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Cambridgeskip

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Cambridgeskip last won the day on October 3 2018

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About Cambridgeskip

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    Junior Member

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    Cambridge UK
  • Occupation
    Aspiring novelist
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    Anything outdoors. Football (the one played with a ball, and your foot!) reading just about anything.
  • Biography
    UK scouter who mostly lurks on this forum and occasionally pops up with some ramblings.

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  1. Cambridgeskip

    Investiture Ceremony?

    It can me a bit variable but 4-6 weeks is quite standard, although we may hang on longer if there is a particular camp or event where we want to carry out the investiture. and actually mass reciting of the promise is pretty rare! I don’t know of any troop that do it week to week. The only time it really happens is at St George’s Day events where there is often a promise renewal.
  2. Cambridgeskip

    Investiture Ceremony?

    It's certainly something we do in the UK. The actuall process varies somewhat but it looks broadly similar. As a troop we try to do it somewhere memorable if at all possible. My favourite was on a trip to London we invested a new scout on the spot where Nelson Mandella addressed both Houses of Parliament, we also did one at Gilwell with BP's statute forming part of the horse shoe described below, but what it looks like is; The troop forms a horse shoe with the adult leaders standing in the open mouth of the horse shoe. The new scout is called forward. I ask them if they've enjoyed their time with us so far, if they are ready to become a scout and whether they know the scout law and promise. They should say yes to each! I call the troop to attention and ask them to all make the scout sign. The duty patrol leader (who is stood next to me) lowers the troop colours to horizontal and the new scout and I both place our left hand on the flag. The new scout recites the promise line by line after me, after which the flag is put pack to vertical. I put the troop necker round the neck of the new scout. We shake left hands, exchange salutes. The scout turns around and salutes the troop who return the salute. Sometimes it looks a bit less formal, there's a video on our youtube channel of when we invested some new scouts on a high ropes course, we stuck to the basics of the promise that time!
  3. Cambridgeskip

    Per WSJ -BSA may declare bankruptcy

    BSA have an opportunity in 2019, in the form of the world jamboree, to have some really good PR. While only a tiny proportion of your scouts (indeed any nations's scouts) get to go it is nevertheless a very big good news story that the national media will show an interest in. I do hope your national HQ has this firmly in their sites! On its own that does not produce new recruits. Local units have to do that and then have the program to retain them, but what it does is provide a positive backdrop for local units to work with to go out and start recruiting.
  4. Cambridgeskip

    Review of the year

    During that strange no mans land between Christmas and New Year I finally got round to uploading our troop review of the year to Youtube. Enjoy! I'm off to eat some more mince pies....
  5. Cambridgeskip

    Per WSJ -BSA may declare bankruptcy

    Money can't take back trauma. I don't think anyone would argue that it can. What it can do is help provide financially where that trauma has resulted in them suffering indirectly. Someone with suffering with long term mental health problems may struggle to hold down a job or start a business or may fail exams etc.
  6. Happy to, although given what side of the Atlantic I’m on I’d suggest Skype as the way forward
  7. Cambridgeskip

    Per WSJ -BSA may declare bankruptcy

    Broadly the same as in urban areas! once again coming back to our population density nowhere is really very far from anywhere else. So some rural districts have multiple villages each with their own scout group and typically an explorer scout unit that sits in the largest of the villages. Some have their own bullilding, some will use a church hall. Just like in urban areas it varies quite a lot. The least populated areas are the Highlands and Islands of Scotland where most places are a long way from anywhere and to be honest I don’t really know how it functions there.
  8. We’ve reached a point in history where if you’re not on the internet you don’t exist. Every unit to have an internet presence. It doesn’t have to be an all singing all dancing website, it can just be a Facebook page. Whatever it is it needs two things on it; 1. Photos or video footage of the scouts doing fun stuff. Forget courts of honour, award ceremonies and smart uniform. That doesn’t sell. Make it climbing and canoeing and the like. 2. An idiot proof method of signing up or getting in touch. If it’s an email address make sure someone checks it. If it’s a phone number make sure it’s not someone who works nights. Throw some effort at your online presence and you’ll soon have them queueing up.
  9. Cambridgeskip

    Per WSJ -BSA may declare bankruptcy

    So... there's several elements to that question. In terms of constitution yes, most scout groups in the UK exist as a charity in their own right with their own executive committee, who are trustees of the charity, own all their own assets and have their own money. When a new group is created it is typically done so by either the scout district or scout county where they identify the need/demand for the new group. Typically volunteers from district and county level take on the leadership and exec committe roles on a temporary basis until they can recruit parents or other volunteers to take those roles on. In terms of where they meet it tends to be older more established groups that own their own buildings and even then it's not all of them. Typically they rent space at a local community centre, a school, a church hall etc. Some meet at scout campsites that are owned by their district or county (remember how densly populated we are, some campsites literally back onto houses on the edge of or even in town. We are regulars at a campsite called Thriftwood which is on google earth here. See what I mean?) They get the space for so many hours per week plus get a limited amount of storage space. I used to be at a group that did that at a local church hall and we ended up renting a local garage to store most of our camping gear. My current group owns its own building but rents the land, at a pepper corn rent, from the county council. By county council I mean local government, nothing to do with scouts! How the buidling was originally funded I don't know. It dates back to the late 1950s. However where such buildings need large scale renovations (and ours desperately does) then typically funding is gained from things like the national lottery fund or other charities who give grants for capital expenditure. Originally I think these buildings were built using funds from generous benefactors. There is also the fact that the scout movement still commands huge respect and goodwill and many builders and contractors are often prepared to knock a bit off the usual price for a scout group with them often reminissing about good times they had as a kid Our national rules also help with this. When a new group is formed and affiliates to the scout association one of the rules they agree to is that should the group close down then all capital assets are transfered to the district. This means that buildings are not lost once they are owned. Similarly should the group not be able to recruit a chair, treasurers and secretary as required by law as a charity those roles in turn are taken on by the group scout leader (GSL) and if they don't have a GSL the District Commissioner gets the job, so this again helps stop valuable assets being lost. For new groups though it is rare indeed to own their own building, the only exception being where they effectively inherit it from a previously colapsed group. Most new groups are renting space. Happy to field further questions!
  10. Cambridgeskip

    And so it begins

    If you were to speak to one of my assistant leaders who is an atheist he’d say something along the lines of the following. Bear in mind I’m summarising his words from a long conversation one night. that it’s his belief that we are one small speck in a mind bogglingly vast universe. That the laws of physics and the fact that they created this universe fills him with wonder. That we are here only once. That the earth is the only place we have found, so far, where humans can live. Indeed where anything can live. That we are the only species who’s has developed intelligence to the point where we understand how fragile it is. That we have to share it with 7 billion others. So it naturally follows that the moral thing to do is to cooperate with each other. To look after the planet for the next generation. His world view is not self centric but actually that he is reverent to the laws of nature and they in themselves create a moral code that he acts upon.
  11. Cambridgeskip

    And so it begins

    While that exists I would add that in practice very few scouts actually use it. And mine have more opportunity than most! After Christmas I will have 43 scouts at full strength. As well as the UK I have scouts where they or their parents were born in France, Italy, Ireland, USA, Canada, Hungary, Germany, Poland, China, Netherlands, Columbia, Norway, New Zealand, Israel, Sweden, Egypt, Spain. In the recent past I've had Ghana, Chili, Estonia, Australia, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Zimbabwae, Bosnia, Argentina, Denmark. There are probably others that I've forgotten! Basically most are quite happy to make a standatrd promise and not stand out and that reflects. i think, that the most important thing to most teenagers is the sense of belonging and the scout troop provdes them with that. Whether it refers to their country or their religion most are quite happy with a wording that brings them all together and will, frankly, say words for the sak of words.
  12. Cambridgeskip

    And so it begins

    Not at all. I think though it's worth expanding though. First of all the UK is not as religious a country as the USA. The rate of religious belief has been falling steadily for many years. While at the last national census a small majority had some form of religious belief it is not out the question that it will have fallen below 50% by the time of the next one. Second even for those of us (which includes me) with a religious belief we have never as a nation been all that comfortable talking about religion and faith. It's the kind of thng we might only discuss with our very closest friends. It's just not what we do. Evangelists of any faith are typically viewed with suspicion. Third we don't have the chartering system. While some groups are sponsored by churches, mosques etc typically all they do is provide somewhere to meet and possibly have someone from the church on the exec committee but they certainly don't "own" the group the same way your churches do. Interestingly my group is not attached to a church at all. We own our own HQ. And yet we seem to have a higher rate of christians in the group then our neighbouring group who are attached to a church who in turn seem to have an above average number of muslims. I don't understand either! So in that context religion and faith has never been a huge part of the scout program. There has always been bits and pieces of it in the program but it's never been dominant. And for all the parts of the award scheme where faith could be used they have the otion of using another element of their beliefs such as politics, morals etc. So over all no, they don't really miss out at all.
  13. Cambridgeskip

    And so it begins

    I can't speak for Canada but in the UK the position is that atheists are entirely welcome. There is an atheist version of the promise but it is just one of 4 different versions which reflect different religious beliefs. You can read them all here. That does not mean duty to God has been dropped entirely. Exploration of your own beliefs is still part of the program but they do not have to be religious. I don't know what other groups are like but probably around 60-70% of my new scouts choose one the of the faith based version of the promise with 30-40% making the no faith version
  14. Cambridgeskip

    Per WSJ -BSA may declare bankruptcy

    As I understand it Chapter 11 bankruptcy with you is the equivalent of what we would call "administration" here, effectively it puts the brakes on everything and gives the organisation an opportunity to negotiate a rescue deal with its creditors. Of course that can be a two edged sword but is a long way from liquidation. Nevertheless this is clearly serious and you have my sympathies. I do hope it doesn't result in BSA losing its crown jewel camp sites, those are the kind of places that once they are gone they are goe.
  15. Cambridgeskip

    Bear Grylls is new World Scout Ambassador

    Indeed. Like it or not we live in an age when image counts for a lot and having a recognisable front man is increasingly important. There are those who don't like him but my scouts certainly do like him.
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