The Award is a personal challenge and not a competition against others. It's no about competing to be the best; it is about striving to achieve your own personal best.
Available to All
The Award is open to all young people aged 14-25 who choose to take up its challenge, regardless of gender, culture, religion, political affiliation or mental or physical ability. There is no discrimination on any grounds.
Young people make a free choice to enter the programme and commit their own time to undertake the activities. They cannot be forced to take part, nor forced to do certain activities within each Section.
Also, thousands of volunteers deliver the Award to young people; in that sense it is also a voluntary programme.
Young people design their own programme, which can be geared to their choice and personal circumstances and also to local provision. They may enter for whichever level of Award best suits them, and may take as long as they wish to complete an Award.
The four Sections (plus the additional requirement of the Residential Project at Gold level) provide a framework to encourage physical activity, mental challenge, individual perseverance, teamwork and interaction with other people. An individual's Award activities should reflect their own interests, but should also show breadth and not focus too exclusively on similar activities.
The participant achieves success through personal progress and development. Should a participant start at Bronze, continue to Silver and then to Gold, the Award Programme will demand more time and commitment from the participant.
Before starting an activity, young people are encouraged to set their own goals. If they aim for those goals and show improvement, they will achieve their Award.
Marathon, Not a Sprint
The Award demands persistence and commitment. It cannot be completed in short bursts of enthusiasm. All the requirements stated are minimum requirements and are often exceeded.
The Award is a programme of personal and social development.
The value to young people is dependent on personal commitment, the learning process and the quality of the experience.
Most young people get involved because they hope to have fun. Adults who get involved should also find participation enjoyable and satisfying.