Scouting in Botley is part of a truly impressive international movement, serving 31 million youth members in 216 countries. Scouting UK has half a million members, including 100,000 adult volunteers.
I was a Cub/Scout/Venture myself, back in the ’70s and ’80s. I got involved again 5 years ago as a leader, and have just joined the 4th Oxford Group as their Group Scout Leader. Why did I get involved? As a parent of four, I saw the great benefit Scouting contributes to the development of young people in achieving their “full physical, intellectual, social and spiritual potentials, as individuals, as responsible citizens and as members of their local, national and international communities.”
Of course, in the way it delivers that objective, Scouting today is quite different from when I was a kid in the 1970s.
Scouting for girls! As I write, International Woman’s Day has just passed, and Scouting UK blogged in celebration of some of Scouting’s female heroes (www.scouts.org.uk/news). Since 1991 girls have been welcomed to join any section.
Scouting for minecrafters! Recognising changes in culture, there is movement afoot to introduce a badge for keen players of minecraft! Other recent badges encourage young people to explore IT or PR, alongside more traditional Scouting badges, rewarding proficiency or endeavour.
Scouting for explorers! An exciting hot-off-the-press development is that an Explorer Unit, catering for 14-18s, is opening in Botley very soon! We’re looking forward to providing ongoing personal develop and support to 14+ in those critical years as they grow into young adulthood.
Scouting for busy people! Like many of us, I’m busy! One thing that enabled me to become a leader was an emphasis on flexible volunteering. To support a growing movement we’re looking for more helpers, either to work with the young people or behind the scenes. Whatever your skills and availability, please get in touch and let’s talk!
Andy (Group Scout Leader)