Although the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aim to help serious issues that we are facing, each connected project or activity can be fun and rewarding. Youth are in the position to make Scouts for Sustainability exactly what they want, and it feels great when you make a positive difference with your fellow Scouts and Scouters. Here are 5 tips to get started on integrating the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into your journey on The Canadian Path!
- Start the conversation with some easy, fun introduction activities.
What are these Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), anyways? Try some general introduction activities to get the conversation started, such as these activities found on the Scouts for Sustainability website. As a Section, learn a bit about why the Sustainable Development Goals were created, who made them, and why they’re so important!
2. Next, connect the dots to what you already do!
As a Section, take a look at all of the awesome activities you’ve done and try connecting to them to different Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Does your Section do a yearly shoreline clean-up? You’re connecting to SDG #14 Life Below Water! On outdoor adventures, do you prioritize Leave No Trace and leaving places better than you found them? That is SDG #13 Climate Action! Making these connections to activities you’ve already done should help youth see how easy it is to connect to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), learn a bit more about what they’re all about, and help with ideas to strive for more. Another top tip – you just might find that many activities will connect to more than one Sustainable Development Goal (SDG)!
3. Start broad! Encourage youth to explore one of the 3 themes to start.
17 Goals can seem like a lot to explore at once. Have youth explore the themes to start! Is there interest in Environment, Society or Innovation? From here, discuss what theme is most interesting to the Section and begin to explore the different Sustainable Development Goals within the theme. What Sustainable Development Goals (or Goals!) do youth want to explore first? Which is the easiest to connect to?
4. Explore the Activity Finder to get the ball rolling.
The Activity Finder makes things even simpler! There are anywhere from 10 to 15 activities connected to every single Sustainable Development Goal (SDG). After narrowing to a Goal (or more than one!), youth can explore all the connected activities and find some that seem interesting and fun. As a bonus, there’s even a “Keep It Simple” and “Take It Further” option for every activity – allowing youth to scale up or down depending on age, interest, etc.
5. Put your actions on the map and look for other ideas!
Put your awesome adventures with an impact on the interactive map. Be sure to take pictures and document all of the awesome activities your Section is doing. It’s a place to celebrate and see the impact Scouts are making on the Sustainable Development Goals. Even better, look through the map to find ideas from what other Sections and youth are doing across the country to keep things going!