County Commissioner’s Challenge

Date: 24th Mar 2022 Author: Alan Henderson

County Commissioner’s Challenge 2022

 The County Commissioner’s Challenge is:

  • Completely inclusive for all sections – from Squirrel Scouts to Network.
  • An opportunity for sections to work collaboratively.
  • Designed to be completed by and awarded to everyone in your section.
  • Intended to inspire sections to work together and take part in activities which will encourage us as we bounce back from the effects of the pandemic, whilst considering some of the positive outcomes we have experienced in our communities during the last two years.
  • Youth shaped – select or design your own challenges to complete collectively.
  • Focussed on four main themes – Environment, Community, Global and Thanks & Help.
  • A cool new uniform badge, which can be worn by all participants. It is (accidentally) HUGE – so it is to be worn on your right sleeve.

How it works:

  • Work with another section on this challenge – this could be another section within your group or from a nearby group. We suggest pairing up with a different age range.
  • Please choose 4 activities in conjunction with your partner section – one from each strand below.
  • Feel free to adapt and differentiate the activities to suit your members, the time of year and your environment. In consultation with the young people, you might decide on an entirely different challenge – as long as your activity fits the strand.

Environment strand:

  • Investigate and discuss how the environment may have been affected during this pandemic. This may be positive or negative effects (eg: mask littering / traffic reduction during lockdowns / increased use of disposable plastics / the impact of online shopping). Devise and implement a project that will make a positive impact on your local environment.
  • Plant a tree (or hedging plant) for each member of your two sections and investigate why this is good for our environment.
  • Discuss how your section members could Reduce / Re-use/ Recycle more at home and during Scouting activities. Set a target to reduce, re-use or recycle more – maybe for a defined period of time or at a specific event. Record your results.

Community strand:

  • Talk about how the pandemic has changed the ways in which we interact and socialise with our family and friends. Consider which groups of people may have felt particularly isolated during 2 years of restrictions and lockdowns.  Organise an event, activity or special surprise which would reach out to some of these people.
  • Work together as two sections to perform an act of community service in your local area that would not have been allowed during the pandemic.

Global strand:

  • Investigate, talk about and reflect on the effects of the pandemic in developing countries, where many communities have limited access to healthcare, sanitation, clean running water and vaccinations.
  • Contact the Project Kenya 2023 team to find out all about Somerset Scouts’ partner schools and Scout Group in Nakuru, Kenya. Email: PK23@somersetscouts.org.uk

Find out more on the County website www.somersetscouts.org.uk/project-kenya-2023 Think of a way that your sections could get involved in supporting these schools or communities, as they struggle to recover from the effects of Covid-19.

  • International travel has been severely disrupted during the pandemic but global Scouting adventures are now beginning to recommence. Contact someone who is going to the World Scout Jamboree in Korea next year or on another Scout journey abroad.  Maybe a Scout, Explorer Scout or Young Leader in your Group? Find out about their adventure so far and follow their journey as they prepare for their trip.

Thanks & Help strand:

  • Consider the people who helped and supported you to continue Scouting during the pandemic. Did you attend Zoom section meetings? Take part in ‘Scouting at Home’? Maybe you participated in a virtual camp? Your Leaders, Young Leaders, parents and lots of other people across Somerset were involved in making sure that Scouting could happen during the months of lockdown.  Is there a way that your sections could recognise and thank some of these people for their support?
  • Your Section Leaders are awesome. Hold a party at which you can say thank you for everything they do for you. NB: For younger sections, this may need parental support!
  • It’s great to be back Scouting again. Would you like to encourage more young people or adult volunteers to join in the adventure and fun? Hold a joint meeting or activity with your partner section.  If your sections are small at the moment, you could invite everyone to bring a friend? Alternatively, you may want to plan an evening or event that includes parent participation, so that they can see what they are missing! Maybe you will encourage someone to sign up as a new volunteer.

The Final Requirement:

  • After completion, please contact the County Commissioner’s Challenge team with feedback on what you have been doing for this challenge. Send us some pictures / photos / written reflections / short video clips from the youth members. Alternatively, your sections may wish to present their feedback in person or via Zoom to the CC or one of the team.

We can be contacted at this email address –

challenge@somersetscouts.org.uk

Notes for Leaders:

  • None of the requirements are intended to be restrictive. Please be as flexible as necessary and allow your young people to make this their own challenge. Feel free to contact us if you have any queries or need further information-challenge@somersetscouts.org.uk
  • If any of the activity ideas are unsuitable for your section, please feel free ignore those and choose something else. We understand that some sections already have long waiting lists, for example!
  • The timeframe is yours to decide. Take as long as you like and incorporate this challenge within and alongside your section programme.
  • Badges will be issued free of charge for each member of every section that completes the challenge. They may be worn on the uniform until December 2023.

Enjoy the Challenge, make new friends, learn something new and have fun!

County Commissioner’s Challenge Team

March 2022

challenge@somersetscouts.org.uk

Put your phone down and what are you left with? Just teamwork, courage and the skills to succeed.’
Bear Grylls, Chief Scout Bear Grylls