Today, the world over Scouts are celebrating Founder’s Day and our sister Guides are celebrating Thinking Day. Founder’s Day and Thinking Day are both celebrated on 22 February as it is the date of the birthday of both Robert, Lord Baden-Powell, OM, GCMG, GCVO, KCB, and of his wife Olave, Lady Baden-Powell GBE. B.-P. as he is known to Scouts the world over would surely be proud of the movement that he founded.
Today, Scouting and Guiding together have over 41 million members in 216 countries. In the UK the Scout Association is growing again. There is a myth about that Groups are closing down due to a lack of young people wanting to be Scouts. This is not the case. The problem is that we don’t have enough adults to enable them to join.
We need more adult volunteers though. Those who were youth members may be able to contribute some time now, or perhaps those who were not Scouts themselves can see the benefits of Scouting and get involved having been inspired by others like Bear Grylls, the Chief Scout.
Later on, in December 1997 I was the first Queen’s Scout in Mid-Antrim Scout District for ten years. Later in April 1998 I was one of six Queen’s Scouts from Northern Ireland who had the honour of forming the Colour Party at the National Scout Service and Parade of Queen’s Scouts in Windsor Castle.
Today, with many other adults around the world I am now a volunteer in Scouting. At present, I am involved on a UK basis with the Scout Association‘s LGBT Project Team as well as being the Membership Coordinator of FLAGS – Active Support for Lesbians and Gays in Scouting.
Today, I stand by my Promise, I reiterate it today.
On my honour, I promise that I will do my best,
To do my duty to God and to the Queen,
To help other people,
And to keep the Scout Law.
I hope that all those who stood next to me when I made it, or when I renewed it, as well those who preceded me and have come after me stick by theirs. In particular I think of everyone who is and has been involved with the following units:
- 1st Ballymena Scouts Troop
- 3rd Ballymena (West Church) Scout Group
- 5th Ballymena (St Columba’s) Scout Group
- 9th Ripon (Wakeman) Scout Group
- 6th Belfast Scout Group
- National Catholic Scout Fellowship
- International Scout Active Support
Unfortunately, as has already been said on this blog, I am unable to be involved in the hands on youth movement due to my health. It’s not that I am a risk to the Scouts – but that they are a risk to me. However, I will continue to support Scouting as best I can. The movement instills values to every young person in its care. I hope that it will continue to go from strength to strength.
You too can say i.Scout.