Not just the ‘Kate effect’
As we celebrate our eighth consecutive year of growth, Wayne muses about some of the recent headlines and what really lies behind the success of Scouting in the UK.
It’s official – we’re ‘cool’
‘It has become cool once more to be a Scout’ wrote the Daily Telegraph under the headline ’Be prepared to help’ on Monday 22 April. The article talked about a magnificent weekend when over 2,500 Scout members, family and friends attended Windsor for the annual Celebration and National Service for Queen’s Scouts and adult Good Service award recipients.
In the celebrity-led world that is the 21st century, the positive coverage is certainly in large part due to the amazing support we have from HRH Duchess of Cambridge, who we were delighted to welcome as a Scout volunteer to the annual celebration. We also had the endorsement of Bear as Chief Scout and Peter Duncan before him, plus our impressive and growing list of ambassadors.
Part of the story
But the image created by these popular and famous members is of course only part of what lies behind our success, for the sustained growth we are presently enjoying has to have come from within our local communities.
Of course the increased profile and image plays a significant part in this, but unless we are delivering good local Scouting, where new volunteers are made welcome and are properly trained, supported and enabled to provide fun and exciting programmes, we would not be growing.
We have needed to find people with the commitment and passion to open new sections and indeed Groups in parts of the UK where Scouting was no longer offered.
And above all else we needed the self-belief and confidence that we could do it – and boy, are we proving that now!
What really makes Scouting grow
I wrote in January about the core elements of what makes Scouting grow and there are no surprises for any of us within that.
As well as providing Scouting to 10,000 additional young people over the past 12 months we have also achieved above average growth in the number of adults volunteering. This further evidence that Scouting really is making a difference and that we are able to recruit adult volunteers at a time when there are many other demands on them.
Pause and ponder
As we celebrate our eighth consecutive year of growth, please take the opportunity to pause and ponder what more we can be doing to continue this success and even begin to reduce our joining lists, which, believe it or not, grew again last year.
Finally, a very big thank you to everybody for ensuring that the local effect is what is really growing Scouting.