Scouts is the largest youth organisation in the world with over 25 million members. Only 5 countries do not have a national organisation and wherever you go you are assured of a warm welcome from local groups (especially if you offer the traditional handshake with your left hand.)
Scouts officially took off after an experimental camp led by Robert Baden-Powell on Brownsea Island, in Poole Harbour. Baden-Powell took 20 young people from the east end of London and Harrow school and led a camp, under canvas, where he taught young people skills he had learned whilst in Africa: including stalking, knots, lashings and tracking
After school, at Charterhouse, Baden-Powell went into the Army, where he had a distinguished career through postings in countries including India, Afghanistan, Malta and various parts of Africa. The most famous point was the defence of Mafeking against the Boers in 1899, after which he became a Major-General at the age of only 43.
Baden-Powell retired from the British Army in 1910 at the age of 53, on the advice of King Edward VII, who suggested he could do more valuable service for his country working on developing Scouts and its sister movement, Guides.
The groups in Blackwater Valley District delivers activities, week on week to almost a thousand young people aged between 4 and 18. The area served covers Farnborough, Aldershot, Cove and Ash Vale with 15 Scout groups and 3 Explorer Scout Units. All these groups are led by volunteers who give up their time to deliver exciting programmes that challenge young people and develop #Skills for Life.
At least two of the groups locally can trace their roots back to 1908 and many others have existed for over 70 years. The second world war decimated Scouts as more and more leaders signed up to serve their country. During that war Scouts did National Service where they supported Air Raid Wardens, carried messages, and acted as Observers.
Today’s young people have wonderful opportunities to explore the world through international camps called World Scout Jamborees, which are held every four years (the next one being in Korea in 2023). Hampshire Scouts have summited Everest, travelled to the South Pole, and built schools in Belize, Uganda, and Eastern Bloc countries. Everyday Scout activities tend to be more locally focused, but our leaders do get great satisfaction from watching the young people develop into good citizens with great values and a willingness to ‘give it a go’ rather than shying away.
For the past couple of years Scouts have lit candles on every first world war grave in the Aldershot Military Cemetery for ‘The Lighting of the Graves’ Act of Remembrance on the evening of Remembrance Sunday.
Volunteers come and go and that can leave a group shorthanded. We always welcome new volunteers with open arms no matter how much or how little time they can offer. The bonus, apart from the satisfaction and passing on your skills, is knowing that you have played an important part in a young person’s life. We offer an acclaimed Adult Training Scheme, and it also looks good on your CV.
If you want to know more, or fancy giving Scouting a try, then get in contact, let us know which age group you are interested in from 4 to 18 years of age, what days are good for you, and we will do the rest and put you in touch with your local group. #Good for You #Give it a Go
We are happy to arrange one-to-one meetings in a local venue, or via zoom, to work out how you could help young people locally.