Blog | Faith in Scouting
As Inter Faith Week draws to a close, we take a look at one Scout Group that does an amazing job at embracing all faiths...
Inter Faith week is designed to help communities celebrate the different faith communities that make up their neighbourhoods and to increase people’s understanding of different religious groups.
As Scouts, we can use Inter Faith week to celebrate the opportunities that we offer to young people and adults, regardless of and with respect to all of their faiths and beliefs. One Group that does this brilliantly is 321st Birmingham Scout Group in Ladywood. Having opened in February, the Group is made up of young people from a wide range of faiths and beliefs, including Protestant, Muslim, Catholic, Rastafarian, Agnostic and Atheist.
The Group isn’t just diverse in faiths and beliefs, it is made up of young people from a variety of nationalities; 42% of members are female; countries represented include England, Scotland, Ireland, Latvia, France, Jamaica and India, there are young people with a range of additional needs and the group subsidises the cost of uniform where necessary.
Keen on opening its doors to as many Scouts (and would-be Scouts!) as possible, the Group championed diversity from day one, setting up with an open day and getting out into the local community.
Secret to success
Initially, it would be hard to divulge the secret to this group’s diversity, because to the naked eye it doesn’t seem like there is one – 321st Birmingham meets in a typical church hall, albeit one which is used by a variety of faiths during the week.
Their success comes from their presence and what they contribute to the community; often out and about, members are always wearing their brightly coloured neckers and working hard on projects that benefit the whole neighbourhood. They’re developing a strong relationship with local schools and other youth groups at the same time.
Leaders make sure that all their Scouts keep their Promise in mind, with the different versions displayed proudly on the Group’s notice board. One of the leaders, Russell Woodhall, has invested new members using these various versions of the Promise, which are tailored to different faiths and beliefs. He is passionate about the benefits of having a diverse group of leaders to mirror the diversity of the Scouts in the group, calling them a ‘variety of leaders that have fantastic skills’. Seven-year-old Beaver Scout, Lucas adds: ‘I love coming to Beavers and being with my new friends; people not at my school. We also go on lots of camps and outings and earn badges for new things.’
321st Birmingham is just one of many brilliantly diverse Groups working hard to welcome its members across the country. We know that all of these groups will continue their great work and allow members to learn from each other, explore different faiths and beliefs and develop their spiritual awareness through Scouts.
Tell us about your own amazing Scout Group: firstname.lastname@example.org