LETTER: Scouting - Testament to success

Scouting hit the national news last week and it's good to be part of the success story.

At the recent National Scout Conference, Lincolnshire scooped the Summit 17 Award, as we recorded the best growth figures by a county or region since 2013.

This growth is evident in the Gainsborough District and is a testament to the success of our programme and the hard work of our leaders and supporters.

This good news, both nationally and locally has to be tempered by the bad; there are 51,000 youngsters in the UK waiting for a place in their local Scout group. This is also reflected in the situation in Gainsborough where a shortage of leaders has caused waiting lists to be created. Many of you will have spent some enjoyable times as Beavers, Cubs or Scouts and I would urge you to consider joining us as a leader or helper.

Behind the scenes we have all sorts of tasks that need to be done to ensure that Scouting remains affordable and accessible, such as maintaining our meeting places and equipment or helping with the organisation and staffing of activities as occasional instructors. Our groups also recognise that not everybody is able to commit to helping every week so we welcome any support that is available and flexible volunteering is a common feature of our leadership teams.

We are also considering different approaches which might enable us to extend Scouting to residents of local villages. Linking up with an established group, for example, could provide access to equipment and expertise and a monthly meeting on a Saturday or Sunday provides another alternative. If you are interested in such a venture please contact me.

To our founder, Baden-Powell, Scouting was a game as he outlined in his handbook for Scoutmasters, ‘Scouting is a game, a wonderful game, full of play and full of laughter, keeping youngsters busy, keeping them happy. Scouting is “learning by doing” things that are enjoyable; exciting things!’  As leaders we also enjoy the opportunities to try out new activities alongside the youngsters and share fellowship with other leaders and helpers. If you would like to join us and enable more youngsters to play the game, please contact me [email protected]

Jonathan Swatton

Group Scout Leader, 6th Gainsborough Sea Scouts

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