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Scouts Of The World Award


The SOWA is a award that is shared by over 50 Scout organisations around the world. In the UK it's only available to Scout Network members, with the aim of encouraging you to develop and support society, locally or globally.

SOWA enables you to develop a range of skills from project management to planning an international trip. Many of these will benefit you both inside and out of Scouting. The experience will show you that you can implement change and work to improve the lives or environment of other people.

Requirements of the Scouts of the World Award

To gain this award you must:

  • Be aged 18-25 and a member of the Scout Network section.
  • Register with The Scout Association and obtain your Scouts of the World passport via the sign up page.
  • Attend a residential Scouts of the World Discovery, lasting a minimum of four days, based on one or more of the three themes: Development, Environment and Peace.
  • With the support of your mentor, finalise your plans for your voluntary service based on the theme explored on your Discovery.
  • Contribute to a minimum of two section meetings for Beavers, Cubs, Scouts or Explorers (or the youth section of another organisation) to introduce and explore your chosen theme with them.
  • Undertake a Scouts of the World Voluntary Service, either in the UK or abroad, lasting a minimum of 14 days.
  • Record and evaluate your experiences in the Scouts of the World passport.
  • Meet with your mentor and report on what you have achieved during your Scouts of the World Voluntary Service. This should include feedback from the community which benefited from your project.
  • Present your report to your Network.

Additional information

Awards standards

The award is based on personal best effort and not on fixed standards. Therefore, the quality of the personal effort is more important than the quality of the content and will vary according to your ability, age and other factors.

Special needs

If you have any additional needs, you should talk them through with your mentor, leader and/or Commissioner so that they can support you in gaining the award in a way that is suitable for you.


It is recommended that the planning stage of the award lasts no longer than six months.

Although the length of time is specified for both the Discovery and the voluntary service, neither need to be completed in one go. For example, the Discovery could be completed over two or three weekends.

Links to other awards

Subject to approval, completing your SOWA may also count towards other awards including:

  • Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) – your Discovery or voluntary service could count towards the residential aspect of your DofE. Talk to your leader or DofE Adviser for further details.
  • Queen’s Scout Award (QSA) – consult with your leader and bear in mind that the SOWA can only be used once within the award. This could be as one part of the international, environment and values section, or the residential section.

Further resources

Support materials for the Scouts of the World Award.