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This month will hopefully see us all emerging further from the pandemic and able to get back to scouting in the great outdoors, which is well known to help with how we feel physically and emotionally. This month Mental Health Awareness week has a theme of nature, it is also National Walking Month and the global Jamboree on the Trail event too. With all that in mind it seems logical to theme this month around mental health and well being, linking it to the great outdoors in particular.

The aim is the information is of use to our volunteers as individuals, and for them to use and support other volunteers, young people and indeed the wider community too. The bottom line is ensuring that all ages know that we all have times when we are not ok, that’s normal and that there is lots of help and support available to help get us through.

We have listed a few suggestions as to how you might want to link this to relevant badges (see badge links below) in scouting, and linked to some other resources that can help you do so – but if you have any suggestions / resources to add do let us know! Remember to follow The Scouts advice and guidance re any virtual scouting.

Don’t forget to share what you get up to by submitting photos and some details!

If  you have found this helpful why not take a look back at the themes previously used in February (Heart), March (Science) and April (theme not yet live – will be linked here when it is) too for programme ideas and inspiration.

Resources & Support

Most of the following can be downloaded and adapted to suit your needs / your section:

  • The Scouts
  • Cambridgeshire Scouts – Active Support Units
    • The Mountain Activities Unit are a team of scouting volunteers who actively support you to take part in hillwalking, mountaineering, climbing and mountain biking – helping you earn relevant permits so that you can take young people of all ages from Cambridgeshire Scouts on similar adventures.
    • There is also a newly formed Inclusion and Diversity Unit, which can assist with mental health and well being matters. Until they have a page ready please contact Caroline Spaxman for advice and support, or if you would be interested in joining them.
  • Why not invite a suitable volunteer (such as a parent or carer – who knows they might enjoy it so much they volunteer again!) or two to deliver a suitable session. This could be anything from learning yoga to breathing exercises or hiking to navigation.
  • The Charity Childline have a section around “Anxiety, Stress and Panic” as well as one around mental health. Both have some really useful resources that can be adapted for all ages, or in some cases shared wider.
  • The Charity MIND have some great videos, resources and activities, including some specifically about pandemic related anxiety
  • This page page on the county website includes links to lots great open spaces in the county to walk, and has a link to a free app (Trail Tale) with walks to explore a growing number of cities, towns and villages.
  • 1st Virtual Facebook – simply head into “Files” and pop in what you are searching for. Or perhaps you’d like a virtual session from someone, so if you have no local contact search on the Group for suggestions. Here’s a few direct file links to give you an idea of what is in there (you will need to join the closed Group to see them) –  Cubs make and use a compassnavigation exercise and a 3 Peaks puzzle suitable for Scouts / Explorers
  • BBC Bitesize
  • Online Scout Manager – if your Section uses this software there are lots of programme ideas that are ready to use, including those that will work well for virtual / remote scouting

Badges

All sections Community Impact Staged Activity Badge , Navigator Staged Activity Badge and Hikes Away Staged Activity Badge

Beavers Health and Fitness Activity Badge

Beavers Teamwork Challenge Award

Cubs Teamwork Challenge Award

Scouts Orienteer Activity Badge

Explorers Hill Walker Activity Badge

Explorers Leadership Activity Badge

Explorers Chief Scout’s Diamond Award  (an ICV element)

Queen’s Scout Award (an ICV element)