FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Virginia Beach, VA. Tidewater Council BSA, a Boy Scouts of America Council that serves more than 5,500 young people in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth and Northeastern North Carolina, has announced its partnership with The Duke of Edinburghâ€™s International Award USA (Award USA).Â
By launching its Award Center, all existing and new Boy Scouts within the Council have the opportunity to take part in Award USAâ€™s Bronze, Silver and Gold programs. Award USA utilizes an globally established framework to cultivate resilience, confidence and leadership while learning new skills to be prepared to succeed in the new normal.
Boy Scouts of America and Award USA announced their official national collaboration in 2018, celebrating the close alignment of character- and leadership-building skills between the two organizations. In conjunction with BSA programs, Award USA offers youth out-of-the-classroom experiences designed to empower and equip Scouts, Venturers and Explorers to take on the best opportunities the world has to offer.
To complete the Award program, youth are challenged over time with goals in four sections of activities: skills, volunteer service, physical recreation and outdoor adventure. Youth who earn their Award at the Bronze, Silver and Gold levels are awarded a certificate of recognition and a medal for their achievements at local celebrations; Gold-level Award holders are celebrated at a national Gold ceremony hosted by the Award USA and international dignitaries.
Award participants will access the expertise of BSA councils for training and supervision of backpacking and other outdoor adventures. The Award also provides training and online resources for mentoring adult Award Leaders, equipping leaders with the tools that help youth succeed. The Award program has continued throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, utilizing a remote framework and modifying activities to ensure participant safety.
Award USA CEO Elizabeth Higgins-Beard commented: â€śBecause our programs complement each other so well, we look forward to this new undertaking with Tidewater Council BSA.Â We look forward to bringing our global framework and a worldwide recognized youth achievement program to this incredible group of Scouts.â€ť
ABOUT AWARD USA
The Duke of Edinburghâ€™s International Award USA is a flexible and proven youth development program for 14â€“24 year-olds that complements formal classroom learning and focuses on real-world experiences that build essential life skills including character, resilience and self-confidence.
With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic halting many traditional educational, employment and leadership opportunities, Award USAâ€™s structure and skill-building opportunities are a critical resource for young people coming of age during these difficult times. A recent survey conducted by The Duke of Edinburghâ€™s International Award Foundation found that 54% of young adults are concerned about their mental health and nearly half are experiencing high levels of stress.
As todayâ€™s young people face the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19 as well as calls to address racial injustice, the Award is dedicated to ensuring that young people will have what they need for the future: to benefit from great non-formal education and learning.
 Survey of 4,000+ 14-24 year olds in 42 countries, May/June 2020
ABOUT THE BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA
The Boy Scouts of America provides the nationâ€™s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training, which helps you people be â€śPrepared. For Life.Â®â€ť The Scouting organization is composed of nearly 2.3 million youth members between the ages of 7 and 21 and approximately 960,000 volunteers in local councils throughout the United States and its territories. For more information on the Boy Scouts of America, please visit scouting.org.
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NOTES FOR EDITORS
- Over 500 young people are currently pursuing their Award in the United States
- 33 schools, after school programs, and youth groups are now signed up as Award Centers, offering their students the experience of and for a lifetime.
- The Duke of Edinburghâ€™s International Award is a global, non-formal education framework which challenges young people to develop new skills, get physically active, learn about teamwork and leadership through adventurous journeys and volunteer within their community.
- The #WORLDREADY campaign is a global effort amongst the Award family, to showcase the inspirational activities of young Award participants around the world and how, through the development of skills such as resilience, confidence, adaptability and communication, young people can be ready to take on the world of today and tomorrow.
- The READY Awareness global video regarding adaptations made during COVID can be viewed here.
- Leaders of industry recognize the Award provides applicants with quantifiable traits. The Award is a prestigious achievement for resume listing and college/university applications.
- There are currently 1.1 million young people completing their own unique program, via hundreds of thousands of youth-focused partners and operators â€“ including schools, youth organizations, examination boards and youth offender institutions.
- Since its launch more than 60 years ago, millions of young people have participated and received Awards, with millions more benefitting from its impact in communities around the world.
- Both national and international case studies, imagery and additional video content are available on request.