Scouts of the World Award (SOWA) is a Scout Network only award that gives Scout Network members the chance to undertake a project of their choice within the themes of Peace, Environment and Sustainability and take action on their chosen issue.
Through your Scouts of the World Award journey, you’ll develop skills and knowledge that will empower you to undertake a project that will make a sustainable impact on your local, national or international community, while developing your personal skills.
You’ll learn skills including independence, teamwork, project planning, time management and communication skills while gaining an understanding of global issues and international relations. You don’t have to go abroad to complete your Scouts of the World Award. Local and national projects are acceptable, as long as all requirements of the award are being met.
Requirements of the award
To take part, you must
be between 18-25 years old and a member of the Scout Network section
attend a Scouts of the World Discovery (14 hours) run by a SOWA Trainer
register for the Award by filling out this registration form after you have attended a Discovery
create a plan for your SOWA project based on one or more of the three themes (Peace, Environment and Sustainable Development) with the guidance of your mentor
complete your SOWA voluntary project (80 hours) based on one or more of the three themes (Peace, Environment and Sustainable Development)
undertake an evaluation, personal reflection and local presentation (three hours) which should reflect your personal development, the project deliverables and how you have ensured the project is sustainable
Your mentor will be able to offer you guidance throughout your award.
After your presentation, your Assistant County Commissioner (Scout Network) (ACC(SN)) will confirm that the award has been completed and notify HQ via this completed form.
Scouts of the World Award minimum standards and criteria
The outcome of SOWA for the participant is
to play an active role as a global citizen in society
to advance on their personal development journey
to increase their understanding of global issues
Discovery (14 hours)
a SOWA Discovery event may take place as a residential event or a number of shorter events but should be a minimum of 14 hours of learning
all participants should undertake some pre-course activities that will be sent to them by the SOWA Trainers prior to the event
the Discovery will broaden the participants understanding of the wider global context that underpins the Award and global issues.
Voluntary project (80 hours)
a SOWA project must take a minimum of 80 hours, which can also include planning time
the project should be based on one or more of the three key themes of the Award (Peace, Environment and Sustainable Development)
an assigned SOWA mentor will guide the participant through their project, including the planning stages
ACC (SN) or equivalent should be notified about the project, as they are the final sign off for the Award
the project should follow the SMART technique, with clear project objectives, timescales and realistic deliverables
the project should have a long-term, sustainable impact on the local, national or international communities
Presentation, evaluation and personal reflection (three hours)
Participants should spend time evaluating their journey through the Award, as well as the project itself. The Award is not just about meeting the project aims but is also about the development of the skills, cultural awareness, knowledge and attitudes of the participants, as active global citizens. This evaluation may cover questions such as:
Can I see the connection back to the global context I learnt about at the Discovery Weekend?
How is my project sustainable? If it is not, what could I do to ensure it is?
What challenges did I face and how did I overcome these?
What skills have I gained from achieving this award?
What does it mean to be an active global citizen?
Participants should present their project and evaluation to a relevant audience. This could include the ACC (SN), who has final sign off of the award, as well as Scout Network members, Explorer Scouts, ACC (International), their SOWA Mentor and their SOWA Trainer.
Award standards The Scouts of the World Award is based on personal best effort rather than fixed standards and should be available to all members of Scout Network. This may mean that for some individuals, the requirements of the award need to be adapted to ensure that they face the same degree of challenge as other participants. Where additional needs have to be taken into account, it is acceptable to adjust some of the activities to make them more accessible. You should work with your mentor to discuss any adaptations, and make sure that any adaptations have been approved by the ACC (SN) who will sign off your award. As every set of individual circumstances will be different, it is left to the discretion of the ACC (SN).
Timescales The award must be completed by your 25th birthday and cannot be started before your 18th birthday. Within that, there are no fixed timescales. The number of hours specified above for the Discovery, Voluntary Project and Evaluation does not need to be completed in one go. For example, you may choose to do a voluntary project for one hour a week over 80 weeks.
Links to other awards
Subject to approval, completing your SOWA may also count towards other awards including:
Duke of Edinburgh Award (DofE) – your discovery and voluntary service could count towards the residential aspect of your DofE. Talk to your leader or DofE adviser for further details
Queen Scout Award (QSA) – consult with your QSA adviser and bear in mind that the SOWA can only be used once within the award. This could be as a residential or within the International, Community and Values section.