A youth training programme put forward in 1956, taken up at School first through the Scout Association in 1960 and later through the Youth Department of the local authority, now in its own right.
It consists of three levels of achievement – Bronze (from age 14), Silver (from age 16) and Gold (from age 18) – in four kinds of activity: physical, craft, community service and expedition. It is intended that the choices should be individual, with external support, record keeping and monitoring only by clubs, schools, companies and uniformed organisations.
The Venture Scout Unit adopted the Scheme at the same time as the structure of the former Senior Scout Troop changed in 1958, because it was intended that the two training programmes (Scout and D of E) could run together, with Queens Scout and D of E Gold being gained at the same time, as indeed they were at once. When girls were admitted to the Venture Unit (1980) the same criteria applied to Queens Guide awards. The obvious advantages of these arrangements soon applied to many others, but the advantages of these twinned programmes were seen at once by the 19th Bolton Scout Group who agreed to encourage joint participation by meeting joining fees for scouts, as they still do.
The Boys Division became an official associate of the Award Scheme at the time it acquired the use of Patterdale Hall as an outdoor pursuits centre, the purchase of which in 2014 vastly expanded the Award activities, from form-based events such as expeditions and physical activities where large numbers could be catered for.
The plan for 2015/16 is that all Year 9 and 10 pupils will be entered at £160 with outdoor activities taking place at the Anderton Centre. Those who wish to follow up into Bronze level able to do so, and to continue at their own convenience in subsequent years.