Oct 09 2013

Scouting for all in Staffordshire

You might have heard that Scouting is changing. For the first time, we’re offering an additional, alternative Promise, that will allow those who have no faith to promise to do their best, to uphold our Scout values and to do their duty to the Queen.

But what does that mean to Scouting here in Staffordshire.

Put simply, it means more people than ever can join Scouting. We are committed to being an inclusive organisation and we have removed barriers that might prevent those who share our values from taking part.

But none of this is as new as it sounds. For nearly 50 years we have offered an additional, alternative Promise for those from other faiths that is relevant to their beliefs. In addition, non-UK citizens also do not have to give their allegiance to Her Majesty the Queen, but to the country where they are living.

Of course those who wish to continue to Promise to do their duty to their God can continue to do so. Part of Scouting’s role is to help young people explore their faiths and beliefs.

This latest move has attracted widespread support both from within as well as outside the Movement and is backed by faith leaders who understand the importance of Scouting being inclusive and providing amazing and surprising opportunities to both our young people and our adult members.

Change has always been part of Scouting. As our Founder, Robert Baden-Powell once said, ‘Scouting is Movement, not an organisation.’ Throughout its history, Scouting has moved with the times to offer the adventure, experiences and practical skills to young people of all backgrounds.

For example, there are now more than 77,000 girls and young women nationally and 1968 here in Staffordshire. In the last ten years, over 50 Scout groups have been formed from members drawn mainly from Muslim, Hindu and Sikh communities and many more have joined other groups too. We have removed age barriers so people can continue to volunteer in Scouting as long as they are fit and able to do so.

Today Scouting is growing faster than ever, offering over 200 activities from abseiling and archery to international expeditions. We help young people grow in confidence, discover new skills and become the active citizens of tomorrow. Our volunteers come from all walks of life and fit the fun and friendship of Scouting around their work and family commitments.

So if you want to join the adventure and make a positive impact in Staffordshire come and visit us at
www.scouts.org.uk/getinvolved

Paula Evans
County Commissioner