Earth Scouts is Scouting ‘Plus’
January 7, 2014
Earth Scouts is more than a scouting program. It is a way for children and youth to become empowered to make a positive difference in their homes, schools and communities.
Imagine a community where children and youth
- Appreciate one another’s differences
- Have awe and a sense of wonder about nature and the cosmos
- Engage in making their school and community better
- Value independence and cooperation
- Seek peaceful solutions to problems
- Welcome new knowledge and experiences
Earth Scouts is a new national program developed by Earth Charter U.S. that inspires the above qualities in boys and girls from 3 to 17 years of age and engages them in actions. Earth Scouts themes are derived from the Earth Charter: A Declaration of Interdependence. The Earth Charter calls for a caring, sustainable and peaceful world. It was written by thousands of people from 78 countries over a period of 10 years and launched at The Hague Peace Palace in 2000.
Earth Scouts’ youth wrote the mission: Changing the world one fun badge at a time—children and youth working together to make the Earth Charter a reality at home and in the community. Badges center on universal human rights, eliminating poverty (economic justice), participatory democracy, respect for nature and a culture of peace.
Earth Scouts was developed by volunteers including parents, youth, educators, artists and other enthusiastic community members. From their exercises and activities, we have developed the most recent Earth Scouts Facilitators Guide which provides guidelines and examples for each of the 16 principles of the Earth Charter. Older Guides, additional Tips and student projects are also available. Parents and youth can develop their awareness of the interdependence of all life and the interrelatedness of all issues through these experiences as well as those they design themselves.
In these guides, we have recommended that Earth Scouts Groups or Families use the following processes in ‘getting to action’:
- Inspire – Use exercises such as games, songs or performances that excite the child or youth about the issue and the Earth Charter principle you are examining
- Understand – Do research, take field trips, study and discuss the issue and principle
- Present – Use art or a science project or some other mode for demonstrating what has been learned about the issue or principle
- Act – Develop and carry out an individual and/or group action in the home, school, or community that addresses the issue and fulfills the principle
As an example:
Principle: Eradicate poverty as economic, social and moral imperative.
To understand this principle and put it into action an Earth Scout may
- Develop a relationship with a migrant farmer’s child;
- Learn the difference between organic and non-organic farming;
- Understand the connection of migrant poverty to agribusiness;
- Engage in experiences that illuminate the gender role differences between males and females in the migrant camps;
- Learn about discrimination against migrant farmers in their community;
- Take action to buy locally produced food; and/or
- Advocate for changes that benefit migrant farmers.
We welcome your participation to help grow Earth Scouts nationally and globally. You may form or join an Earth Scouts Group of several families and youth. Or you may become an Earth Scouts Family in which just family members structure relevant exercises and activities to learn and act on the Earth Charter principles. Or you may host an Earth Scouts Festival in your community. Please share with us as you add your own ideas about Earth Scouts activities so we may let others know.
Click to join Earth Scouts Home