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
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.
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 gauge 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