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Are you using Challenge Plus?

Thursday 6th February 2014

Do your Seniors use the Challenge Plus Material?

Sometimes we hear that a Company hasn’t enough Seniors to run Challenge Plus - we know that this can result in nothing to attract or retain older teenagers.

The Challenge Plus material can work with different numbers of young people and one of the keys to its successful use, is the young people themselves determining what they want to be involved in.

The programme consists of challenges and projects.

Challenges are shorter activities that can be completed by the group or by an individual. Some challenges can be completed on the usual group meeting night whilst others may require a different night or venue.

Projects are longer activities that take more hours to complete spread over several weeks. Projects include taster sessions that can act as an introduction and be uised to see if the project is of interest.

David Sneddon, Chairman of the Scotland Regional Committee shares some ideas on how to use the programme, based on Battalion Challenge Plus days he has run. He said “It’s all about bringing together Seniors from different Companies to try out some challenges and projects (taster sessions). We organise the afternoon, so they can achieve at least 5 points, and are on their way to gaining their bronze award”.

David also commented on adopting a new mind set and not seeing Challenge Plus as an add on, but part of what you’re probably already doing. “Whilst some shorter challenges are tackled on a Company night, we used some activities on our residential weekend. We used an intro to orienteering, treasure hunt, mountain biking, and a great game of constructing castles from cardboard boxes and then trying to destroy each other’s using water filled balloons. All had a great weekend and walked away with 10 points, for doing what we would have planned to do anyway”.

 Sample Challenges

  • Make and fly a 5ft paper aeroplane
  • Take part in a ‘world record’ attempt
  • Invite and take the BB Chaplain to a fast food restaurant
  • Find a Googlewhack (a Googlewhack is a google search query consisting of two words that returns a single result)
  • Raise £100 for a charity

Sample Project - Crime

The overall aim of the Project is to consider the cause and effect of crime and how it is dealt with through the justice system. The main activity is to run a mock trial, having first visited a court. One of the taster sessions is entitled, “Mitigating Circumstances” and considers whether circumstances affect our view of crime.

A range of possible sentences are available (various fines, various prison terms, community orders etc. written on large sheets of paper and spread around the room. A sentence is read out, e.g. “John has been found guilty of entering a house and stealing jewellery and cash valued at £200.” The group members move to what they think is a suitable sentence.

Hopefully they will be in different places so there is the opportunity to discuss differences of opinion. A further piece of information is then read out, e.g. “John stole the goods to fund a drug habit.” Does this alter opinion and would anyone move to a different sentence? Obviously the purpose is to generate discussion and further pieces of information are added as the activity progresses.

Each project also has some suggested faith material; in this activity there’s a section about Grace and Justice.

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