Earth Scouts

Earth Scouts, a new national program based on the Earth Charter: A Declaration of Interdependence, with badges centered on respect for nature, economic justice, universal human rights and a culture of peace, is inviting volunteers including parents, youth, educators, artists and other enthusiastic community members to help in its formation.

Youth have led the way in the development of the mission statement: Change the World One Fun Badge At A Time–Youth Working Together To Make the Earth Charter a Reality at Home and in the Community.

Program and badge templates are being developed by “Trailblazer” groups for children and youth from 3 years to 13 years. Historically, badges prescribe specific steps for youth to follow. Instead, the badge templates will give guidelines and examples for each of the 16 principles of the Earth Charter in order to build experiences that demonstrate the interdependence of life and inter-relatedness of all issues. Youth will be given age appropriate guidance and support in designing their own requirements for fulfilling the badge.

For example:

Principle: Eradicate poverty as economic, social and moral imperative.

To understand this principle and put it into action an Earth Scout may develop relationship with 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 difference between males and females in the migrant camp and discrimination of migrant farmers in their community; take action to buy locally produced food; advocate for changes that benefit migrant farmers.

Earth Scout groups will be co-coordinated by one adult and youth who believe and act in ways congruent with the Earth Charter principles and serve as mentors and models.

Training is being offered to volunteers to “try out” the badge templates with children and youth to assure the templates are “kid friendly” and meaningful.

The Earth Scouts is being incubated by the Institute for Ethics and Meaning, 877-287-4246, while it is in the process of being incorporated as a non-profit organization.