunteer opportunities. Contact sdgs@scouts.ca.

Partnerships are key to the success of Scouts for Sustainability. We are always looking for partners in our quest to make the world a better place. Reach out to sdgs@scouts.ca to learn more about our program and how you can get involved.  

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