Environmental youth work is 'an approach that enables young people to understand the environment they live in and empowers them to effect and make changes that will result in a more sustainable way of life for all.' Core competencies for environmental youth work – Council for Environmental Education
The John Muir Award adds value to youth work and promotes Environmental Youth Work by:
- Encouraging experiences of nature and the outdoors
- Encouraging and giving a context for practical action for the environment
- Promoting opportunities to gain knowledge and skills
- Fostering a sense of responsibility
- Offering links to networks and other agencies
- Linking to other agendas
Every Child Matters: Change for Children outlines the current approach by the Government to ensure the well-being of children and young people from birth to age 19. Its aims are that every child, whatever their background or their circumstances, has the support they need to:
- Be healthy
- Stay safe
- Enjoy and achieve
- Make a positive contribution
- Achieve economic well-being
Participation in the John Muir Award clearly ties in with these objectives.
The John Muir Award enables young people to ‘package’ a range of activites as a ‘Recorded Outcome’. A Recorded Outcome is one of the benchmarks used by Government to guage whether the Youth Sector is meeting targets.
You can view a selection of John Muir Award and Youth Sector case studies here.
The John Muir Award is celebrated by Youth Scotland in Amazing Things - guide to youth awards in Scotland.
Until youth work and environmental organisations establish sustainable, effective partnerships, environmental youth work will rely on the imagination and personal motivation of individual workers – youth workers with an interest in the environment and environment workers who value young people.Best of Both Worlds, Council for Environmental Education