Wild places can inspire and stimulate, providing a range of multi-sensory and memorable experiences and an opportunity to take a new perspective on the world around us. From urban greenspaces to National Parks, taking youth work outdoors can create opportunities for young people to try new things, have fun and gain a sense of place, while also feeling the health and wellbeing benefits that fresh air and conntecting with nature offer.
The John Muir Award adds value to youth work approaches 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
The John Muir Award can support youth work approaches and engagement frameworks such as the UK Youth Social Development Journey. See our Youth Work, Nature and the John Muir Award publication for more information about why taking youth work outdoors matters and for examples from a range of youth settings across the UK.
The John Muir Award is used by organisations that promote the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of the Child and improve the life chances of children, young people and families. See the Scottish Government’s training resource ‘Introducing Children’s Rights: A ten minute training tool’ to find out more about children’s rights, frameworks and legislation.
The John Muir Award enables young people to ‘package’ a range of activities as a ‘Recorded Outcome’. A Recorded Outcome is one of the benchmarks used by Government to gauge whether the youth sector is meeting targets. The John Muir Award is celebrated by Youth Scotland in Amazing Things - guide to youth awards in Scotland.
Young people and nature connection is a topic generating a wealth of debate and discussion across a range of sectors. To help inform this conversation, the John Muir Trust is collating key research and feedback from young people and organisations that work with them, examples of youth engagement and stories, films and testimonials direct from young people. Find out more at www.johnmuirtrust.org/youngpeople or view a selection of youth sector John Muir Award case studies here.
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