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Volunteering at Scouts is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing to help us reach more young people

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Scouts of the World Award

Scouts of the World Award

Scouts of the World Award badge

Scouts of the World Award (SOWA) is a Scout Network only award that gives Scout Network members the chance to undertake a project of their choice within the themes of Peace, Environment and Sustainability and take action on their chosen issue.

Through your Scouts of the World Award journey, you’ll develop skills and knowledge that will empower you to undertake a project that will make a sustainable impact on your local, national or international community, while developing your personal skills.

You’ll learn skills including independence, team work, project planning, time management and communication skills, while gaining an understanding for global issues and international relations. You don’t have to go abroad to complete your Scouts of the World Award. Local and national projects are acceptable, as long as all requirements of the award are being met.

How to earn your badge:

  1. Be a member of the Scout Network section

    This needs to be recorded on your Compass record.

  2. Attend a Scouts of the World Discovery run by a SOWA Trainer
    • a SOWA Discovery event may take place as a residential event or a number of shorter events but should be a minimum of 14 hours of learning 
    • all participants should undertake some pre-course activities that will be sent to them by the SOWA Trainers prior to the event
    • the Discovery will broaden the participants understanding of the wider global context that underpins the Award and global issues

    Please note: If you don’t attend a SOWA Discovery event, you’re not eligible to achieve the award.

  3. Register for the Award

    Inform your Assistant County Commissioner (Scout Network) that you're undertaking the award

  4. Create a plan for your SOWA project with the guidance of your mentor
    • a SOWA project must take a minimum of 80 hours, which can also include planning time
    • the project should be based on one or more of the three key themes of the Award (Peace, Environment and Sustainable Development)
    • an assigned SOWA mentor will guide the participant through their project, including the planning stages
    • ACC (SN) or equivalent should be notified about the project, as they are the final sign-off for the Award
    • the project should follow the SMART technique, with clear project objectives, timescales and realistic deliverables
    • the project should have a long-term, sustainable impact on the local, national or international communities
  5. Complete your SOWA voluntary project

    80-hour project based on one or more of the three themes (Peace, Environment and Sustainable Development)

  6. Undertake an evaluation, personal reflection and local presentation

    Participants should spend time evaluating their journey through the Award, as well as the project itself. The Award is not just about meeting the project aims but is also about the development of the skills, cultural awareness, knowledge and attitudes of the participants, as active global citizens. This evaluation may cover questions such as:

    • Can I see the connection back to the global context I learnt about at the Discovery Weekend?
    • How is my project sustainable? If it is not, what could I do to ensure it is?
    • What challenges did I face and how did I overcome these?
    • What skills have I gained from achieving this award?
    • What does it mean to be an active global citizen?

    Participants should present their project and evaluation to a relevant audience. This could include the ACC (SN), who has final sign off of the award, as well as Scout Network members, Explorer Scouts, ACC (International), their SOWA Mentor and their SOWA Trainer.

    This section should take around 3 hours in total to complete.


  • After you've completed your local presentation, your Assistant County Commissioner (Scout Network) should complete the online SOWA completions form to request your certificate and badge.

  • To become a Trainer or Mentor to support Scout Network members through their SOWA projects please fill in this short form and one of the SOWA lead volunteers will get in touch with you.

    The following resources are available to help you:

May 2024.

Requirements can be adapted to suit each young persons abilities. See our guidance on flexibility.

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