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Last Updated: Saturday, 12 January 2008, 00:50 GMT
Scouts to earn skateboard badge
Scout street sports badge (copyright: Scouts Association)
Street sports are among new skills awarded with badges
A revamp of the scout movement will allow boys and girls to earn badges for skills such as skateboarding, making a fruit salad and racing quad bikes.

The Scout Association said 40 new badges marked the largest ever overhaul of the activities of the movement.

Chief Scout Peter Duncan said: "Young people today have a larger choice than ever before of activities to fill their spare time with."

The new badges will be launched this weekend at the scouts' winter camp.

The event for the 500,000-strong movement is being held at Gillwell Park, in Essex.

Last year marked the 100th anniversary of the movement's founding, celebrated by millions of scouts worldwide.

The best thing about scouting is that we get the opportunity to try new adventures
Nancy Ibrahim
Explorer scout

Lord Baden-Powell's first boy scouts spent their time tying knots and learning to light campfires without the aid of matches.

In stark contrast, scouts aged 10 and above are now set to be given the chance to try parascending - an activity which involves wearing a parachute and being towed into the air by a cord attached to a vehicle.

Young people can also earn a badge for street sports.

And older explorer scouts - aged between 14 and 18 - can take part in motor sports such as karting and quad bike racing.

An award for healthy eating for six to eight-year-old beaver scouts is also among the new badges.

'Healthy lifestyle'

The children will have to be able to make a fruit salad, two different sandwiches, healthy snacks such as omelettes or homemade meatballs, as well as list some unhealthy foods.

"The health of young people has always been of utmost importance to us, and through many of these badges we can help to further encourage young people on the choices they can make to lead a healthy lifestyle," said Mr Duncan.

The chief scout said this "includes challenging themselves with exciting activities and adventures, meeting new friends throughout the world, and creating a real difference in their communities".

In addition to introducing new challenges for youngsters, the scouts have also modernised some of their existing badges, such as the emergency aid badge.

Beaver scouts will now be taught to recognise dangerous situations and treat cuts and scrapes.

Meanwhile, explorer scouts will be taught how to deal with head injuries and given an understanding of conditions such as epilepsy and meningitis.

Commenting on the changes, 16-year-old explorer scout Nancy Ibrahim said it was "great that the badges have been updated to include activities that are important to today's scouts".

The youngster, who said she plans to earn her street sports badge, added: "The best thing about scouting is that we get the opportunity to try new adventures, when we might not have been able to do so otherwise."

VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Chief scout Peter Duncan on the new changes



SEE ALSO
NI scouts mark 100th anniversary
30 Jul 07 |  Northern Ireland
Scouting centenary: Your pictures
01 Aug 07 |  In Pictures
What would Baden-Powell do?
27 Jul 07 |  Magazine
Stamps mark 100 years of scouts
26 Jul 07 |  Dorset

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