Scouting: Methodist President is inspired

by Richard on November 29, 2012

Mark Wakelin has been visiting the Scout Association.

I was a Cub Scout – not a good one - but a Cub Scout. My mother tells me that I came home one evening and proudly announced that I would be ‘Unroled next week’. I had my very own woggle and scarf and I was number 12 out of 12 in the foot ball team. My Sixer, Robin Copeland is now a very important surgeon, I think in the Red Cross who specializes in reducing the damage inflicted by weapons of war. My only skill – really my only skill – was to carry a six inch block of wood on my head without any effort at all. …

With such memories I entered the hallowed grounds of the fine offices of the Scout Association. I do get on with people as a rule – but not usually quite so quickly. I loved their passion, their vision, their practical application. In the last few years they have turned themselves around as an organisation in ways that should make us gulp with admiration. I’m hoping we can find all sorts of synergy and joint projects together and learn from the Association.

He’s right. The turnaround in scouting over the last couple of decades is remarkable. Returning to the movement has been the best thing that I’ve done in a long time.

Part of the reason for scouting’s success is, I believe, a conscious return to the core values on which the movement was founded and a fresh look at Baden Powell’s original vision. This has not been done in a ‘fundamentalist’ fashion, but with imagination and creativity. What had been a movement in decline is now seeing record growth.

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