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Joining the scouts

joining the scouts
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Joining the scouts will have been a right of passage for many dad’s back in their youth and now the same can be said for both our sons and daughters nowadays. The scout movement helps 400,000 young people in the UK enjoy new adventures in connecting with the outdoors and other young people. On the main scout website http://scouts.org.uk/home/   the chief scout, Bear Grylls, has summed scouting up as ‘two things matter in life: following your dreams and looking after your friends. This is what I love about Scouting.  It’s about doing great things, loving and enjoying the great adventures and helping others to do the same.’

What other parents say

Parents of scouts seem to agree. In an independent survey of over 2,000 parents of Scouts, nine out of ten parents said Scouting is worthwhile and nine in ten said their children find Scouting enjoyable. Some of the benefits that they reported seeing were increased confidence, responsibility and a wider set of friends, and lots of the parents said that scouting seemed to improve family relationships as well… The experience of being a scout can also give them access to activities and opportunities that may have been otherwise unavailable to them.

Three areas of scouting

  • The programme zone which is a balance programme of activities and events that reflect the ages of the young people involved in each group. It covers a huge range of activity from outdoor and physical pursuits to community involvement, creative expression and learning about the wider world.joining the scouts
  • The second area is the activity badges which again range wildly from hiking to healthy eating to IT to mechanics! The badges allow scouts to show progress in a pursuit and also support them to develop a new interest. More ambitious tasks go under the name of Challenge Awards and at the very top of the badges is the Chief Scouts Award.
  • The third area of scouting is campaigning work to protect and promote the interests of Scouting and its member, one example is the Stop the Rain Tax campaign. This protected Scout Groups from rises in water bills which, in some cases, would have threatened their very existence. The campaign involved organizing a mass lobby of Parliament, encouraging Scouts to lobby their MPs. This local and national drive sealed the victory of the campaign. Lastly the national Public Affairs and Campaigning Team regularly respond to Government consultations on behalf of the Scouting Association.

Five sections of scouting

The 400,000 young people in Scouting spread across five sections: Beaver Scouts, Cub Scouts, Scouts, Explorer Scouts and the Scout Network. Each section has its own balanced programme of activities, badges and awards. Beavers are for age 6-8 and meet weekly to take part in a wide range of activities and may have the opportunity to take part in the fun and excitement of camps and sleepovers… Cubs are for age 8-10 and will be in a pack of up to 36 young people and split into sixes. Scouts are for age 10-14 with groups of 8 in a patrol and focus on outdoor activities, especially camping; explore scouts are 14-18 year and are encourage to self-lead in deciding their programme and to also become involved in assisting with the younger groups.

To find your local group go to http://scouts.org.uk/get-involved/ and you can contact the leader and ask any questions that you have.

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About Jenny Smith

About Jenny Smith

Jenny Smith is a freelance writer and facilitator specialising in mental health, well-being and ecotherapy. She writes for National Mind and The Working Parent and facilitates training in the Work that Reconnects and Ecotherapy. She is inspired by nature, gardening, love and non-duality teachings

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