I was a Scout (in fact, an Air Scout) in my pre-teens, and I have hazy memories of troop meetings, camping trips and jamborees. I also remember acquiring levels of knowledge and skills on subjects that would result in being awarded a badge I could display on my uniform.
In those days (we’re talking about the 60s) you could earn badges for proficiency in things like first aid, map reading, hiking, tying knots, and all manner of field-type crafts.
You can still do such things today but the list expanded a while ago into a wider range of highly practical and relevant skills-acquisition to suit changing times.
The Telegraph quotes Andrew Thorp, spokesman for the Scout Association, saying that the activities may be new, but the skills they taught, such as teamwork and communication, had been central to scouting for a century.
For PR, we are a very media-driven world these days and it’s about how we can teach communication to young people in a way they can understand.
According to the Telegraph’s report:
[…] Those hoping to earn the new public relations badge, which will be available for Explorer Scouts aged 14 to 18, must give a talk to another organisation about Scouting and secure media coverage for a Scouting event. They will also need to "understand and show use of the Scout brand."
Anything that helps younger people better understand the value of effective communication must be a good thing. And ditto helping those younger people see the value of effective public relations.
There’s hope for the future of the PR profession!