Our top award – 100 years on

BB Training & Development Officer, Alan Hunter, reflects on 100


years of the highest achievement and how it benefits today’s young people and the wider community.


In 1913 the first crossword puzzle was published in a New York newspaper, Charlie Chaplain began his film career, and Brigade Council in Glasgow suggested that a King’s Badge be introduced as the highest award in The Boys’ Brigade. 100 years later, crosswords are still a growth industry in many publications, Charlie Chaplain is still recognised as a pioneer in the world of film, and the King’s Badge….

In 100 years the award may have had two different names, been awarded by four different monarchs and had five different designs, but the ethos remains the same. The original regulations called for the development of skills, which would help the young man develop as a person and that is still the case today, however the Queen’s

queens badge colourBadge of today helps develop skills for learning, life and work and the health and wellbeing of the young person. These fit neatly into some of the Scottish Government’s priorities for young people in the first part of the 21st century. The current Scottish curriculum, Curriculum for Excellence (CfE), recognises that not all education of young people will be covered at school, and often the informal learning achieved in The Boys’ Brigade and similar youthwork organisations, will provide the young person with the soft skills, valued by employers, in areas of teamwork, communication, leadership and relationship building.

CfE’s purpose is to enable children and young people to develop into being Successful Learners, Confident Individuals, Effective Contributors and Responsible Citizens. Although CfE was only introduced in 2010, the Queen’s Badge has helped thousands of young people to be each of these four, over the last 100 years of its existence. With over 500 Queen’s Badges awarded last session, that amounts to well in excess of 30,000 hours of volunteering by young people, whether it be within their own Company or in the wider community, making a difference to the lives of others. That assumes that every award holder only completed the minimum amount of time, although many will do far in excess of that.

The Queen’s Badge features in the publication Amazing Things, which has been developed to highlight the contribution made by awards to young people’s achievement. Amazing Things helps youth work organisations see ways of accrediting young people’s volunteering, achievement and self-development; schools can see how activity in the community complements in-school learning; colleges and universities can offer opportunities for students to develop skills and competence alongside their studies; and employers can better understand the way in which young people’s community activities build up their soft skills and make them more effective employees. To view a copy of Amazing Things follow the link: http://scotland.boys-brigade.org.uk/amazingthings.pdf

QB course

Does your Company offer the Queen’s Badge? As you can see, the award is much more to the young person than a badge to wear in uniform or a certificate to hang on a wall.  Ultimately it can open doors into the world of employment. And like the crossword, I’m sure it will be around for a long time to come…another design, name or monarch perhaps, but continuing to ‘make a difference’ for young people, our communities and our businesses…what better investment is there?

For find out more about ‘The Queen’s Badge’, please visit our website or alternatively, contact Alan Hunter directly (alan.hunter@boys-brigade.org.uk).