As many Scouts in the United Kingdom prepare for St George’s Day commemorations, The Sunday Times, has reported that The Scout Association (TSA) has plans to change the Scout Promise. It is sad that this story has been published today as many of us as members will be renewing our Promise as the Founder, Lord Baden-Powell OM asked.
The story in The Sunday Times is littered with inaccuracies, including the first sentence.
FOR more than a century, budding Cub Scouts have cheerfully pledged to do their duty “to God and to the Queen”. Now the wording of the famous oath is to be reviewed, according to one of Britain’s senior Scouts.
It is not possible for budding Cub Scouts to have pledged their duty ‘to God and to the Queen’ for over a century. Cub Scouts only came into existence in 1967, when the Wolf Cub section was renamed. Also, as we are very well aware this year, Her Majesty The Queen has been reigning for 60 years only: before that Scouts made their promise to do their ‘duty to God and to the King’. The second sentence states that it is an oath: it is not. It is a Promise.
According to Scout UK Headquarters, when a journalist contacted TSA it was made plain to him that the suggestions made were without any basis in fact.
Today, the UK Chief Commissioner, Wayne Bulpitt has reconfirmed:
We have absolutely no plans to make changes to our Scout Promise. Scouting has been offering development opportunities to young people from across the United Kingdom for over 100 years within the framework our Promise and Law.
We are proud that the Queen is our Patron, the Duke of Kent is our President, and that the Duchess of Cambridge has recently become a volunteer with Scouting. We continue to offer adventure and development opportunities to our growing membership of over 525,000 young people and adults.’