Computer badge to prepare UK scouts for future

8 August 2003

Scouts across the UK are being prepared for their future careers with help from BCS. A new BCS Staged IT Activity badge will help Scouts to improve their IT skills and join alongside the more traditional Scout badges of cooking, first aid and pioneering.

Scouts badge In line with BCS's initiative to raise the profile and competency levels of IT amongst young people, the sponsoring of the Scouts IT badge will ultimately enable half a million Scouts to keep apace with the technological advancements of the 21st century and apply IT to their other Scouting activities and future careers.

BCS chief executive David Clarke explains: "As Scouting is the largest co-educational youth movement in the UK, the badge sponsorship serves as an ideal opportunity to target 6-18 year olds with a very relevant and exciting new badge. It is vital that today's young people are sufficiently IT literate as computers play an increasingly growing role in our lives. As technology develops the demand for a computer literate society becomes more essential and the IT staged activity badge is definitely a positive step towards addressing this issue."

Scouts across the country will be encouraged to study for the IT Activity badge, of which there are five levels, ranging from beginners to advanced. Scouts can study for their badges at home, in school or as an activity during Scouting and will be tested after each level.

Tom Ovenstone from the Scouts Association said "Today's Scouts use computers for a variety of different tasks from using the internet to monitor the weather when planning outdoor expeditions, to creating posters to promote forthcoming events. Scouting today is about giving Scouts the abilities to play a full part in the 21st century and the IT badge makes Scouting more relevant and accessible to all young people. We hope that the initiative will help UK Scouts to acquire vital IT skills that will impact upon their future and possibly their career choices."

David Clarke adds, "BCS is delighted to be able to reach young people in this unique way. We're keen to revamp the image of IT and to make it a desirable area of study for today's generation. It is our vision to make IT the profession of the 21st century and with the introduction of the IT staged activity badge, we hope that today's Scouts will be encouraged to pursue and perfect this vital skill. The Scout's partnership with BCS will create a valuable resource for Scouting, which will enable a greater number of young people to achieve their IT badge and to gain essential skills to help with their future."

Scouts website

For further information please contact the BCS Press Office.