We caught up with Eagle Eye, who is the Beaver Section Leader with 10th Fulwood (Salaam) Scouts in Preston. She told us about the importance of the Beavers Health and Fitness Badge and how it teaches her Beavers about the importance of a healthy lifestyle for their physical and mental health.
When and why did you choose to get involved with Scouts?
I joined 10th Fulwood (Salaam) Scouts as a volunteer in 2015. I chose to volunteer initially to enable my children to get fast track entry to the group! Five years later and I’m now the Beaver Section Leader and as passionate as ever about enabling children in our community to get involved with Scouts.
What makes Scouts such a good initiative for children to get involved with?
Joining Scouts gives children the best of both worlds; an education and lots of opportunities for fun! Scouting develops skills in children which really enhance their confidence, creativity, and experiences in life.
Every child takes something different from their involvement with Scouting. Our young people grow in confidence and concentration skills through the activities we lead, and they also learn to develop their own fun and interactive games.
We teach them key skills, as well as about the importance of personal care and healthy living. I’ve seen over the years what a difference we can make to the lives of the young people we work with by teaching them about how to build a healthy lifestyle that is fun from a young age. And many times, we see our young people taking these lifestyle changes home and into their friendship circles, which passes the lessons they’ve learned onto others too.
What are the biggest challenges for young people who are wanting to stay healthy in 2020 and what can parents, carers and young people themselves do to overcome these challenges?
With the restrictions that Covid has enforced upon us this year, it’s been more challenging than ever to get young people being active. With education, family time and socialising with friends happening evermore in front of a computer screen or tablet, finding opportunities to get out and be active has become even more important.
We’re always looking for ways to get the young person’s wider family involved where possible to encourage them to find consistency in their enjoyment of the great outdoors. We support our group members by providing resources and suggestions of family-oriented activities that they all get involved in to remain connected to Scouts and active. We encourage the families of 10th Fulwood (Salaam) Scouts to plan activities together and use the support network of our Beavers group to share their experiences and learn from others.
What are some of the most unique activities that your 10th Fulwood (Salaam) Scouts have tried as part of the Beaver Health and Fitness Activity Badge?
To earn the Health and Fitness Activity Badge, Beavers must take part in three agility activities.
To fulfil this requirement in 2019, we held the inaugural 10th Fulwood (Salaam) Scouts Olympics! We held the track and field event in UCLan’s Sports Arena, which is a space dedicated to sport and provided the perfect backdrop to our activities.
Our Olympic events varied from hurdles, sprints and relays to discus, archery, long jump and more, culminating in the highlight of the day: the ultimate Tug-of-War! It proved to be such a success that this year we teamed up with more local Scouts groups to increase participation and to ramp up the friendly competition.
And back in 2018, all the sections from 10th Fulwood (Salaam) Scouts took part in the Preston Fun Run. Our young people completed a 3-kilometre course on a brisk Sunday morning. The children raised money for charity through sponsorships prior to the event and so many eager families came to watch the race and cheer them on. It was the first time many of us had been involved in an event of this nature and the excitement among the young people and Scout leaders alike was truly palpable!
What are the key skills that this badge teaches Beavers?
The obvious key skills that the Health and Fitness Activity Badge teaches are health, leadership, teamwork, camaraderie and determination. The activities also teach our young people how to take part in competitive activities and to be graceful in the face of a victory or loss!
It teaches them about the benefits of keeping fit through increasing their heart rates and ultimately how to maintain a healthy body, mind, and spirit. And most importantly, it teaches the young people that fitness and fun are not mutually exclusive and in fact can both go hand in hand.
It’s hugely important for our young people to learn these skills today, as they increasingly spend more and more time in the digital world. The core skills that the Health and Fitness Activity Badge teaches our young people will hold them in good stead for the future, in their education and future careers.