New Scout badges help MSPs earn brownie points

Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh is pictured with members of  Scouts Scotland (l-r) Charles Cumber, Stephen McLennan, Patrick West and Tudor Westwood.
Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh is pictured with members of Scouts Scotland (l-r) Charles Cumber, Stephen McLennan, Patrick West and Tudor Westwood.

MSPs are to be awarded a badge by the Scouts when they help to raise youth-related issues in the Scottish Parliament.

The youth organisation’s recently launched Youth Advocacy Award will see MSPs earn the award in the same way as Scouts earn their badges, by completing a number of tasks.

MSPs will have to complete four out of seven requirements that include learning a skill, raise issues relating to young people in the parliament or in the media, and visit a local Scout group.

The actions for the badge were decided by young people in Scouting and will ensure that politicians get a greater insight into the work carried out by the organisation – the largest volunteer-led mixed youth movement in Scotland.

Scottish Parliament presiding officer Ken Macintosh, who is also the honorary vice-president of Scouts Scotland helped to launch the new award.

He said: “Scouting has long been a way for young people to experience adventures, build friendships and learn new skills. And, as a former Cub Scout, I know what you learn in Scouts stays with you for life.

“So I was delighted to take the first steps towards gaining my Youth Advocacy Award today.

“With the launch of this new award, many of our MSPs can show their support for the Scouting movement whilst engaging with young people across Scotland.”

Tudor Westwood, chairman of the National Youth Advisory Committee for Scouts Scotland which came up with the seven tasks MSPs have to complete, said: “The exciting thing is that this badge encourages politicians to see and engage with, first-hand, the extraordinary work Scouts Scotland does every single day in Scotland.

“Our Scouts are active citizens and I believe this advocacy award will help to inspire more of our young people to engage with democracy and work towards social change.”