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  • Scout level rise biggest in 38 years in UK

    Scout level rise biggest in 38 years, association says

    The scouting movement celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2007
    The number of scouts in the UK has increased by 16,500 since the start of 2009, the biggest growth in 38 years, according to figures.
    Membership has now risen for five years in a row, taking levels to nearly 500,000, the Scout Association said.
    The surge was largely due to a record level of interest from teenagers, who now number more than 65,000, it said.
    But it warned the need for more adult volunteers meant waiting lists to join the movement were at an all-time high.
    Although more than 13,500 new scouting places have been created this year thanks to 2,871 new adult volunteers - up 3.1% on 2009 - some 33,500 young people are still waiting to join, it said.
    The number of teenage members has risen more than 26% since 2001.
    Adventurer Bear Grylls, 35, who is the UK's chief scout, said the surge in scouting was "fantastic".
    "Scouting is empowering, wild and fun, and offers so many adventure-based activities for young people and adults alike.
    "My goal is for every young person that wants to be involved in scouting to be able to be so I hope to inspire even more adults to volunteer and help this happen," he said.

    So what do we need to do to have a revival here in the US?

  • #2
    Get more adult leaders involved. If the same is true in the US as it is in the UK, most Scout Troops fold because of lack of leaders rather than lack of Scouts.


    • #3
      In my neck of the woods, there's never a lack of boys who want adventure. It's all about finding adult leaders and organizations willing to support the units.

      Having someone like Bear would be an amazing boost in the arm to help market Scouting to those who have never been a part.


      • #4

        This link will take you to the Scout Association news web page




        • #5
          All you have to do is to look how scouting is done differently, and how the program is more open in the UK versus the US to see why. They don't have any religious organizations in control in the administration of the programs, all phases of scouting are coed, there is no DRP to contend with either, and they don't worry about sexual preferences. Not a great mystery at all really, UK scouting is open to all youth interested, male and female, and all are made to feel welcome.

          If we really are serious in the BSA growing instead of continuing to shrink we need to look at a similiar approach, otherwise our ranks will continue to diminish over time.


          • #6
            Yah, BadenP, except Scouts Canada meets all those things you mention and they've been shrinkin' faster than we are.

            Me thinks that there might be other reasons for the UK success.



            • #7
              Having not lived in the UK for over a quarter of a century! I don't in any way claim to be an expert on what goes on in that green and pleasant land.
              I do have some of the program material that came out when the big changes were made.
              OJ and I have spent a week camping with a English Scout Troop and I do talk on line with people involved in Scouting on that side of the pond.
              I really like the way that they have managed to shift from an advancement based program to a program that makes participation the main thing.
              The support material that is available for Troops is really good.
              I wasn't sure what all the fuss was when they came out with the balanced program that could be used for Troop meetings. I'll admit it took me a little while to work it all out and at first I thought maybe it was a little intrusive. But having now seen it in action. It works!
              I like the more relaxed (less formal) uniforming.
              While there isn't the CO like we have here in the USA. There are a lot of Troops with very strong ties to churches and religious organizations.
              From what I have read there does seem times when the government has gone a little overboard and silly when it comes to diversity, which includes how homosexuals are treated and accepted. I should add that the sillieness I read was about diversity in the work place not the Scout Troop.

              Change is not always easy.
              I think it took a lot of guts on the part of the Scout Association, when they seen things weren't working they made some very bold changes.
              I'm really happy to see that things are now heading in the right direction.


              • #8
                Maybe so Beavah, but Canada's national and local programs are not as well organized as ours so they may not have the same problems as the BSA but a weaker National organization is bringing them down. The ideas I presented in my last post plus I think a more dynamic and diverse program and a stronger tie to BP's original ideals and outdoor program are many of the reasons why they are growing, however I would like to hear from our UK members as to why they are acheiving this success.


                • #9
                  13,500 new scouting places have been created this year thanks to 2,871 new adult volunteers - up 3.1% on 2009


                  Is there a correlation between an outdoorsman role model and the popularity of Scouting?

                  On 17 May 2009, the The Scout Association announced Bear Grylls would be appointed Chief Scout


                  We do Scouting differently in the United States. We think Scoutcraft is "old-fashioned."

                  Scouting's "state-of-the-art" Bear Grylls role model here is the corporate CEO:

                  We recognize the evolving science of leadership. We've had CEOs on our board say they want to send their people to Wood Badge, our adult leader training program, because we use state-of-the-art techniques (Chief Scout Executive Robert Mazzuca).


                  A note to UK readers: In the United States, the term "Wood Badge" means corporate office manager training.

                  In fact the goal of our CEO role model for the year 2010 is to recruit 100,000 boys who hate camping, so that we can teach them office manager "leadership skill growth" instead:

                  Camping is not necessarily a big thing with them, as a matter of fact in some cases it is not big at all. So we need to kind of think about, is it more important that we reach that child with the kind of things we have for children and we have for families in character development and leadership skill growth and all of those things? Or is it more important that we get them in a tent next week? And so I think the answer to that is fairly obvious to us.


                  And we wonder why they leave!

                  This "Leadership Development Method" has been consistently anti-Scoutcraft since its introduction coincided with our sharp decline in membership in 1972:

                  In general, Patrol Leader training should concentrate on leadership skills rather than on Scoutcraft Skills. The Patrol will not rise and fall on the Patrol Leader's ability to cook, follow a map, or do first aid, but it very definitely depends on his leadership skill (Scoutmaster's Handbook [1972], page 155).

                  And we wonder why they leave!

                  The 1916 Scoutcraft methods are mandated by our Congressional Charter, which is an Act of Congress designed to protect children against modernists who want to hijack Scouting and turn it into something else:

                  The purposes of the corporation are to promote, through organization, and cooperation with other agencies, the ability of boys to do things for themselves and others, to train them in scoutcraft, and to teach them patriotism, courage, self-reliance, and kindred virtues, using the methods that were in common use by boy scouts on June 15, 1916.


                  When I recruit in the public schools, I present Scoutcraft as an outdoor activity that might be too dangerous for the audience. I find that 70% of sixth grade boys will, in front of their peers, sign a list asking me to call their parents so that they can be a Boy Scout. See:


                  That 70% additional potential marketshare for the BSA if it switched to Scoutcraft role models does not include the sixth-grade boys who are already in Scouting!

                  For those who are not familiar with "Bear Grylls," the UK's Chief Scout:

                  Grylls hosts a series titled Born Survivor: Bear Grylls for the British Channel 4 and broadcast as Man vs Wild in Australia, Canada and the U.S.A., and as Ultimate Survival on the Discovery Channel in Europe, Asia, and Africa. The series features Grylls dropped into inhospitable places, showing viewers how to survive. The second season premiered in the US on 15 June 2007, the third in November 2007, and the fourth in May 2008. Grylls is currently filming the sixth season in 2010.

                  The show has featured stunts including Grylls climbing cliffs, parachuting from helicopters, balloons, and planes, paragliding, ice climbing, running through a forest fire, wading rapids, eating snakes ... wrestling alligators, field dressing a camel carcass and drinking water from it, eating various "creepy crawlies" [insects], utilizing the corpse of a sheep as a sleeping bag and flotation device, and free climbing waterfalls. Grylls also regales the viewer with tales of adventurers stranded or killed in the wilderness.




                  • #10
                    Bear Grylls (short) message on youtube about Scouting

                    And how the media reported a new Scout book published in the UK (BBC news report )


                    • #11
                      The view from the UK:
                      Our group has increased 24% in the past year and by over 600% in the past 10 years to nearly 200. Part of this I think is down to the high profile we have in our local town: our HQ is right in the centre with big signs on the main carpark which it backs on to. We appear in the local paper almost every week and take part in local events such as carnival, remembrance day parade, fetes in the park etc. The other thing is word of mouth: probably 15% of my troop come in direct from outside, usually after hearing about it from friends at school. And they stay. So we must be doing the right sort of programme, everything from bivvy camps to water zorbing, cooking competitions to raft building. We have a flourishing link with a group in Portugal and are off over there for our summer camp for the third time.
                      Bear Ghrylls does give scouting a high profile in the media but I reckon our success is down to the hard graft at the workface!!


                      • #12
                        Scouts Canada could turn their program around by hiring Survivorman Les Stroud as the Chief Scout.
                        But who are we going to get for Chief Scout in the US, Bill Gates?


                        • #13
                          After posting articles like these:

                          There is only ONE logical choice for Chief Scout of the BSA -- Mike Rowe!


                          • #14
                            OK HERE IT BEGINS:

                            The draft Mike Rowe for Chief Scout of BSA campaign

                            All in favor? Say "aye". . .


                            • #15
                              I do think Bear has a large part in the popularity of scouting. He's out with the youth all over the kingdom, and he's showing them a good time.

                              But I think the best component is that the youth aren't afraid to show they're having a good time, and they're spreading that fun to their friends.