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SCOUTS: Explorer Of The Year Award

Posted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 7:52 pm
by Jody
I propose that we create a Scout: Explorer Of The Year Award.

I propose the following:

Entries should adhere to the following two Explorer Badge requirements:

1. Plan, conduct and evaluate three expeditions of increasing challenge.
2. Explain risk management for these trips, including safety precautions necessary.

The first requirement serves to inspire and the second serves to educate.

The rest of the requirements are unique to this award.

Scout Troops are eligible to submit their electronic package(s) (including text, photographs and/or videos) outlining three expeditions undertaken by their Troop within one scouting year (e.g., September 1, 2012 - August 31, 2013).

Entries must be submitted by October 15 of the Scout year immediately following the year in which the expeditions were conducted (i.e., 45 days after year end) and the award will be judged promptly and the winners announced on November 30 of the same year (i.e., 90 days after year end). The mechanics of submitting entries and judging and voting will be determined later.

For this award, the three expeditions must be related to each other. Each must build off of its predecessor. For example: the first can be a training exercise to expose new Scouts to the activity (e.g., the first backpacking trip or the first winter camp or the first canoe trip, etc.). The second expedition can be an extended journey pushing the limits of the endeavour allowing the Troop to become further conditioned and experienced at the activity and the tools used in the activity. The third expedition should be the fulfillment of the purpose of the endeavour (e.g., summiting a peak, reaching the headwater or mouth of a river, circumnavigating a geologic land or water feature, etc.)

Expeditions must be lightweight, self-propelled journeys in a wilderness setting of at least 5 kms. The first must be a minimum of one night, the second must be a minimum of two nights and the third must be a minimum of three nights.

Each of the three expeditions must be of progressively increasing challenge as a consequence of: distance, elevation, terrain, season or technical difficulty (or any other factor that might contribute to each successive expedition being somehow more challenging in addition to the increase of nights required).

While the participants in each expedition do not have to be the same, consistency in team participation should be a factor in the judging of the award.

Keep in mind also, the definition of the word "expedition":
"an excursion, journey, or voyage made for some specific purpose, as of war or exploration."
The three expeditions must share a common purpose and each must bring the members progressively closer to the achievement of that purpose.

Submitted for your consideration......

Note: In the badge above, Polaris indicates true north and the compass rose indicates magnetic north.
Expeditions are a place of learning. They are about diving into a place you’ve never been,
and learning how to experience the world through your surroundings.
Without mystery, there is no adventure.
-- Mike Libecki ... verywhere/

Re: SCOUTS: Explorer Of The Year Award

Posted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 1:39 pm
by norma
Jody wrote:the three expeditions undertaken by their Troop within one scouting year
If you do this, then the Scout version will be somewhat "harder" than the Venturer version.
The Venturer version requires 1 expedition, and you are saying for the Scout one that they *need* to do 3 within 12 months?

There is no time limit set on the Expedition badge. Says you have to have completed 3 expeditions, but that is over the years of being a Scout, and not necessarily within 12 months.

Re: SCOUTS: Explorer Of The Year Award

Posted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 2:23 pm
by Jody
Norma: Right. For the Explorer Badge itself, there is no time limit for doing the three expeditions.

For this Award, however, I'm suggesting that the requirements be slightly different.

The Vent award is one epic adventure. That's fine for Vents.

As the Program Revitalization team keeps saying: the number one complaint of the youth is that they don't get to go camping enough.

It's time to oblige them!

This Award envisions a three-step process (with the potential added benefit of changing the culture of a Troop while they're at it):

(1) Dip your toe in the pool/go wading/learn to tread water/learn some basic swim strokes: plan a weekend camp to introduce all the new recruits to whatever activity your Troop wishes to pursue (e.g., rivers, lakes, trails, mountains, etc.).

(2) Improve your swim strokes to the point where you can do a lap or two of the pool: plan a two night weekend to further advance the skills introduced at the first camp and increase the Troop's comfort and abilities with whatever activity is chosen.

(3) It's time for the swim meet: the whole Troop is up to speed with the activity and ready for the final objective - get it done - whatever it might be.

These "expeditions" will probably only be mini versions of the adventures the Venturers have but the die will be cast for the Troop; they will be well on their way to satisfying the number one complaint of the youth.

This is not an elite award designed only for the senior and most fit youth. This should be a whole Troop project.

The reward is the doing of it.

Winning as Explorer of the Year would just be an added bonus for the team that earns the title.

Those that don't win will still have earned one of the key badges in Scouting and had a heck of a good time while they were at it.

And the program gets the shot in the arm that needs right now.

Win, win, win.

Oh, and if anyone says this can't be done in one Scouting year........

Re: SCOUTS: Explorer Of The Year Award

Posted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:41 pm
by firedog_53
Jody wrote:This is not an elite award designed only for the senior and most fit youth. This should be a whole Troop project
I would suggest you make it a Patrol project, not the whole group. That is our prefered method, right? Smaller group?

I like the idea! (not big on competition but its a good sales tool and could grab some headlines)


Re: SCOUTS: Explorer Of The Year Award

Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:03 am
by Jody
What if we had a few associated awards to be given out each year along with the main awards?

For example, Explorer of the Year, Outstanding Achievement in:

Adapting for Special Needs
Overcoming Adversity - Leader
Overcoming Adversity - Scout
River, Lake or Ocean Exploration
Trail Exploration
Mountain Exploration, etc.

I'm sure we could come up with a dozen useful special achievement recognition awards.

Re: SCOUTS: Explorer Of The Year Award

Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 1:36 pm
by firedog_53
I like it, lots of good ideas!
Of course you know someone is going to want to have an "urban exploration".. paddle to the toronto island, an overnight hike thru an large urban center, getting locked up in a shopping mall over a long weekend or ???
sorry, I couldn't resist...

Re: SCOUTS: Explorer Of The Year Award

Posted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 4:17 pm
by Jody

Re: SCOUTS: Explorer Of The Year Award

Posted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 2:26 pm
by Hawkeye3
I like it a lot. My only two suggestions are:
1) Ask if 5 km is reasonable. If it's a vertical adventure or a winter adventure, is 5 km reasonable? I know (having pulled sleds on snow shoes), 5 km is a LONG way.
2) Increase methods for entry submissions. Youth can blog, tweet, Facebook, Google doc, etc. their planning and their trip. I suggest allowing the youth to submit using their "technology and processes" vs. ours. Yes, it will make judging harder (judges will have to ask some questions), but it puts the work more in their hands with processes familiar to them.

Otherwise, I still like this idea and believe that it should be expanded down to Cubs too.

Re: SCOUTS: Explorer Of The Year Award

Posted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 10:25 am
by Sam Wallis
I like the idea of them choosing the media for submission. good idea

WRT 5 km, for lightweight thats not bad. Jody knows more about vertical adventure than I ever will, but I think lightweight isnt pulling a sled, its having everything on your back.

The real question is, will this ever happen?

Re: SCOUTS: Explorer Of The Year Award

Posted: Fri Sep 04, 2015 9:22 am
by Angus Bickerton
Great ideas in this thread. Sort of an Amory Award for Scouts? Key is ensuring youth do all the work of planning and executing. Constant battle I see at the Troop level is keeping the leaders away from turning it into Cubs.