Is scouting still relevant today? Watch

Schmokie Dragon
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#61
Report 11 years ago
#61
My scouting experience was dull. We never did any proper activities, save the odd hike/camp out, and just played football all evening.

But I do think the principle of scouting is a great one. Activities that encourage interaction with the natural world can be deeply beneficial, especially in an age where fewer people get out and about, and load of people play excessive amounts of computer games/watch TV for hours a day. It exercises the body and mind, and helps people learn to work as a team and co-operate with others. The kind of things that I did in Scouts and later army cadets are the envy of personnel managers the world over. It is terribly fashionable to send employees away on team building exercises of the kind found in these youth societies. It can also be very relevant. Not everyone spends their time driving sports cars, or surfing the net, or shopping. I adore camping, and my time in Scouts and the ACF really helped my skills in this area. It also made me more confident, and turned me into a good team leader/player. Sure, the skills learned may not directly apply to modern life, but they can still be deeply enjoyable and beneficial.

And lets face it, bad things do happen. Having a rudimentary knowledge of wilderness survival, cooking and camping skills, as well as knowing how to lash rope and build structures, can prove to be your saviour in certain situations. There have been times in my life when I have directly and necessarily applied these skills.

However, the bit I hated was the religious aspect. I don't give a toss about God, and resented being asked to make promises to him/in his name. Some could say the same about the Queen, but I'm a bit of a monarchist at heart
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recneps
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#62
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#62
Yeah the "god thing" is a bit frustrating, as are certain older leaders at my group who keep saying we should take the scouts to church parades once a month. I can imagine how quickly we'd lose kids if we did that. As much as religion may be behind the Scout Association, thats not why young people join these days (or was it ever??)

I agree with what you said about the teambuilding events. We did one when i was in the sixthform, and the two of us on our team who had been in scouts veryquickly became the team leaders because we knew how to do things like build rafts, get a team to work together, etc. The teamwork skills learned in scouts are extremely useful in the workplace, and putting scouting on a CV is looked at very favouably by many companies.
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thefish_uk
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#63
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#63
I was a Scout until it degraded due to the reformations a few years ago. All the older (ie. mature) people were forced to move up to Explorer Scouts, and as the nearest Explorers group was a few miles away they couldn't be arsed to go (and neither was I). So I was left with a bunch of children (not "young adults", as our leaders kept telling us) who didn't want to do anything but play dodgeball and benchball all evening.

Found out yesterday that I technically shouldn't be welcomed into the Scouts, and would be barred from becoming a leader. Why? Because I'm not religious. It actually states explicitly on their website. Even though their "Equal Opportunities" policy says they welcome people "Of any faith", people with "absence of religious belief" cannot be leaders. If I wanted to be one, I could always say that I have a very strong belief that God is irrelevant - this is religious, it relates to God, right?

Shame, because otherwise I'd consider it the perfect group for my own kids to join (when I'm older and have some of course) and possibly even worthy of some of my spare time (if I have any of that!) too.
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recneps
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#64
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#64
I know lots of leaders who not only break that rule, but also break the idea of a "scout is to be trusted", by lying to the appointments committee and saying that they are religious. Everyone in scouting knows that it happens, and its accepted, cos otherwise there would bea shortage of leaders.
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-CBee-
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#65
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#65
I was a Rainbow (very briefly), a Brownie and a Guide until I stopped when I was about 12. I really don't know why I ended up staying so long, especially in the Brownies, because I distinctly remember always being fed up that our group were severely limited in what we were allowed to do. For example, my Brownie group went on camp but weren't allowed to stay in proper tents or even be outdoors (we stayed in a school hall for a weekend instead:rolleyes: ) and the only badges anyone ever did were cooking, entertaining and athletics. It got worse when the modernisations like new uniform started to come in towards the end of my time because we all *knew* that Brownies wasn't cool. Why the hell did they need to pretend that it was? If it was for cool kids half of us wouldn't have survived.

Guides was, admittedly, better, and we actually went out to do activities once a month like going to someone's house to cook or going kayaking. It was more the people there that lead me to leave, we got a load of annoying girls join who just ran around the hall screaming every meeting.

So I think Guiding and Scouting can be really good social activities, but like any social activity it depends on the people there as to how much you enjoy it. I guess it didn't help that both my Brownie and Guide groups were based in a school which virtually everyone else except me went to, so I always felt like an outsider because they arrived there as friendship groups.
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thefish_uk
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#66
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#66
(Original post by recneps)
I know lots of leaders who not only break that rule, but also break the idea of a "scout is to be trusted", by lying to the appointments committee and saying that they are religious. Everyone in scouting knows that it happens, and its accepted, cos otherwise there would bea shortage of leaders.
How seriously do the committees take it themselves? Are they just following the book because they have to, or are they all religious nutters?

Would love to do my best to appear the most perfect candidate ever, get them all excited, and then say "Oh wait, I'm an agnostic"...
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recneps
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#67
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#67
Where i was first recruited as a leader (Loughborough) they seemed to get pleasure out of following rules. Plus some of them did seem rather religious. Where i'm based now we dont even really refer to committees... recruiting is always done at group level! Much easier.
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grammar_king
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#68
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#68
Recruiting here is always done at group level, not even district level. All the leaders in my troop were once scouts in our troop. So it makes no odds if you're religious or not, they'll know if you're good enough for the job because you'll probably have been raised through the troop.

Similarly religion plays a very small part in meetings. Ok, we say a prayer at the end and the promise says you'll do your duty to God, but everyone knows it's outdated and it's just one of those formalities. If you want to, you can just stand there and say nothing, as long as you're respectful.

It's funny, I still refer to it as "my troop", even though I stopped going before exams so I'd revise and haven't yet gone back yet, and now they've finished for summer and I'm going to university in September...
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xxsarahjwxx
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#69
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#69
Well about the religion thing, im not particularly religous and have never been asked if i am, but im still a leader, and we do very little religious stuff apart from remembrance day and st georges day in a church and they are hardly religious now are they?

As for scouting being good for the cv, bloody hell i cant agree more! I had an interview today for BAA for a sponsorship and summer work through uni, there were 5 of us there and only 1 sponsorship. I got it because i "always put other people's enjoyment first" and that im very concious of people around me and being diplomatic and a good leader. So i get £1000 a year and 8 weeks paid vacation work every year, just because im an Explorer leader....so boo sucks to anyone who says scouting isnt relevent. It helped no end to boost my confidence and my people-managing skills too.
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Higgy
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#70
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#70
It is still relevant as they do boyish things which is something health and safety in this country have tried to abolish it seems, lads need to do physical activities to stop them going mad and have pent up energy and Scouts is the perfect way to do this, so yes its still relevant
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happy cola
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#71
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#71
Went to Cubs when I was young. It was incredibly lame - like being in a room full of creepy Ned Flanderses.
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Schmokie Dragon
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#72
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Man, the cadets were WAY better than Scouts. I did stuff in the Army Cadet Force that none of the Scouts in my troop would have done in their wildest dreams (yes, they did have very poor imaginations. . .)

But hell, if Scouts is done properly, its importance and usefullness should not be underestimated.
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recneps
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#73
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#73
At my old school there was a Cadet force and a scout troop, which used to run totally separately. The same year that i left scouts and helped to run it, the guy who ran the CCF also took over as leader, so the two now run side by side. (eg scouts have access to ccf shooting range, etc)

Not all kids want something as physically demanding as the Cadets - scouts doesnt rely on (although it encourages) physical fitness.
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elyse180887
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#74
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#74
I have been involved in guiding since the age of 5. i was a rainbow, brownie, guide, young leader and am now a guide leader. i think that some of the accusations about leaders that are being made are awful. im not saying that there aren't the very few bad apples in the bunch but as members over the age of 16 in guiding you have to complete a CRP police check in exactly the same way as anyone working with children. therefore, in most cases and by most i mean 99% of cases the leaders are just geniune people that are giving up their time to improve childrens lives and not being payed for it. Guiding has provided me with so many experiences, my best going to japan for 10 days. In our unit we did things such as scuba-diving, seeing grease on show, going to the concert big gig and all kinds of things. By no means did we just sit around and tie knots, instead we did a range of activites that our guides have all loved, the number of girls we have stay on until 2-3 years after they should have left is quite a few, so before you make sterotypes please see the reality of what guiding and scouting is actually about! PLus do you have any idea how much employers are intrested in your involvment in guiding/scouting on your cv? the skills that it suggests always catch their attention!
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recneps
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#75
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(Original post by elyse180887)
I have been involved in guiding since the age of 5. i was a rainbow, brownie, guide, young leader and am now a guide leader. i think that some of the accusations about leaders that are being made are awful. im not saying that there aren't the very few bad apples in the bunch but as members over the age of 16 in guiding you have to complete a CRP police check in exactly the same way as anyone working with children. therefore, in most cases and by most i mean 99% of cases the leaders are just geniune people that are giving up their time to improve childrens lives and not being payed for it. Guiding has provided me with so many experiences, my best going to japan for 10 days. In our unit we did things such as scuba-diving, seeing grease on show, going to the concert big gig and all kinds of things. By no means did we just sit around and tie knots, instead we did a range of activites that our guides have all loved, the number of girls we have stay on until 2-3 years after they should have left is quite a few, so before you make sterotypes please see the reality of what guiding and scouting is actually about! PLus do you have any idea how much employers are intrested in your involvment in guiding/scouting on your cv? the skills that it suggests always catch their attention!
A lot of the people who make such comments probably dont realise that scout/guide leaders get enjoyment out of working with kids, but not in a perverse way. They enjoy seeing young people making something of their lives. Also, the experiences i've gained as a leader, often free of charge, definately make the less pleasant sides of the job (e.g. having to discipline horrible kids!) worthwhile
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Lucia.
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#76
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I'm a young leader at guides and it's very enjoyable. I've just got so much out of it. The other day I was in Woolworths and I met one of the girls in my unit. She said she would really miss me when I go to university. It was very touching. :love:

I've been able to learn so much from being involved in guiding. You learn valuable life skills and how to be a good person. Old-fashioned values are never old-fashioned.

I've done so many things that I wouldn't have done otherwise such as white water rafting, rock climbing, pony trekking, canyoning, quad biking, archery, rifle shooting, hillwalking, overnight hike, orienteering etc. Camping is great!

I've met many people from different cultures on international camps and some I think will be friends for life.
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Little Girl Red
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#77
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I LOVED scouts! I joined Explorers when I was 15 and it was brilliant. As well as learning LOTS of useful skills like map-reading, how to put up a tent in under five minutes, welding, how to tie really handy knots (you would not believe how useful that is) and how to build fires (most people don't know how, and its awesome being able to), I also made incredible friends and met my husband!
Plus we took part in so many great activities such as caving, canoeing, climbing, shooting, archery, assault courses, hiking etc as well as ongoing activities like helping with lots of conservation efforts locally - buildling dry stone walls, cutting down bracken and gorse, building stiles and fences and birdhouses etc etc etc.
I absolutely loved Scouts. I still find it difficult in Uni, accepting that lots of my friends have hardly ever camped, don't own a penknife, and don't love the idea of going OUT somewhere and doing something adventurous.
I loved it and its still very relevant to our Society. Long Live Scouts!!

LGR xx
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Schmokie Dragon
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#78
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(Original post by recneps)
At my old school there was a Cadet force and a scout troop, which used to run totally separately. The same year that i left scouts and helped to run it, the guy who ran the CCF also took over as leader, so the two now run side by side. (eg scouts have access to ccf shooting range, etc)

Not all kids want something as physically demanding as the Cadets - scouts doesnt rely on (although it encourages) physical fitness.
hey, I'm an overweight, lazy mofo, and I still managed to get to C/Sgt. It isn't that demanding.

Although there was always a mysterious bout of illness whenever PT or FTXs were mentioned. I'll never understand it. I was one of the biggest kids there, and I still managed it. Carrying a pack for three days isn't that bad!

But I'll agree that it does have the image of being more physicaly demanding (and less friendly) than the Scouts.
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Helenia
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#79
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I was forced to join CCF for nearly 2 years at school. I hated it. I might not have hated it quite so much if everyone else in my year weren't total ***** about it though. Somehow the message of "If you don't piss about and get it right first time, we won't have to do this 17 more times and get yelled at for it," didn't seem to get through.

Guides, on the other hand, while it didn't involve marching up and down the tennis courts for hours on end, was ace.
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Schmokie Dragon
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#80
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(Original post by Helenia)
I was forced to join CCF for nearly 2 years at school. I hated it. I might not have hated it quite so much if everyone else in my year weren't total ***** about it though. Somehow the message of "If you don't piss about and get it right first time, we won't have to do this 17 more times and get yelled at for it," didn't seem to get through.

Guides, on the other hand, while it didn't involve marching up and down the tennis courts for hours on end, was ace.
The idiocy of fellow cadets was always one of the worst parts of the ACF. I don't know why they can't understand that if they don't **** about, they get an easy life. Why join cadets if you are just going to act like a ****** on steroids . . .

But I was fortunate in my platoon. We didn't mess about with doing drill the whole time. It was getting down and dirty, crawling in the mud and brambles all the way

EDIT - why is "special with an R" censored??
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