Today is Founder’s Day – the birthday of the Scouts’ Founder, Robert Baden-Powell, and what a brilliant moment to shine a spotlight on the Scouts and the amazing volunteers who make it happen. Here at GO Outdoors we couldn’t be more pleased to support such a positive movement.
Put simply, the Scouts believe in preparing young people with skills for life. They give them the character, employability and practical skills they need to succeed, encouraging them to do more, learn more and be more.
We’re talking about teamwork, leadership and resilience – skills that have helped Scouts become everything from teachers and social workers to astronauts and Olympians. The Scouts bring people together. They celebrate diversity and stand against intolerance. They’re a worldwide movement, creating stronger communities and inspiring positive futures.
Helping young people find their place in the world
When our lives are so dominated by social media it’s more important than ever that young people get the chance to go outdoors to experience the freedom of our mountains and open spaces. The Scouts helps them balance screen time with green time, get a sense of themselves and find their place in the world.
Each week, through the generosity of volunteers, the Scouts give over 460,000 young people the opportunity to enjoy fun and adventure while developing the skills they need to succeed, now and in the future.
Today’s global Scout membership tops over 55 million and there are over 640,000 Scouts and volunteers in UK alone, over a quarter of whom are female. These young people being empowered with courage and confidence.
Improving well being
Scouting is making our world a better place, but also improving well-being and life chances. A major study made by the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow said that by the age of 50 Scouts are 15% less likely to suffer from mood disorders (including depression and anxiety) compared with others. That’s down to the grounding and perspective Scouting gives you and the positive benefit of the outdoors.
But today there are nearly 60,000 young people on the waiting list to join the Scouts in the UK. As more and more young people from tough areas want to become part of the adventure, it’s hard to keep up with the demand.
That’s where adult volunteers come in. They give a little of their free time to help young people in their communities but also see how it benefits them too. Volunteers learn new skills that can be taken into the workplace, gain self-confidence, pride and identity, and see stress and anxiety reduce.
Not all our volunteers deliver activities to young people. Scouting only works when they have a wider team of flexible volunteers making it happen – so that means people who can decorate a meeting place, drive a minibus, cook at camp, chair a meeting or even do the accounts. If you’ve got skills or just a little time, the Scouts can make use of it and that you’ll have great fun too. They give full training and support – they just need people who believe in improving the lives of young people.
‘I have seen positive things in Scouting,’ says Sazeda Patel who started a Scout group in Blackburn. ‘It has taught me so much,’ she says, ‘real skills for real life. Adults like me, all over the country, are dedicating our time, because we see the value in Scouting to make a real difference in our communities and the world.’
Scouting thrives because of a lot of busy people giving a little bit of their time together. Scouting is a family and there are so many mums and dads, sons and daughters who volunteer together – it’s a great way to bond as a team. And here’s the secret: you always get out more than you put in. Not only does it improve health and self-esteem, the experience is brilliant for your CV and higher education applications too.
To find out more about how you can develop your skills and volunteer, visit www.scouts.org.uk