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Scout’s honour (cover story

Scout’s honour

Morgause with the new badge at Arbor Low

MORGAUSE LOMAS describes how she came up with a new archaeology badge for Derbyshire Scouts

Many factors encouraged me to create the new Derbyshire Scouts Archaeology Badge. One of the most fundamental reasons was the plethora of archaeological sites in the county; everything from the Neolithic henge of Arbor Low to the 11th century Peveril Castle at Castleton. As a recent archaeology graduate, I wanted to highlight this richness, and to inspire youngsters to take an interest into the history of their county, with so many archaeological remains on their doorsteps. The badge was launched in 2020, and is a badge for all Derbyshire Scouts, ranging from the ages of six to 25. It involves a multitude of activities, from taking part in excavations, creating Stone Age tools, to running community outreach projects. The catalyst for the badge’s creation was an online discovery weekend for the Scout of the World Award in June, 2020. This is a scheme that allows Scout Network members (aged 18-25) to take action on a chosen issue, and to undertake a project of their choice in order to address it. The scheme has three main themes: peace, the environment and sustainability. Initially, I struggled to try to fit a project into a single theme. Then, as the idea of the archaeology badge started to emerge, I realised I did not need to isolate the project to just a single theme but could cover all three. Throughout my degree, one of the peculiar things we used to say was an archaeologist’s answer is always just another question. This was something I have really come to appreciate, as it allows us to truly consider all aspects of a question or topic to make sure we are taking all possible answers into consideration. This idea of questioning ideas and thoughts was something I really wanted to reflect in the badge, allowing Scouts throughout Derbyshire to use archaeology to tackle all types of topics and questions we face in the 21st century – from climate change to discrimination. I have great aspirations for the badge in the future, and I would love for it to be expanded further afield. One exciting project I am currently working on is an archaeological site profile series, to be hosted on the badge’s Facebook page. During the six-week summer holidays last year, we highlighted six separate sites throughout Derbyshire, encouraging Scouts to visit them. This also helped them to tick off some of the requirements needed to complete the badge. We are collaborating with a range of sites in Derbyshire to try and offer incentives to get the Scouts out and experiencing archaeology in Derbyshire. The removal of A-level archaeology from the school curriculum in 2016 means that the first opportunity young people get to study archaeology is at university, thus greatly reducing the exposure of archaeology to young people. With this badge, I hope to inspire a new generation of archaeologists in Derbyshire, as well as showing people archaeology is much more than just digging holes and can be used to address greater issues within the modern world. More information about the badge can be found at: www.derbyshirescouts.org/activity/Archaeology, or on our Facebook page: Derbyshire Scout Archaeology Badge.