Day: January 10, 2014

The Earth Scouts Festival Activities for Children and Youth

democracyPurpose: The purpose of an Earth Scouts Festival is to introduce parents and children in the community to the Earth Scouts experience with hands-on children’s activities that fulfill the Earth Charter’s principles for respect for nature, economic justice, human rights and a culture of peace. It is hoped that the experience will generate participants’ excitement and engagement in Earth Scouts either through hosting an Earth Scouts group or becoming an Earth Scouts Family. It is also a good way for the festival organizer to connect with other Earth Scouts’ minded families in his/her community.

Where can they be held? Earth Scouts Festivals can be stand-alone events or held in conjunction with other aligned events such as those for children, the environment or your faith community. In Tampa, Florida, Festivals have been hosted in conjunction with the annual Earth Charter Community Summits as well as a part of a community wide children’s festival known as Kaleidoscope.

Community centers and places of worship often provide free space for the festivals. In Tampa, the festivals, along with the annual Earth Charter Community Summits, have been hosted by the local community college. Local museums especially those that focus on children have also been willing to provide space for an Earth Scouts Festival. The museums have also helped market the Earth Scouts Festival to their usual group of visitors.

Publicity: Publicity can be self-generated via email lists and flyers distributed to local businesses, schools, and organizations. It is easier to get publicity for the festival when it is part of another event or is being hosted by a larger organization like a school, church, temple or mosque. Local entertainers who already are known and appreciated by children have also been willing to perform at the festivals, and, of course, they attract their own audiences.

The Earth Scouts Festival Guides: The Earth Scouts Festival Guides included here are sets of hands-on activities designed by three different curriculum specialists and used at different Earth Scouts Festivals held in Tampa.

The first, very successful Festival Guide was designed by Katie Templin Culbert and Barbara Cloud-Weisman for the first Earth Scous Festival in 2003. Click here to viewCulbert’s and Cloud-Weisman’s Guide. Here are some of the details about structuring the Festival.

  • The Guide provides you with detailed descriptions on how to do the various exercises.
  • Each exercise represents or teaches about a particular Earth Charter Principle.
  • The exercises are set up at different tables around a large room. Each table has a sign over it, written on butcher paper, indicating the Earth Charter Principle addressed by that activity. The children participate individually in the activities as they arrive at each table.
  • Each child receives an Earth Scouts Passport when they sign in.
  • Then, when the youth complete an exercise, their passport is “stamped” with an www.earthscoEarth Scouts sticker for the Earth Charter Principle the exercise represents. (These stickers served as the models for our Earth Scouts Badges.)
  • The Earth Scouts CD, Heartbeat of the Earth, composed and sung byShana Banana, is used in one of the activities and is available for download.

Sue Carter designed another Earth Scouts Festival Guide. In the first Guide or set of activities, the children can participate individually in the activities as they arrive at the activity table. In Carter’s Festival activities, the children participate as a group and many of the activities take place outside as well as inside.