To put dd's names down for Scouts - DH thinks they are a "psuedo militaristic organisation that pledges allegiance to the monarchy and reinforces class divisions."

(335 Posts)
oldernowiser Mon 28-Jun-10 17:01:27

To be honest, getting a bit of peace usually beats any unease about this sort of thing for me

SanctiMoanyArse Mon 28-Jun-10 13:04:19

I think it's great you love qwoodies springy; i;ve heard of them on here but never encountered them in RL.

hopwever as an ex Guider I would point out that I am in no way anything other than leftie liberal PMSL- riv knows me anyway in RL a little bit, but those who know me as Peachy will probably agree that me and right wiong army brainwashing doesn't exactly marrry (I know that was someone else- amde me both grin and sad though- why don't we have a [weep] emoticon?)

OTOH the lady I took over from. Well. I think she's ;politically left win but conservative with a small c doesn't even begin to sum it up! Lots and lots of full on Christianity focus, IYKWIM. 100% focussed on teh faith origins of teh movement rather than the diversity we have now.

Jamieandhismagictorch Sun 27-Jun-10 13:44:36

Springy - It think we feel equally passionate ... For me, it's deffo because his school is quite "right on", and yet with an undercurrent of competitiveness which doesn't suit him. He has found real friendship and gentle challenges at Cubs

< misty eyed >

SpringHeeledJack Sun 27-Jun-10 12:28:20

Riven soz- I didn't express that very well

I didn't mean that they were being brainwashed in scouts/guides/what have you-was just responding to someone being hmm about Woodies upthread

-can't remember who or what tho

...can't look either. Tooo distressing

[brainwashed thro repeated and tuneless singing of Woodcraft Friendship Song grin]

piscesmoon Sun 27-Jun-10 09:34:58

A group is only as good as it's leaders. The real problem is getting enough leaders-not helped by the idiots who think anyone wanting to help the youth of today is a pervert.

Onajourney Sun 27-Jun-10 08:53:29

You are right seeker, maybe this was just a crap group, we are going to try another one in September and see how he gets on there.

seeker Sun 27-Jun-10 08:23:33

You should complain about that, Onajourney - completley inappropriate.

However, I always take with a pinch of salt any time a child says something is "boring". In my experience, this usually means "there is no screen involved". It often takes a while for kids to realize that Scouts is fun.

Disclaimer: - there are crap Scout troops like any other organization - try another one.

Onajourney Sun 27-Jun-10 08:07:59

My ds went a few times and hated it because it was so boring. They did nothing but colouring or running around madly and all the guy in charge did was shout! I was a bit hmm with the flag/queen bit too.

I think our local Brownies is a secret Army training camp though! Some of the Mum's have got really involved with sending boxes to soldiers abroad (a nice thing) but the have been send dvd's showing battle and t shirts with blood on from the soldiers and they have shown these to the kids !! I was shocked to hear one Mum tell me how her soldier was "killing all the baddies in Iraq" this was in front of the children and they went "yeah!"

Maybe it's just me but I found that a bit much.

sarah293 Sun 27-Jun-10 06:02:27

I dont think they are being brainwashed in scouts either Jack. The queen doesn't come take their souls. We have recorded dd's pledge on her VOCA to say in a couple of weeks. She has no idea who the queen is and I reckon is pretty hazy on god.

SpringHeeledJack Sat 26-Jun-10 23:41:39

can't read whole of thread- am [huff] about Woodies getting a kicking!

My kids love Woodcraft. They're really diverse/inclusive- they spend a lot of time doing outreach work ie going out to parks and estates and other places where kids hang out in the holidays and getting them to come and play "cooperative games" grin

I really really love Woodcraft. I'm a lefty. I fully accept that in time my kids may not be lefties- that's up to them. But in the meantime they're not being brainwashed- just playing lots of rough lairy fun games in a draughty shed. And the kids are sooooo nice to each other it's unbelieveable- or at least it would be for me if I hadn't seen it meself...

shockers Sat 26-Jun-10 23:25:43

I loved Brownies, Guides and Rangers. Most of my memories revolve around camping and having a lot of fun with my friends.I have very vague memories of going to church parade and singing the national anthem, but that was just stuff we did and put up with... the camping was the stuff we wanted to dogrin

soopermum1 Sat 26-Jun-10 23:08:08

DS is in Beavers and there's a reference to God in what they say, but no mention of the Queen. God reference is fine (he goes to Catholic school) and even the Queen bit wouldn't worry me too much. There's folks out there pledging their loyalty to Bin Laden on a daily basis, so I think the Queen's pretty tame, in comparison.

Bloke at work's wife is a Guide leader and went on camp with the girls. I asked him what they did and apparently they stayed up late and all giggled about boys. Clubs like these are good ways of introducing kids to mentors, particularly teens, when they stop listening to their own parents. I'd be pretty happy that my teen girl has a Guide leader a bit older, but not old as such, and sensible, to help guide (excuse the pun) them along in life.

piscesmoon Sat 26-Jun-10 19:55:21

Rockbird summed up the entire thread, earlier, in one sentence:

'It's so sad that children are being denied so much because their parents are paranoid loons'

I think that I will give up posting-there is nothing more to add to that sentence. Sadly the DCs are the losers.

(I am never sure why people think that leftish views are thought liberal when anyone who lets strong personal * views* limit someone else's life experiences is narrow minded IMO-whatever the views). The truly liberal allow their DCs to come to their own conclusions.They also trust their DCs and put up with the fact that they may not think the same.

Jamieandhismagictorch Sat 26-Jun-10 17:44:35

As I said earlier in the thread - I am the atheist - I am leaving my DSs to make up their own minds. In any case, the oath-swearing is a very small part of something which has been great for my sons

sarah293 Sat 26-Jun-10 16:58:50

quite seeker. Like I said, dd's troop leaders are women. Not that it matters.

piscesmoon Sat 26-Jun-10 15:38:31

'strange man' even!

piscesmoon Sat 26-Jun-10 15:37:35

Not only is it stupid it is damaging. It stops potential leaders coming forward. The attitude also stops primary schools getting male teachers-especially in the early years-where there is a crying need. Anyone who comes up with it-even as a joke should be forced to do community service!! It is always made by the sort of person who never volunteers and so can't see why a lot of people want to 'put things back'.

Most of the leaders tend to come through as fathers of DCs who want to join. As someone said earlier, as a 36 week pregnant Cub leader-they are a very starange man!!!

seeker Sat 26-Jun-10 15:27:50

Also Scouts do Attract Strange Men As Leaders

I know you will all howl me down and say that your scout leader is a marvellous gentle chap and your brother is a scout leader and wouldn't hurt a fly.... but it won't change the bare cold fact that Scouts do attract dodgy men much like boys boarding prep schools do."

Oh ffs!!! PROVE IT! Oh, and by proof, I mean actual proof, not tittle tattle or vicious gossip.

There was some moron on here a while ago who wouldn't let her son join the Scouts because all the leaders were perverts. One of the most stupid posts I have ever read, and by God, I've read some stupid ones.

staranise Sat 26-Jun-10 15:23:53

I was a Brownie and a Guide, and I consider myself to be an atheist and a republican (like my parents).

DD goes to Beavers, absolutely loves it (and she's a shy child who doesn't take easily to new activities). She's there right now on a fun day, five hours, two quid, food included. Fantastic.

And around here, it's by far one of the less class-ridden activities available, if only because it's by far one of the cheapest. And it's so laid-back compared with the likes of ballet, tennis/swimming lessons etc.

I think the volunteers who give up their time to run it deserve a medal (and not just a badge).

piscesmoon Sat 26-Jun-10 15:15:13

I would challenge you to find any organisation that will take your DC away for 10 days and give them an amazing range of activities, and give them a seriously good time, for such a cheap price!

I can tell you, as in interviewer of scout leaders-reading between the lines,that many of the leaders feel the same as OP. The movement has a history, it would be a shame to deny that just because it doesn't match up with many beliefs of many today. The Scout movement has moved on! I doubt whether a Scout from 1934 would recognise much today.

seeker Sat 26-Jun-10 15:07:58

I agree with theo OP, BUT my children have to most wonderful time at Cubs and Sea Scouts. thye spend very little time in recreating Hitler Youth rallies, and huge amounts of time sailing boats, baking apple pies in oil drums, playing murder in the dark in the woods, toasting marshmallows, making bivouacs and sleeping in them, giggling, learning stuff, forgetting to worry about hair straighness, and just generally having a seriously fantastic time. And all for 2 quid.

But check what the troop you're thinking about does - the range of activities depends a lot on the location and the leader.

piscesmoon Sat 26-Jun-10 15:00:42

'they're in my personal axis of evil list'

Once again you are not the one joining! Is it on your DC's evil list? They are the one to decide whether to join or not. It is all quite plain, they don't hide it,-take it or leave it but don't try to change it to suit you. Start your own group-hire a hall.Don't knock those who are providing something that is very popular.

My DCs have made up their own mind on whether there is a God or not-it isn't 'Mummy has told me there is a God-mummy must be right'!!! The Scout one is happy with the 'tradition' of it. DS2 has it on his evil list and DS3 hasn't said-but he won't go to church. I believe in God-why on earth do they have to follow me?!

Giving birth doesn't give you the right to tell your DC what to believe. You are privileged to have them for a very short time-they are not a possession.

It may be on your 'evil' list but that should have nothing to do with whether they join-unless they have decided it is on their 'evil list'-hopefully for a better reason than 'my mummy says so'!

TiggyD Sat 26-Jun-10 14:42:46

Just checked and you do have to swear an oath to god/Allah/deity of choice.

You are not allowed to be a scout and an atheist. (unless you lie of course)

thirdname Sat 26-Jun-10 14:24:27

my dc go to other places to have fun, without god/uniform/queen stuff, but the excuse I give dc is that on that particualr eveing I'm at work so sorry they really can't go grin.
btw sister+family/my dad are great fans of scouting so not sure what paretns have to do wit it...

sarah293 Sat 26-Jun-10 14:17:15

I don't think you do. dd has no belief at all as far as I know. She also has no idea who the Queen is
She goes to have fun.

TiggyD Sat 26-Jun-10 13:47:08

You have to believe in a god/gods to join which means they're in my personal axis of evil list.

piscesmoon Sat 26-Jun-10 12:09:41

It also depends what your local one is like-they vary enormously. They can be very boring and do nothing much. Another reason not to blanket it all together without looking into it locally first. They all allow for visits before being invested, so that the DC can make up their mind first. (they do not expect the parent to stay)

sarah293 Sat 26-Jun-10 11:38:02

it clashed with Blakes 7 Rockbird blush

piscesmoon Sat 26-Jun-10 11:25:07

I didn't get as far as getting the uniform-I think that I tried about 3 meetings-but that was because I decided that it wasn't for me. It had absolutely nothing to do with my father's view of the Guide movement.I didn't know what he thought about it.He never said -since he had never been a Guide and was never going to be a Guide I don't think that his view would have been in the least helpful!

Rockbird Sat 26-Jun-10 10:38:34

Did any of us actually last the distance in the guides?

sarah293 Sat 26-Jun-10 09:32:12

Belle, she is 6 but we always get bigger cos of the whole stiff non-moving arms into t-shirt issue.

I was expelled from Guides too. For being a teeny bit disruptive. Gawd, i wish girls could have joined scouts back then. They had way more fun.
Its still the same now. At Beavers dd plays dodgeball, has seen a man with a chainsaw and done a bike ride. At rainbows she has made cards and done a pom pom dance for the church parade.
When I ask her to choose which one to stay at (cant affford both) I know she will pick scouts.

piscesmoon Sat 26-Jun-10 09:12:56

In the case of OP I would stick to your own ideas. Just tell him that you think that they are OK and the names are going on the list until such time as they can make up their own mind. Or are wives supposed to bow to 'superior wisdom'?! I am pro the monarchy and my DH is very anti-we live together perfectly amicably. I have no idea what the DSs think-they have never said-I expect they couldn't care either way.

piscesmoon Sat 26-Jun-10 09:06:04

'It's so sad that children are being denied so much because their parents are paranoid loons. '

I couldn't have put it better myself!
Also when did people stop trusting their DCs to make their own judgements? There is a terrific fear that anyone talking to a DC, that is in anyway different to the parent, is 'indoctrinating'. The real danger, to my mind, is that the parent tells the DC what to believe, so that they can't think for themselves and then they are open to someone who comes along and is more charismatic than the parent because they have never been allowed to even suggest that they think differently from the parent.
When I was a DC, especially a teenager, I had long debates with my parents over meal times. Looking back some of my beliefs make me cringe now-but they listened and didn't belittle them. You now get threads where the parent is upset if a vicar talks in a school assembly-as if one word from the vicar and the DC will be 'born again' and in church every week!!!

I suspect that many a parent with strong views is reacting against their own parents and not seeing that they are just as bad the other way!

Up until about 5 yrs,or possibly 8 yrs, you expect the DC to say 'my mummy thinks or my daddy thinks' the assumption being that they think the same. If a DC of Scout age told me 'I don't belong because Dad says
they are a "psuedo militaristic organisation that pledges allegiance to the monarchy and reinforces class divisions." I would say 'What do you think?'
I just fail completely to see why dad's view is any way relevant.

Although I think it is wonderful and DS1 got a great deal from it (it was a godsend as when he was 10 yrs he had toddler and baby brothers, so he could go off to the Lake District etc under canvas for 10 days) DS2 went to Beavers and Cubs and left and it wasn't DS3's thing at all, he went to Beavers but only went to a couple of Cub meetings. I respected that-they are all different.

DS2 toyed with the idea of Air Cadets and went to a couple of meetings, but decided against it. It was up to him-he would be really surprised-and tell me what he thought-if I expected him to join or not join according to my views.

My DSs are quick to tell me 'it is my life' and they are completely right! I think that there would be strong rebellion if I told them that they had to see the world 'as Pisces sees it'! I am very proud of the fact that they make up their own minds and I haven't the least worry about them being indoctrinated by anyone else.

BelleDameSansMerci Sat 26-Jun-10 08:41:59

Riven - what size/colour t-shirt are you after?

BelleDameSansMerci Sat 26-Jun-10 08:41:31

LOL Rockbird... I "left" the Guides under similar circumstances grin

Rockbird Sat 26-Jun-10 08:02:07

This is amazing reading. When did everyone get so scared of everything, as if people are lurking round corners waiting to indoctrinate their children. It's so sad that children are being denied so much because their parents are paranoid loons. Thankfully the last few posters seem sane but the rest...weird!

<Rockbird, who 'left' the guides by mutual agreement for being a disruptive influence>

piscesmoon Sat 26-Jun-10 07:04:14

I can't think of any other organisation that gives such freedom and responsibility, so cheaply.
The DCs get out in the open and camp in primitive conditions, they have to use their initiative. They go walking, sailing, rock climbing etc. They go out on midnight hikes. They have to map read, they have to use their initiative and work together as a group. The older ones help the younger ones.
They are still willing, in these days of the nanny state and health and safety, to take the DCs away and do all these things. They gave my DS a knife to cut long grass, he cut his hand, they took him to A & E to get it stitched and still let him have a knife-I was most impressed (and he didn't cut himself again!). It is a world wide organisation-they get together and learn about each other.They are all inclusive. My DS has friends all over the world. He has been to Switzerland where they have a wonderful international centre Kandersteg
It is all run by volunteers who give up their time.
They start these things early and start camping at Cub age (Beavers can camp with a parent). Where else can an 8 yr old go and not wash for an entire weekend?!

Then some person, with out dated prejudices, can just knock it, without offering to put themselves out to run an alternative!
I dare say he doesn't even think that he is narrow minded!

Jamieandhismagictorch Fri 25-Jun-10 22:50:35

I agree pisces - it was my son who came to me and asked to go to Cubs. It is one of the best choices he ever made.

piscesmoon Fri 25-Jun-10 20:49:30

I never wanted to be a Guide at that age (Scouts didn't have girls at the time) but that sort of attitude from parents would have made me want to immediately join! It is so narrow minded.

piscesmoon Fri 25-Jun-10 20:46:23

Does it matter though Snobear? Her DH isn't wanting to join! Or is the DC supposed to say 'yes dad-you are the parent and you can tell me what to believe?'
I can't get my head around the fact that because you give birth your DC has to believe what you tell them to believe. Maybe DC doesn't think it true, maybe DC has a mind of her own!

Snobear4000 Fri 25-Jun-10 20:10:07

I reckon your DH is spot-on.

scrappydappydoo Fri 25-Jun-10 19:54:49

Um - I haven't trawled through all the posts but MP - what does your dd want to do? It is her that will make promises, get involved etc Surely that is the main thing? She can try it and if she doesn't like it well then..

sarah293 Fri 25-Jun-10 18:18:10

they don't have any of the blue ones or burgundy ones. Ho hum. Will ask on freecyle for beaver t-shirts.

weblette Fri 25-Jun-10 17:39:23

Riven your group, if it's worth its salt, should have either spares or be able to help you with getting it. If you're stuck I'm sure I can find one kicking about here, speaking as a 37-yr-old mother of 4 'strange man'

piscesmoon Fri 25-Jun-10 17:05:28

Have you tried asking on freecycle? It is brilliant in our area.

cat64 Fri 25-Jun-10 16:57:11

Some groups have 2nd hand ones - it's worth asking smile

sarah293 Fri 25-Jun-10 16:39:03

thanks cat. She's being invested soon as I can can find the money for the t-shirt!

piscesmoon Fri 25-Jun-10 16:21:39

The ceremonial stuff is also not what the leaders go for every week. I interview new leaders for all sections. We have a panel and we always have to get to the part where we ask them how they feel about the promise to God and the Queen--generally they are not part of organised anything but are happy to 'go with the flow'. I haven't come across any that fit OP's DH's prejudices.

cat64 Fri 25-Jun-10 16:04:50

Riven - I'm delighted you've found the right group for your dd now. I was furious with the attitude you first met, so am glad it's been resolved now. smile

Chil1234 Fri 25-Jun-10 15:21:53

You're not being unreasonable and your view is probably in the majority. I'm a cub leader and your husband is definitely out of touch in terms of 'class division'... scouting is about as all-inclusive as it gets these days - class, gender, disabled/able-bodied, religion etc. Yes, we have military origins, wear uniforms, wave flags occasionally and we promise to do our duty to God and the Queen when we join. If that really bothers your husband then there's not a lot anyone can do to convince him otherwise, I expect. (Is he the grumpy type that stays sat down with his arms folded for the national anthem?)

But the ceremonial stuff is not what keeps kids coming back each week. They want plenty of fun activities and we provide them within a framework of 'do their best, think of others before themselves and do a good turn every day'.... far more interesting!

sarah293 Fri 25-Jun-10 15:17:33

quite right spirael. The two female leaders at dd's scouts are clearly 'strange men' too grin

piscesmoon Fri 25-Jun-10 15:09:21

What would OP's DH do if the DD wanted to join the army cadets? Would he impose his views, or would he let her go?
I expect that there is many a young soldier serving in Afganistan at the moment whose parents were against them joining up, but they didn't make the mistake of saying 'I am your father, I will tell you what to believe and you will make sure that you believe it'!

You can encourage, lead by example and support, but you can't IMO impose your views-not unless you want a rebellion!

LouIsWaltzingMatilda Fri 25-Jun-10 15:07:06

My youngest charge isn't even English and she goes to Brownies and swears allegiance to the Queen.
She even wrote her a letter.

Spirael Fri 25-Jun-10 15:06:51

PrincessPeaHead: "Also Scouts do Attract Strange Men As Leaders" (Quoted from page 1)

Yep... As a uniformed Scout Leader who is 36 weeks pregnant, I'm certainly a Strange Man. grin

SanctiMoanyArse Fri 25-Jun-10 15:05:29

MP I was a Guider LOL

I deffo fit 2nd definition (not Muslim but- well you know me <peachy.)


However- I would meet each leader: some are a nightmare some are fab and reduce the official stuff to an absolute minimum and do what they can to absorb all kinds and types of people into the crowd

weblette Fri 25-Jun-10 15:04:05

Riven - I'm thrilled that now your dd has finally got into a Beaver colony it's going well, I remember being appalled (as a Beaver leader) at how difficult the local groups were making it for you both.

No Woodcraft Folk round us so Scouting/Guiding only options.

Bonsoir Fri 25-Jun-10 15:03:30

I went to Brownies; it enabled the children educated at the village school and the children living in the village but educated at private schools in our local town to mix and mingle. Which was a very good thing! And I learnt/honed a lot of useful life skills.

scaryteacher Fri 25-Jun-10 15:01:48

My household is far more military than scouts for God's sake, and being married to a serving military officer, I might just know!

piscesmoon Fri 25-Jun-10 14:59:12

I think that statistically about 94%of DCs are state educated, I was amazed at how low a percentage are privately educated so HE must be even lower. If you are part of the community it really doesn't matter where or how you are educated. Scouts crosses all boundries. (sorry-I knew that you meant 'normal' in lifestyle Butterpie-I'm just not sure how you can define 'normal'-I like the idea that everyone is unique and I don't like being pigeon holed)

Butterpie Fri 25-Jun-10 14:56:40

Thanks Fennel, you put it better than me :D

Fennel Fri 25-Jun-10 14:53:49

I know what you mean Butterpie, in this area there's a strong overlap between woodcraft, home ed, forest school, Steiner school circles, and I do sometimes think it's a bit, well, hopeful for those home edding parents to send their children to woodcraft folk to meet the mainstream.

meanwhile my mainstream educated children love woodcraft folk partly because it's full of all the woffly lentil weaving hippies. at school we're the leftie oddballs but at woodcraft folk we're the voice of conventionality grin.

so yes if you home ed and live in hippy circles then brownies gives you the mainstream cultural experience, if you go to mainstream school then woodcraft folk gives you the hippy leftie experience.

Butterpie Fri 25-Jun-10 14:48:24

Oh, and I definitely meant "normal" as in lifestyle, I didn't even think of disabilities or such coming into it- sorry.

I know HE is a choice in education, but I would put money on there being very very few children in this area that do anything at all other than go to the nearest school. It isn't like the local kids go all over the place, some to private, some to HE, some to each of the schools in the area. My children are already unusual in not going to the school at the end of the road, but I do want that to just be a choice in education, hence why I want them to spend at least some time mixing with the kids that do go to the school.

This is what I think is a major benefit of the uniformed clubs- they cross all bariiers.

skidoodly Fri 25-Jun-10 14:47:01

Wow, really loving the Greensleeves rants

piscesmoon Fri 25-Jun-10 14:42:02

I'm not keen on labelling anyone. The parent may be a leftie,attachment parenting, vegan, artist, but their DC may well turn out to be a right wing,fulltime childcare user, meat eating, accountant when they grow up!

I wouldn't worry-let your DC choose what to do and who to mix with when the time comes.
As in the case of OP-the only important thing is whether the DD wants to join or not.

piscesmoon Fri 25-Jun-10 14:35:05

That is what is so nice about it, Riven-they don't exclude-or at least not in my area.
They don't talk about 'normal' children-whatever breed a 'normal' DC is supposed to be.
OP's DH should go to a meeting.
It has to be good, at 15yrs old my DS was getting his patrol to cook a 3 course Turkish meal-I bet some of the parent's of the 10yr olds still thought that they were being adventurous letting their DC boil a kettle! He was also camping on Dartmoor at 15yrs without a leader-they could be contacted, but they were not directly supervised. Very few youth organisations,sadly, give a sense of adventure and responsibility.

Butterpie Fri 25-Jun-10 14:33:27

Hippies was probably the wrong word to use, and I am including us in that word (DP would go mad!) I suppose I mean that there is a much higher amount of alternative lifestyle choices amongst HE families (I have met my local ones, they are all lovely, but a much higher percentage of them are vegans/activists/artists/off grid/attachement parents/radical whatevers/lefties/academics etc than in schooled familes) and while I think that is a massive plus for HE, and I know not every HE family is like that, I do think that my kids need to spend some time where the majority of children are a bit more mainstream, just to give them some perspective.

I am probably being really bad at expressing myself here again, but a lot of this is coming from my family being very against HE and wanted to be reassured that I'm not going to be cutting the children off from the world (anyone who knows anything about HE knows that isn't the case, but being able to point to a nice, "normal" organised activity like rainbows or whatever would help convince them!)

They can join 3 months before their 6th birthday. [is waiting impatiently]

lionheart Fri 25-Jun-10 14:25:58

Beavers at 6 I think Iklboo.

sarah293 Fri 25-Jun-10 14:20:24

they make a bloody effort to include dd. Blind quadriplegic. What more can you ask!

piscesmoon Fri 25-Jun-10 14:18:54

Exactly Riven! The leaders give up their time free and it isn't just the meeting. To do a fun evening takes a lot of preparation and planning. They also do extras at weekends etc. This is why I see red when someone like OP's DH starts being critical!

lionheart Fri 25-Jun-10 14:15:39

My DS goes because it is fun and they do interesting stuff. It is a modern group, run by men and women with a good mix of girls and boys.

I did share your DH's reaction to the prospect initially but, to be honest, my heathenistic, republican counter-indoctrination of DS has worked a treat.

He crosses his fingers when he takes any kind of pledge. Stares at the ceiling during the ritual saluting of the flag and still thinks the guillotine was a rather nifty invention for certain people.

Iklboo Fri 25-Jun-10 14:11:13

I'm a Pagan anti-monarchist working-class stock (I was chucked out of Brownies for 'subversive and non-Brownie behaviour). But if DS wants to go to cubs/scouts when he's a bit older I'd be happy for him to go.

BTW - he's 5 in November. Is there anything he could join at that age?

Mutt Fri 25-Jun-10 14:08:25

DS went to Beavers and is now in Cubs. He has a great time with a load of other boys (and a couple of girls) doing stuff he wouldn't otherwise get to do.

As well as playing games and undertaking projects that are both fun and educational, they get the chance to try things like abseiling, tobogganing, archery, bouldering...just examples of things they've done in the last few weeks. Highlight of his Cubs calendar is a two night stay at a scout centre an hour's drive away.

He absolutely loves the whole Scouts thing and will grow up with so many fab memories of adventures and laughs he's had with them. The two women that run the group deserve a fecking medal IMO.

He doesn't believe in God and hasn't been molested yet. And as for reinforcing class divisions, what a load of utter toss.

I looked into Woodcraft Folk and apologies to any WCF out there, but it seemed very...erm...wimpy in comparison.

sarah293 Fri 25-Jun-10 14:06:04

dd just joibed beavers. She loves it. She's the only girl. And there isn't a 'woodcraft folk' nearby.
I don't care what they pledge too. She's out the house for an hour and having a fab time grin

piscesmoon Fri 25-Jun-10 13:58:48

Not that I have anything against hippies-my DSs think that I have a hippy tendency myself!

piscesmoon Fri 25-Jun-10 13:57:02

I have had my say about HE-so much so that I have resolved never to read a thread again, but never once have I suggested they are hippies hmm. They have a huge cross section of the population.

piscesmoon Fri 25-Jun-10 13:53:53

I have to say that I love the sound of forest schools where the DCs are out in nature, whatever the weather-rather like the scouts. Being on Dartmoor in the rain is good for any 15yr old!

shock I agree with pisces about something involving HE.


Don't think "normal" was a good word to use even if you did stick it in "".

And I'm not a hippy. grin

piscesmoon Fri 25-Jun-10 13:51:13

How weird Butterpie! All sorts of people HE and some are as far from 'hippy' as you can get. HEed DCs are perfectly normal! Are you saying that only DCs who go to school are normal?! HE is nothing more or less than a choice in education. The Scouts etc are good because the DCs come from different schools and some are HEed and you can't actually tell the difference! The only reason that the OP is right about class divisions is that when they started it was a wonderful way for the poor to get out into the countryside but now the waiting lists are dominated by the middle classes.

Butterpie Fri 25-Jun-10 13:44:01

I love the idea of woodcraft folk, but (apart from DP being convinced they are somehow connected with forest school camps, which he has a problem with due to having a run in once on a camp of theirs he was helping out on) they don't exist near enough to me (nearest seems to be durham which is an hour bus ride away).

Also a bit worried by the fact that my kids will be mixing with a lot basically as they will be home educated and so on, and I think they need to have at least some time mixing with "normal" kids.

piscesmoon Fri 25-Jun-10 13:43:23

Surely it is down to DD, does she want to join? No one is asking DH if he wants to join or be a leader! I never understand why a parent makes up their mind about something and the DC is supposed to jump to attention and agree!
I think that the scouts are wonderful. Very few youth organisations give life skills and responsibily at such a young age, for such a low cost. Having been a Beaver Leader and knowing a lot of cub/scout leaders I can tell you that they have no ulterior motives, other than wanting to put something back into the community and help ypoung people.

If your DH is going to knock it and refuse to let her join I would suggest that he gets off his backside and runs his own youth group!! People who criticise very rarely do anything themselves.
He can easily get CRB checked-hire a hall and run a youth group. I would tell him that you will take her name off the waiting list if he puts his money where his mouth is!

babybarrister Fri 25-Jun-10 13:38:25

must take back previous message - appears photos rotate and non white children are allowed into Woodfolk after all grin. [all white on photo that first popped up - must learn not to leap to judgment!]

babybarrister Fri 25-Jun-10 13:35:25

well I have to say having had a quick look at the Woodcraft Folk website that the Scouts could not do any worse in terms of racial mix sad. Only white poeple apparently allowed in Woodfolk despite its claim for social unity etc .....

Butterpie Fri 25-Jun-10 13:31:51

Lol- My DP says exactly the same thing. AND he hates the woodcraft folk because it's "full of bloody hippies".

He keeps threatening to set up his own kids group, with practical skills, outdoor time, socialisation, community etc but no spiritual/religious/military/monarchy links.

Until then I think our DDs are going to go to guides/scouts :~D

Fennel Fri 25-Jun-10 13:26:41

My children are making their own minds up too but I think it's better for them to do so without a framework which insists they say they adhere a particular view at a young age.

Also I run a woodcraft folk group but couldn't run scouts or brownies, so it's relevant in that way. As Niks pointed out, the promise causes problems for a lot of people who would otherwise be happy running scout/guide groups.

CaptainNancy Fri 25-Jun-10 13:20:36

"It engenders co-operation, not competition"
Fantastic post jamie- and v very true.

Jamieandhismagictorch Fri 25-Jun-10 13:16:08

FECK - here - not her blush

Jamieandhismagictorch Fri 25-Jun-10 13:15:36

her - not her

Jamieandhismagictorch Fri 25-Jun-10 13:15:17

No issues for atheists her - I'm the atheist, not my sons. I'm educating them to make their own minds up

Fennel Fri 25-Jun-10 13:11:20

Yeah yeah, you can do all that in scouts and guides, and I did. But you can do it all in woodcraft folk without any flag stuff or issues for atheists or hints of militarism, and not a "housework" badge in sight.

No contest really, in my opinion, even though I got lots out of the brownies/guides/scouts in my younger days.

Jamieandhismagictorch Fri 25-Jun-10 13:08:13

Exactly - scary - the DCs know where they are and are incredibly well-behaved and respectful of each other. It engenders co-operation, not competition

scaryteacher Fri 25-Jun-10 13:05:41

Ds goes to scouts, loves it, camping, hiking, 'space camp', and not a military thing in site, apart from the degree of military organisation that it takes to entertain 20 kids for 2 hours; or the degree of preparation that is needed to take them away for a weekend.

Fab organisation.

Jamieandhismagictorch Fri 25-Jun-10 13:03:53

My DS1 has found more encouragement, fun and acceptance at Cubs than he has, a lot of the time, at school.

Eleison Fri 25-Jun-10 12:47:44

revised revived

I meant, since the thread has been revived.

Eleison Fri 25-Jun-10 12:47:06

Oh, since it has been revised I'll tell you what a fantastic Huck Finn time scouts gives my Ds. They built rafts the other day, the hottest day of the year, and pootled about on our local river. They go hiking, camping, they tie knots and build fires. It is wonderful.

The mumbling at the flag is a piece of daftery whose only effect imo is to keep the irrelevant union jack from being exclusively the property of vile nationalists.

Fennel Fri 25-Jun-10 12:40:34

This is indeed an old thread, but I always like to chatter about guides/brownies/scouts and woodcraft folk grin

TheCoalitionNeedsYou Fri 25-Jun-10 12:35:28

IME - Scouts drink more but Woodcraft Folk had more acid.

Very old thread, but thanks to the people that linked the Woodcraft folk and St John Ambulance. Have phoned up to see about my DS1 joining both. grin

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Fri 25-Jun-10 12:26:51

This is a rather old thread but hell, since it's been revived...

There were plans to use scouts as messengers, had Britain been occupied during WWII. They would have formed part of the resistance.

I tried to find a story about this online, but found this instead, which is almost as thrilling, talking about how Girl Guides were emplyed by MI5 during WWI - Boy Scouts were too feckless apparently. grin

laward Fri 25-Jun-10 11:43:47

I was a Brownie for a short time but always found the standing in a circle reciting allegience to the Queen & C of E quite disturbing, especially as a Catholic.

Not sure what it's like now but think I'd avoid it with my children & involve them in sports instead.

cat64 Sun 20-May-07 21:07:16

by the way - not that it is ever used any more, nor has been for years and years, but it's not 'dib' it's 'dyb', which stands for 'Do Your Best', which I can't see, as a philosophy for life, there is much to argue with

Cammelia Mon 14-May-07 11:33:09


Niks Mon 14-May-07 08:51:09

Now I know I am slightly late to join this discussion but have only logged on after the weekend to find it in my newletter email from mumsnet and as I am a new breed of young and trendy brown owl I thought I'd get my tuppence in there quickly.
When I moved to my new house with dd and dp I thought it would be nice for dd to join brownies as before I had worked full time and hadn't the time to pick her up from after school club and cart her straight off to brownies/rainbows. I knew as it is a middle class stronghold in my new area that the waiting list for brownies would be fairly lengthly so I said I would volunteer as a regular helper knowing this would fast track her into the unit. I was pounced on by the district and asked if I'd like to re-open a unit that had to close last year as the old brown owl had left. OK...I said.
I now run a unit of 25 girls and yes, we did have to promise to love OUR god and serve the queen and country as part of the brownie guide promise and I have to say I thought long and hard before commiting to make my promise as I am not a christian and have very little allegiance to the queen although I do love my country (in an "it's a beautiful place with lots of greenery and I wouldn't rather live anywhere else" kind of way rather that "woohoo - stick to those foreigners - go british troups" kind of way, which I abhor). In the end though, I decided that MY god could be the fridge if I so wanted it to be and that I could swallow saying I'd serve the queen, after all she is just another person and if she required something personally from me I'd more than likely be obliged to help her in any way I could. I took my promise and now run a great pack. I am unorganised and unconventional and we don't necessarily work strictly to achieve the housework badge but the girls have so much fun and the parents love my non miltary style of running the place. We don't check finger nails or require shiny shoes, we pow wow about topics I find relevant which are green issues and family issues and I enjoy it so much more than I ever thought I would.
Having said that - had I known about the Woodland Folk I would have signed up for them as I subscribe far more to their way of thinking than the brownies motos. However, I also feel that if people want their kids to join these organisations, better there's someone like me who is quietly rebelling against the stuffiness of it all and letting their children have fun with other kids of their age than someone who is requring a roll call and a salute at the beginning of each meeting.

purpleduck Sun 13-May-07 23:33:20

pmsl at op!!! And here i thought their evil aim was to fill our collective houses with crap crafts!!

Joe90 Sun 13-May-07 23:00:04

After years of teasing my DH with "dib dib dib" (having been chucked out of Brownies which was boring) I have become a beaver leader, because I have seen what fun and opportunities my boys have had, such as abseiling, archery , camping, kayaking etc (and we could never afford PGL),but above all it has been a way for my aspergers son to have fun with other children in a way that he is otherwise incapable off. I have suggested Cubs to other mothers of aspie children and they have had the same experience. BP set up Scouting in the hope that frienship among the youth of the world would lead to world peace, Hitler banned the Scouts, they played a large role in the resistance movement and in africa help with anti aids and malaria and immunisation programmes, in some countries there are even troops for streetchildren, I bet they have achieved a lot more than a load of kids drawing peace posters every week1

makealist Sun 13-May-07 11:59:01

Beavers is open to boys and GIRLS.

Cammelia Sun 13-May-07 11:53:48

Lol at woodies "joint venture" with beavers

I too was amazed when I found out what they were called, luckily I don't have any sons so don't have to snigger inappropriately once a week

LittleMouseWithCLogsOn Sun 13-May-07 08:57:06


never thought i would say this but scouts cubs beavers are great. was a bit concerned about the religion aspect but such a small aspect you shouldnt let it worry you. Dh is scout leader and one ds scout and another beaver(wish they hadnt picked such an unfortunate name for the 6 to 8 yr olds organisation though!) It teaches self reliance and independance and an interest in sport and outdoors and nature and all those things you wish your sons were doing instead of shooting an alien on the play station. Has even made me appreciate camping!

Chandra Sun 13-May-07 00:44:47

I have only read the first two posts so apologies for not reading further but...I was both a guide and a scout and I never swear allegiace to the queen, but then... the one and only monarch we ever had was executed more than a century before I was born.

Regarding class divisions... apart from the fact that most scouts/guides came from not very afluent backgrounds (unless the groups were organised in private schools), I thought that with the uniform on we all looked and acted more or less the same.

katelyle Sun 13-May-07 00:31:01

I was SO with your dh, Morningpaper! However, my dd insisted on being a Brownie, and is now a Sea Scout and ds is an extremely enthusiastic Beaver (am I alone in thinking that name could have been better chosen?) They have such a fab time, and even I have to admit that they spend very little time indeed propping up the Empire and opressing the masses (unless the masses constitute their parents!) I really is the cheapest way to burn off energy, learn about teamwork, learn to sail and canoe and be as free and independent as it is possible to be. I am a convert. But I do frisk them for right wing ideology, Christianity and monarchism as they come through the door......

nachomama Sun 13-May-07 00:11:43

bugger- reinforce, not re-enforce. sorry, it's too late to think straight, let alone spell. gud nite

nachomama Sun 13-May-07 00:05:39

Great thread. Sorry MP- my DH agrees with your DH entirely... except he says that it doesn't re-enforce class divisions so much as it breeds a class of people for empire-building. Or something like that (tbh there is much more to his theory but i glazed over mid-rant).

The Woodcraft thang does have that certain whiff of naked drum-beating, but I would quite like it if it was called "The Woodies". (more fabulous would be a joint venture between the woodies and the beavers). <coarse guffawing in the manner of one of the poor lost souls that the scouts were formed in order to save>

MEMsmum Sat 12-May-07 21:29:41

Blu - thanks for clarification - I can be a bit slow at times, especially on a Friday afternoon! Didn't mean to offend - didn't think you could mean what I thought you might have (ifyswim)- probably a had to be there situation!

Starmummy Sat 12-May-07 17:16:54

Umm do we think some people are taking this a bit seriously? Dont shoot me but after all it is just games and camping for kids, learning independence and other fun stuff? Each to there own and all that. Ds has been to beavers cubs and scouts and has now transfered to scouts here in Dubai. What does he do? Camping night hikes, building fires, civic responsibility. Recently he has completed his cycling proficiency badge, been camping and sailing, filleted fish as mentioned earlier, made bread, raised money for the Darfour appeal, competed in camping competitons and basically made loads of friends and had a good time.
I'm obviously completly slack because I have never thought oooh this is a military organisation in disguise, or gosh ds is being brainwashed into the arms of god. As for leaders we have men and women, all of whom I would trust with ds life. Why? Because I have helped these people and taken part in different activities. additionally taught my son what to do when touched/approached inappropriately and I find this is relevant at school, scouts, football, swimming, rugby,sailing, youth club and playscheme etc. So whilst I'm not too sure of the figures for "pereverts" in scouting per 000 children I cant truely beleive it is any worse than any other organisation. So maybe we should concentrate on the benefits of each and every organisation rather than generally dissing scouts/cubs/beavers?
As a bad parent I shall now slink of into the depths......

Blu Fri 11-May-07 15:30:44

MEMsmum - that comment was made at a stage in the thread where we were all being v lighthearted, and laughing at MP's DH's somewhat sensationalist views on scouts...and lots of stuff about the old style of scouting. And it was a direct link to the link which someone posted to ian hislops article about scouting (in which he speaks strongly in favour of scouting), but talks about B-P's alleged repressed homosexuality. Some posters were v concerned about pledging allegiannce to the queen - I suggested it may not be a monarchist pledge. I do not believe it to be a homophobic comment...

Is that enough explanation?

fennel Fri 11-May-07 13:49:07

ah but in woodcraft folk you can send them off to camp for a week from the age of 6, even better

thisisnotmyrealMNname Fri 11-May-07 13:32:26

Scouts is great because it will take a stroppy 14 year old off your hands for a week for a reasonable fee

pinglepops Fri 11-May-07 09:12:57

oops ! Sorry for repetition of suggestion that you try Woodies. Hadn't read whole thread. New to mumsnet. Please forgive ! xx (blush)

FioFio Fri 11-May-07 09:11:27

the brownies and scouts have NOTHING to do with class. I come from a very strong old mining community and we had the brownies. They accept anyone and this isnt a new thing either

pinglepops Fri 11-May-07 09:09:51

Although I was a girl guide and liked it, it didn't seem wholly appropriate in a contemporary setting for our daughter (although I know it has modernised itself in lots of respects since my day) We found the WOODCRAFT FOLK an excellent alternative. Boys and girls mixed and also a good mix of ages. Attention paid to the sort of small detail that was important to us (and daughter) such as choosing people for teams by liling 'em up randomly and alternating them for teams a and b, rather than the brutal stuff of my nightmares of children choosing their favourites. They met weekly at a local school, have a good website and did lots of camping/night hikes/holidays. They were set up as a non militaristic alternative to the Scout movement. Their aims are humanitarian and gentle; but it's not a 'soppy' organisation.It is also non demominational. Suited my daughter very well. She went knowing no one and was helped to fit in very quickly by the general inclusive ethos.

AmyGroovy3 Thu 10-May-07 20:35:21

tut, many of you views seem very old fashioned...

im 17 and have always been in guiding, i also kayak and make greetings cards !whoo, no hitler/god influences there...

i am also a young leader for my local rainbows group, we have so much fun that when i miss the occasional evening the next week the tell that they missed me..

badgerhead Thu 10-May-07 19:20:33

I have just dropped my dd2(10) at Cubs for the evening, this week it's a surprise what they will be doing, but next week they are Air Rifle Shooting! She loves climbing & canoeing as well.
My parents were Cub Scout Leaders, my father was a District Commissioner and attended the 1937 World Jamboree in Holland. I had to go through Brownies, Guides & Rangers as girls weren't allowed in Scouting then, otherwise I would have been in there with them. I became a Cub Scout Leader as soon as I was 18 & was a Pack leader until my eldest was born nearly 14 years ago, I then became District Cub Scout Leader & eventually Assistant District Commissioner for Cub Scouts for a few years. I then decided that I had done enough 'active' Scouting after approx 25 years and now am just a member of the appointments committee who interview prospective leaders. BTW Scouts not only use a CRB check but also have a further checking system in place that use newspaper reports etc. My dd's pack appealed for new leaders recently & I seriously considered going back but decided that I am too busy with other things now.

Cammelia Thu 10-May-07 16:16:03

My dd is lucky enough to have 2 inspired women guide leaders, they have fabulous outings to the theatre, the cinema, walks on the beach, barbecues in the country park, go camping, make stuff, do art, do cooking. All for £2 per week (Brownies was £1). Only when they go camping (for 3 days last time, this summer its a week) are there extra charges.

Brilliantly good value quality childcare

MEMsmum Thu 10-May-07 15:13:44

Blu - "And, given the apparant identifucation of B-P as a repressed homosexual, you could wonder what he menat by urging his troops to erve the Queen... "

Am reading this at work (lunchtime, honest!) - and couldn't let this comment pass - at least have to ask what you meant?

Morningpaper - sounds like Woodcraft folk is your best option. My 3 got to Beavers, Guides and Scouts - actually DD2 goes to both Scouts and Guides (!) - more exciting activities in Scouts (they gutted fish last night! couldn't skin rabbits because apparently you can't get unskinned rabbits anymore!!.) They all have a blast, run around with their friends and enjoy themselves doing lots of activities that they don't get the chance to at home (I buy my fish filleted! ). We don't pay much attention to the God and Queen bit - it's not overly emphasised, and no one's made to attend church parade (though sometimes the pleas from the leaders are a bit heartfelt!). But then DC's all go to a CofE primary - wonder if there's a cross-thread here - OK to "God bother" if it's your child's education, but not allowed for out-of-school activities!!!

twynkle Thu 10-May-07 13:54:15

I do have to say that my mothers ex-partner, a horrible man, DID become a scout leader for reasons other than his allegiance to the monarchy I'm sure, and he was suspended after a while...

pelvicflawed Wed 09-May-07 20:26:22

I'm a Guide leader - may be its our group but we are very relaxed about the whole god thing and though they make the promise really only interpret as being open minded to religion and being able to explore aspects of faith - perhaps thats just the way we've decided to do things. Any girl who dosen't feel she can make the promise is still welcome to be part of the unit and take part in all our activities. I joined as a girl 25+ years ago I have to say the first group wasn't for me - rather old fashioned - then I found a lovely one with a rather (for the time) trendy leader - it was brilliant, loved every minute, did the whole Queens Guide thing - long since forgotton most of the skills I learnt but the confidence it gave me to achieve something had a big impact on my life. I'd say if your kids are keen - let them try it and see - Guiding and Scouting are wonderful for offering real life skills (and I don't just mean how to light a fire/iron a shirt!! - in our unit we haven't ironed any shirts for many years!!!). On another note I suspect Scouts are the same but we all have/are undergoing CRB checks.

MrsWho Wed 09-May-07 20:25:20

can we try and keep guiding and scouting separate?
SCOUTING does appear to have sacked people in the past for being athiest
noone seems to have any record of GUIDING doing the same and there are a couple of people on here who do guiding and are agnostic and have had no problems

fennel Wed 09-May-07 20:11:21

Makealist, it's all fine unless you happen to not have an active religious faith. As Lemonaid points out.

I wouldn't have stopped my dds going, they are happy to produce a religious faith when required (to please Granny, or their teachers) and be atheists when that seems appropriate (at home). But it's nice that at Woodcraft I can be involved too, as Lemonaid says, the Scout and Guide movement wouldn't want me (despite my impeccable keen guiding past).

cat64 Wed 09-May-07 19:56:39

Great post, Makealist

makealist Wed 09-May-07 18:36:09

Worldwide there are 28 million scouts in 217 countries.

There are over 530,000 young people in scouts in the U.K alone, supported by 100,00 voluntary adults.

The aim of scouting is to promote the development of young people in achieving their full physical, intellectual, social and spiritual potentials as individuals, as responsible citizins and as members of their local, national and international communities.

Scouting believes the world is a better place when people are;

are trustworthy, self-controlled and self confident.

have self respect and respect for others.

work together to serve other people and to improve society.

show responsibility towards the natural world and proper respect for possessions and property.

have an active religious faith.

And this is so bad, how exactly???

lemonaid Wed 09-May-07 18:19:39

I know there are non-Christians. The Scout Association is beautifully, wonderfully, hug-tastically accepting of people from all sorts of faiths, just not of those with none.

And as I think I've said three times already, we shall be trying woodcraft.

I'm just trying to explain why I, personally, have problems with the Scout Association policies and why for me, personally, the fact that those policies don't make a huge amount of practical difference isn't enough to let me disregard their existence.

kimi Wed 09-May-07 18:05:50

There are several non Christian children in my DSs Beaver and scout group.

DP says try woodcraft.

lemonaid Wed 09-May-07 17:52:50

I still have a problem with it, sorry. Try reading those Scout policies back and substitute "Jew" for "atheist". Would it really be OK to say, effectively "Oh, well, it's just paying lip service really. No one will mind so long as you don't mention being Jewish, and it's not likely to come up in casual conversation"? Or would it be seen as fundamentally objectionable?

As an atheist I don't want to be involved (or have DS involved) with an organisation that has a "no atheists" policy, even if it's not rigorously enforced, just as if I were Jewish I wouldn't want to be involved with an organisation that had a "no Jews" policy, even if that weren't rigorously enforced. Others will have different views.

Manictigger Wed 09-May-07 14:51:01

Bearing in mind this perhaps the question is irrelevant? If your DH doesn't want your DC to go to scouts, at least some other kid may get the chance.

Sorry, I don't mean to be chippy but surely your husband's biased views are as bad as the perceived brainwashing by the scout movement. FWIW, I was never allowed to go to Brownies as a child because my parents were suspicious of any organised clubs (goodness knows why) and I really envied my friends because it sounded great fun. If my child wants to go to Brownies when she's older all well and good, if she doesn't, fine, but I'm not letting either my or my DH's views influence her. (Although God help her if she shows interest in the Woodcraft Folk )

WK007 Wed 09-May-07 14:32:26

But lemonaid - its very hard to be noticed for something you don't do - ie, don't believe in God. Unless you go up to everyone and shout 'I don't believe what you believe and your God is stupid' then you'll pretty much go unnoticed anyway. I'm very openly agnostic - ie if anyone asks me or discusses religion with me I'll tell them straight but, as with many other things, I don't try and get it into as many conversations as possible, there's no reason to.

You don't have to 'keep your head down' - obv if you were going round telling all the kids with a faith that they were wrong and/or stupid THAT would be grounds for being kicked out but the same would apply to most subjects, eg telling them Father Christmas doesn't exist when they fervently believe in him would be insensitive and show you as a bad leader.

Blu Wed 09-May-07 13:31:17

LOL ggg - yes, I can imagine you doing that! I was also in trouble at brownies - climbing out of the men's toilet window from the church hall into the vicar's garden to scrump apples and strawberries.

We had Sea scouts - on the river Trent. I was SO of them - I would much rather have been a sea scout.

Sorry - gratuitous bumping of this thread

prettybird Wed 09-May-07 12:18:01

My ds now goes to Beavers, despite the republican, atheist inclincations of his parents. The point was, he wanted to go as his friends go - and we weren't going to stop him becasue of our principles

He gets more "religious" indoctirniation at school, where his (non-denominational) school covers all the religions. I have more difficulty counering his questions about Jeus and God which arise as a result of school discussions than enaything that has ever come up at Beavers. Until we go through with proper disestablishmentarianism - removing all religion from schooling, then that will continue to be the caee. As far as ds is concerened, Beavers are a chance to run around, play games and have fun - not about the Queen or God.

In terms of helpers, both helpers for the Beavers are women. The Scout leader is a an old guy - who is greatly respected. My dh helps out occasionally - as do the parents of the other kids (mums and dads).

My SIL is also a leader at a different pack. She is now engaged to her ds' Scout Leader - cos he is such a nice guy!

There may be the odd pervert involved in the Scout Movement - as there potentially in any hobby. I can't comment, as I have never come acorss any - not am I aware of anyone else who has. But I am not going to stop ds from doing things that he enjoys just 'cos of that miniscule risk. (As MrMariella points out - the odds of abuse are higher in the home). The repsonsbiity is on us as the adults to be alert to anything that our instincts say is wrong - and also to ensure that our children are confdent enought to rasie any concerens that they may have.

CRB checking is only as good as the moment it is applied for. It is no substitute for sensible vigilence. BTW - it is not an offence to make use of people who have not been CRB checked - only to have taken on people who are on the Sex Offender's Register - subtle difference.

MrsWho Wed 09-May-07 12:06:38

eachpeach-my dd2 actually said love my dog when she said her promise

Whoever said about church parade it used to be moreorless 'compulsory' attend X amount of services or be kicked out but now it isn't.

suzycreamcheese Wed 09-May-07 11:17:09

ggglimpopo....hahahahaha thats brilliant ....i really like the sound of you...what a laugh...

only brown owls daughter got to do anything at our 'pack' was so favourity sooky shit and when they found it was me singing off key i was sort of shamed into leaving ...
and they were shit anyway ...the only time they took us camping was on pissing wet schottish summer day and the put the tent on an ant hill!! we all came home about 2 hours into the whole thing ....crawling ...

the ymca were brill for camping and

....girls brigade let me put the wreath at rememberence day service in glasgow on memorial, my uniform was the best

ggglimpopo Wed 09-May-07 07:46:15

Hey Blu - I also got thrown out of Brownies - for being a disruptive influence. Brown Owl left us unattended and I got everyone to climb into a huge cupboard with me so when she came back in to the room seconds later, it was empty. Poor woman burst into tears

My kids are enrolled in the sea scouts (scooooooooooot marine here in France). Very jolly hockey sticks and they learn to sail and rig a boat.

Blandmum Wed 09-May-07 07:27:36

I just have visions of a check list

Do they support the Military Industrial complex......Check
Do they support a patriachal system by inforcing sexist role models.......check
Do they have any investments in unethical areas..........Check
Do they have unrealistic expectations about religious affiliation........Check
Do they impose a quasi millitaristic system and repress individuality.......check
Do they have a positive attitue to enthniciy.......check
Do them re-inforce class boundaries and thius subjugate the proteriat?......check
Do they serve anthing containing suger, sweetners or suauages in any of their gatherings......check
Are their grapes always halved.......check

Sigh, all looking good, and ethically responsible children's organisation

THis is looking good darling I think we have found you the right place to go

Oh sorry , damn and blast, their carbon footprint isn't right, I'm afraid you'll just have to run wild in the streets

lemonaid Wed 09-May-07 07:01:17

Yes, I'm sure it wqasn't one of those urban myths. I'm not completely stupid -- I know that there isn't a thought police that makes sure every leader has a faith and that if an atheist is prepared to take the promise and keep his or her head down then no one is going to care. But being "openly" atheist (as opposed to just not going to church or not openly following any particular faith) is grounds for being kicked out in a leader.

Skribble Tue 08-May-07 23:37:13

Oh FGS!!!

PedroPony Tue 08-May-07 23:31:13

really sad imo that peopel haev tis opinion still.

PedroPony Tue 08-May-07 23:30:53

Oh pph i a mrelly disappointed in your opinion
so so sad ofr all the kind adults hwo help our kids have fantastic times
you cna tell your kids arent cubs //beavers or scouts

eachpeachnallyplum Tue 08-May-07 23:24:56

dh didn't want dd1 to start rainbows because of the loving god thing, but i put her name down anyway, she started in january, loves it and has no idea what she is talking about when she promises to love her god (or whatever it is they say)

Blu Tue 08-May-07 23:20:37

I was kicked out of Church parade in the Guides for eating Pineapple Chunks during the service ( my half-wit friend had bought them with our pooled money because the shop had run out of the more easily concealed sherbet pips we usually had - I mean how can you surrepitiously eat a big cube??)

And do you see anything on the official site about expelling pineapple chink eaters? No, you do not.

WK007 Tue 08-May-07 23:17:32

Have done a quick google for stuff about atheists joining in and there's nothing on the official guiding website, and only found one blog post from an american saying her brother was kicked out of scouts for being an atheist but guides didn't have such a restriction but she left anyway - so looks like scouts may be a lot stricter on this.

However after typing in 'guides atheist' I found some disturbing stuff related to muslims about what to do with atheists - feeling quite sick now. Just shows there's bigger problems in the world.

I haven't read all of the posts, but I was asked politely to leave i.e. was kicked out of the Guides for refusing to go to Church Parade. I was the only Catholic in the group and my mum said I shouldn't have to go.

It was made worse by the fact she was a Snowy Owl at Brownies - she was so angry at my getting kicked out that she started her own Brownie group on a different night for Catholics, and I used to help out. We used to go to the church which was next to the C of E one and pretend sneer at the other girls.

It was ridiculous.

cat64 Tue 08-May-07 23:03:45

lemonaid - are you sure it wasn't one of those urban myths ? Yes, there is a promise to be said, but if you are prepared to take that promise, no-one is ever going to 'check up' how often you attend a place of worship, or how deep your faith is. I must have met hundreds of Scouters over the years, and only a small fraction of them are active in going to church / synagogue / mosque / temple each week. I have never heard of anyone "being expelled" for not having a faith - not even 3rd or 4th hand .There is a promise which hasn't changed much over the years, but as far as the boys and girls are concerned, Scouting is all about Outdoors, camping, and friends.

lemonaid Tue 08-May-07 22:52:16

It was someone a contemporary of mine at the university scout and guide group (I haven't always been an atheist) had known who was expelled. But there are occasional examples in the national press, too.

MrsMuddle Tue 08-May-07 22:27:15

Our pack is also a God-free zone, but even if it was a front for al-Quaeda recruitment, I wouldn't care because both DS are away at scout camp next weekend and for a whole week in the summer! (That just leaves another 6 weeks of summer holidays to find childcare for...)

fortyplus Tue 08-May-07 22:01:15

lemonaid - BLIMEY! Well if that's true then I see what you mean! But I've never seen any evidence of that myself - our pack was a God-free zone.

GiantSquirrelSpotter Tue 08-May-07 21:37:35

Your DH sounds like a card.

Blu Tue 08-May-07 21:34:10

I am howling with laughter at MB's summary of the career of a small child in the scouting movement "from Beaver to woggle fondler to cannon fodder in the greater Cause of Liz the Second (gawd bless her")

Morningpaper, you have to put this thread - and your DH's worrisome concerns - into your round-up.

zizou Tue 08-May-07 21:28:37

expelling atheists?serious? excellent. do tell.

Nightynight Tue 08-May-07 21:24:35

your dh is right!

lemonaid Tue 08-May-07 21:21:01

Well, Greeny, it took 65 posts for someone to say "PC gone mad" so I felt it was my duty to sneak in "Orwellian" as quickly as possible

I don't think expelling atheists (which has happened) or making an effort to contact and correcy newspapers who dare to suggest that Scouting is open to atheists counts as "lip service".

zizou Tue 08-May-07 21:05:26

Woodcraft is good.

pointydog Tue 08-May-07 21:04:18

I worked with a lovely gentle Geordie guy once who'd been in teh Woodcraft Folk.

MrsWho Tue 08-May-07 21:02:05

I have only ever heard of Woodcraft folk on MN

MrsWho Tue 08-May-07 20:59:56

I have recently done all the forms for being a Rainbow leader and there isn't a section on your religion.(am agnostic if it matters)Its more the Queen I object to.

Quite horrified about the Kimis DH1s camp though

zizou Tue 08-May-07 20:57:43

referring to lemonaid, rather than random comment to self.

zizou Tue 08-May-07 20:56:47

And Orwell hated the Scouts, that in itself is a good reason to join Woodcraft.

NKF Tue 08-May-07 20:53:26

I know Lemonaid. Sorry. I realise on reading the thread properly that many posters feel strongly about the Scouts and I've been rather flippant.

fortyplus Tue 08-May-07 20:53:01

lemonaid - You don't have to be religious to join - any more than you have to be religious to attend a church wedding. I think they are just paying lip service to something that the organisation was founded upon.

fortyplus Tue 08-May-07 20:51:06

gscrym - I made the comment, but hopefully you will see from my post that I certainly didn't mean that it applies to all leaders. It was just an observation that I made over the many occasions that I helped at camps myself - it's unfortunate that a fair proportion (maybe a quarter or a third?) of the leaders fall into that category.

Greensleeves Tue 08-May-07 20:50:13

It was the pig's head in old Mrs Vaughn's dh's window that did it

Greensleeves Tue 08-May-07 20:49:37

PMSL, I just bet dh the word "Orwellian" would occur on this thread within the next 20 posts

lemonaid Tue 08-May-07 20:48:28

NKF -- I gave as my reason for signing DS up for Woodcraft Folk that Scouts and Guides wouldn't let atheists be leaders, WK007 said that they did, I quoted chapter and verse [ha! no pun intended] of official Scout policy. I don't want my son going to a club that thinks I'm not a fit and proper person to be a leader when there's an equally good (or potentially better) club that doesn't have a problem with me. I won't send him to an Anglican school either unless there wasn't an alternative (and in any event the Anglican schools here don't take anyone who hasn't been an active member of the congregation for years).

It does bug me, though, that the Scouts claim to be a "non-religious" organisation, but you have to be religious to join. That seems to stretch the definition of "non-religious" to near-Orwellian levels.

fennel Tue 08-May-07 20:46:46

More's the pity.

NKF Tue 08-May-07 20:45:43

I know I got a badge for hospitality. Always was a party girl.

Cammelia Tue 08-May-07 20:45:36

It kept you off the streets though Fennel

fennel Tue 08-May-07 20:44:56

I was a Queens' guide.

Why? What on earth did I think that was going to achieve in life? I mean really, what a waste of teenage energy.

Especially the (bluegh) "little house emblem".

Blandmum Tue 08-May-07 20:43:28

I think the Bevers in TLTWATW were rather formal and were Mr and Mrs beaver.

Although Aslan may have called them he and she beavers.

But that is because it is Christian in tone and thus not sound idiologicaly speaking. For goodness sake drop the subject before this thread becomes nasty

Greensleeves Tue 08-May-07 20:42:17

I got chucked out of the Brownies for telling Brown Owl to fuck off

motherinferior Tue 08-May-07 20:41:37

I refused to join the guides, on account of God and the Queen.

gscrym Tue 08-May-07 20:41:20

I've just read the social misfits comment. I was a Scout Leader for about 4 years and was never called a social misfit. Nor did I feel the need to boss around small boys. I did however quit when one of the buggers (he was 14 and about 6 inches taller than me) threatened me. I felt at that point it was time to leave. The kids in the troup I was in were from a really bad area.

NKF Tue 08-May-07 20:41:07

Isn't there a character in The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe called She Beaver?

fortyplus Tue 08-May-07 20:40:10

Actually one day I growled at the kids and told them my real name was 'Evil Beaver' which they thought was so funny they called me that from then on!

NKF Tue 08-May-07 20:39:01

That's like lots of things Lemonaid. Non Anglican children attend Anglican schools. Atheists teach in them but you would expect the headmaster to be a practising Anglican.

Anyway the OP wasn't looking for a career in the Scouts, just wondering if it might suit her kid.

puddle Tue 08-May-07 20:38:42

Try woodcraft website. Ours is run as a collective - if thre isn't one near you you can always start one!

Fennel the only nudity in ours was supplied by my dd (4 and so not yet a member) <proud>

Looking forward to our first camp in a few weeks. I do rather love the consensual dithering - as a total control freak it's very very good for me <gnaws nails>

morningpaper Tue 08-May-07 20:37:48

'Black Beaver'


WK007 Tue 08-May-07 20:37:35

fair enough lemonaid - as I said I have nothing to do with Scouts but I will dig out the Guiding paperwork. Maybe its just that Cornwall is so far out in the sticks we've lost touch but no-one in our group, apart from the main leader, has a faith and nothing is made of it.

Blandmum Tue 08-May-07 20:37:24

And OY!

While I have your attention MP.

Wise old bird?????????? Hurumph!

cat64 Tue 08-May-07 20:37:11

fortyplus - it is a shame, my dd went to Rainbows (which she loved) and Brownies (which she got extremely bored with, as they never did anything) then moved to Cubs, which she loves. I wouldn't, however say "Brownies are no good" due to her pack being no good. It's just one of those things - I hate the way some people (not you) make sweeping generalisations based on limited experience. There are, no doubt som poor Scout Groups around, some excellent Woodcraft Folk, some excellent and some dire Youth Clubs. I just think MP's DH ought to judge the facts about his local group rather than outdated stereotypes.

lemonaid Tue 08-May-07 20:37:01

ChocolateFace -- I did in my post of 20:04:19

gscrym Tue 08-May-07 20:36:47

DH used to be a scout leader and I have a lot of friends who are scout leaders. I know the troup DH ran had kids from a huge range of ethnic and wealth backgrounds. He also had disabled kids. They all got on well, fought the same amount as kids would. They all went to the same school (almost) and if one was getting picked on, the others backed them up. He also had girls in his troup. He left when DS came along because he couldn't give the same level of commitment.

They still say the promise to the queen but I'm not sure about the God part as there are many different religious backgrounds.

Greensleeves Tue 08-May-07 20:36:38

Plus woodcraft is a family oriented, non-gender-specific and generally informal fun-based scenario, rather than a highly ritualised and bizarre set-up involving lots of little boys in paramilitary uniforms saluting all over the place.

Blandmum Tue 08-May-07 20:35:55

what is wiffling and how does it lead to Revolution?

But will your dh not see Beavers as being the first step in the inexorable progress of your ds from Beaver to woggle fondler to cannon fodder in the greater Cause of Liz the Second (gawd bless her and those of that ilk..... )

WK007 Tue 08-May-07 20:35:39

F&Z - can't remember if it said that on my form but if it did I would have put none and nothing was made of it.

lemonaid Tue 08-May-07 20:35:10

WK007 -- The Scout Association say

Scout Association factsheet "Fundamentals of Scouting" (here )

"it is not possible for an atheist to hold a Warrant as a Leader"

Scout Association Equal Opportunities [sic] Policy (here )

"The Scout Movement is not a religious organisation, but does expect its Members to follow a religious faith and conform to its practices. A belief in the spiritual aspect of human beings and a belief in a spiritual power greater than ourselves is fundamental to Membership of the Scout Movement [...] While it is not acceptable to deny a volunteer entry to the Movement because of their membership of a faith community, a person would not be suitable as a Leader if he or she were an atheist"

Scout Association Noticeboard article "Promoting Multi-Faith Scouting" (here )

"We are aware that in some newspapers an incorrect statement is made that Scouting is open to atheists. This of course is not true and we have gone back to those newspapers to clarify this point."

none of which suggests to me that if you have no God at all it's up to you. It suggests to me, fairly clearly, that Scouting isn't open to atheists. Except, if you are splitting hairs, to atheists who pretend not to be atheists. There have been genuine cases of leaders being busted out of the movement for being atheists.

The Guides don't have the equivalent documents accessible on their website, but I am tolerably certain that their policy is the same (because every time a journalist asks, they say it is). By all means ask your district staff what the position would be regarding a leader who openly admits to being an atheist -- I will be pleasantly surprised if it wouldn't be a problem.

ChocolateFace Tue 08-May-07 20:34:33

Can someone please point out exactly how I find a local Woodcrft group!

fortyplus Tue 08-May-07 20:34:09

I found it a bit disconcerting that when I helped with the Beaver colony I was known as 'Black Beaver'

fennel Tue 08-May-07 20:33:59

haven't seen any nudity (yet). apart from Very Proactive Toddler Breastfeeding at Circle Time (which of course is highly mumsnet-approved).

Circle time is, naturally, where we all consult and discuss and share and so on.

cat64 Tue 08-May-07 20:33:35

PrincesspeaHead - I mentioned it was the Centenary Year, in response to the OP, who was talking about the possibility of being a militaristic organisation (it's not. That is to say, although Baden Powell was a reknowned military leader, the Scout Association has evolved and developed somewhat since 1907. Mornig Paper's DH doesn't seem to have understood that.

MrMariella Tue 08-May-07 20:33:14

Of course, Greeny. My 'admiration' for La Frostrup was well-known..been away for a bit, but did wish advice about dd's SATS that has upset her this weekend.

fortyplus Tue 08-May-07 20:33:08

FrannyandZooey - I think that's just in case they need the last rites

They ask you that when you go to hospital don't they?

morningpaper Tue 08-May-07 20:32:05


Maybe Badgers is The Thing

fortyplus Tue 08-May-07 20:31:47

cat64 - my 2 went through Beavers/Cubs and did about a year each in Scouts before deciding that there were 'too many prats' and the leaders did nothing to stop them misbehaving. I thought that was a shame.

morningpaper Tue 08-May-07 20:31:38

hmm so they have sort of Strict Woodcraft folk?

I mean there isn't going to be a Revolution if there are just lots of people wiffling around semi-naked and growing their hair, is there?

FrannyandZooey Tue 08-May-07 20:31:11

Well it had to be filled out on the form, you see, when you joined

"What religion are you?"

I had no idea.

"Well where do you go to church?"

Erm, I don't.

fennel Tue 08-May-07 20:30:20

Blu - Woodcraft is terribly consensual and non-authoritarian, so much so that they need about 10 adult leaders and helpers wiffling around to keep 15 or so children vaguely under control. Hence their need for parents to stay and help despite the many leaders and teenage trainee leaders.

Which all lessens the possibility of abuse, as there are just so many adults around.

PrincessPeaHead Tue 08-May-07 20:30:16

Oh is it the Centenary Year? I take it ALL back. All Scout Leaders Are Lovely And None Have Any Inappropriate Interest In Boys At All.

Here's to another 100 glorious years!

WK007 Tue 08-May-07 20:29:54

F&Z - I think the faith thing is really important , especially now when religion is everywhere and its confusing for adults, let alone kids. But have to say at whoever asked you which church you go to, I've never known that be an issue, or even a question in the places I've been involved in, no-one bothers, even the main leader who's a pastor's wife. Its all left as 'your own choice'.

fortyplus Tue 08-May-07 20:29:44

FrannyandZooey - that must depend on the Group, too. Ours used to be invited to a few services at the local church, but it was up to each family whether or not to attend. Religion played no part in the weekly meetings, though the Scout promise still refers to loving 'my God'.

I'm an atheist, but I didn't have any more of a problem with that than I did about telling my kids that an old geezer in a red suit comes down the chimney and leaves them presents!

puddle Tue 08-May-07 20:29:38

No leaders in woodcraft blu. Perish the thought .

suzycreamcheese Tue 08-May-07 20:29:28 is a of life...

FrannyandZooey Tue 08-May-07 20:29:20

<and Suzy yes I bumped it recently, should be showing near top on Health topic>

FrannyandZooey Tue 08-May-07 20:28:12

Oh well spotted Greeny.

cat64 Tue 08-May-07 20:27:58

I'm really shocked how many negative views of Scouting there are in their Centenary Year . Can I suggest it might be a good idea to actually go to a meeting or two and see what they do - or even better, ask the boys and girls ? You might get a more realistic picture than those expressed here by people who clearly have had nothing to do with Beavers / Cubs / Scouts / Explorers. My ds has been a Beaver, Cub, and is now a Scout, and loved/loves every minute of it. He's just got back from a camp over the BH weekend. What other organisation allows you to tackle such a variety of activites ? No organisation is right for everyone - there are those who won't enjoy the noise, the activity, the fun, the 'outdoors', but at least judge it on what really happens, not some untrue rumours

morningpaper Tue 08-May-07 20:27:04

Is beastliness being a republican?

FiveFingeredFiend Tue 08-May-07 20:27:02

and the last line in the promise about never fiddling with a rabbits gonads?

suzycreamcheese Tue 08-May-07 20:26:51

f&z...ahhhhh.....a ninetendo..dh had to explain i thought you had interactive sensitve monitor .....or something..

is there a health thread around?? atm?

fortyplus Tue 08-May-07 20:26:40

PrincessPeaHead 'Scout Leaders are Proportionately Dodgier than Your Average Bloke'... many of them are women.

Many are students working towards DofE awards.

Many are parents of children within the group.

Scout Leaders are no weirder than train spotters - they are often little boys who have never grown up.

The Scout Association apparently had a register of people who took an unhealthy interest in children long before the Police did.

Funnily enough, despite the fact that I've seen some very peculiar people in Scouting, there was only one person who gave me the slightest concern re: his motives.

FrannyandZooey Tue 08-May-07 20:26:38

I think the whole idea of involving faith as a necessary part (even a necessary part that you can "choose" not to have) of a children's social group is odd in this day and age.

I must admit I am biased on this. When I joined I was asked which church I went to and I found it very embarrassing. I was really at a loss to know how to answer. I stammered something about not going to church (it was so clearly expected that you DID) and the Brownie Leader said "oh well we'll just put C of E then shall we?" !!!

(Isn't there also a bit explaining how you will know what 'beastliness' is - it's something you would be ashamed to do in front of your mother or sisters?)

FiveFingeredFiend Tue 08-May-07 20:25:09

I must say ifi was going to be anally retentive about anything it would be the god thing. the Netherlands have an alternate version but the scout movement said "no -one else <sticks out tongue and closes door> in the 30's i think. So it can't be changed.

if i truly believed there wasn't a god. I think the God thing could be confusing - i do believe in God so therefore was never an issue for me. However I can see how this part of the promise would be rather than the monarchy and elitism, and psuedo gimpism etc.

Greensleeves Tue 08-May-07 20:24:52

MrMariella, are you Pann?

MrMariella Tue 08-May-07 20:24:05

PPH. Steady!!

My career is excellent, but not always convenient.

I am unsure what it is that has led you to draw such unsubstantiated statements about me personally. But I am letting it go, and shall not respond to you further.

Greensleeves Tue 08-May-07 20:23:41

<<shits a kidney laughing at "beastliness">>

PrincessPeaHead Tue 08-May-07 20:22:52

I thank you forty plus

Social misfits bossing little boys around for kicks would fall into my very scientific category of Dodgy. Anyone else?

Blu Tue 08-May-07 20:22:40

Our school caretaker - or premises manager as he is now called - is a Woodcraft Folk leader (do they have 'leaders', or is it all consensual non-hierarchical decision making? Anyway, I'm probably going to sign DS up for it).

I'm amazed that Ian Hislop does not mention that the first version of B-P's Scouting for Boys has many references to the problem of 'beastliness' and the certainty that 'beastliness' will undermine the scouts ability to dib, dob and woggle.

And, given the apparant identifucation of B-P as a repressed homosexual, you could wonder what he menat by urging his troops to erve the Queen...

WK007 Tue 08-May-07 20:21:46

F&Z - thats why that shouldn't be taken in isolation - they don't say their promise then go home forever more. We actually talk about different faiths and what they mean for different people, including the fact that some people choose not to have a faith or haven't made up their mind yet.

fortyplus Tue 08-May-07 20:21:34

I helped at our local group when my boys went. They enjoyed it up to a point. It's interesting to observe the leaders at District events...

Some are highly motivated and have been brought up in Scouting themselves and genuinely wish to pass the joy on to another generation.

Some are parents who have been roped in because no one else would do it.

Unfortunately, many are people who obviously crave respect and authority and just can't find it any other way than by bossing little boys around. Of these, a fair proportion are not terribly bright and/or social misfits.

You need to be very careful to find a pack run by leaders who fall into the first two categories, not the third. Having been involved in Scouting myself, I can only say that each group very much takes on the personality of its leaders - some of whom I wouldn't leave in charge of a dog.

PrincessPeaHead Tue 08-May-07 20:20:15

I'm not worked up in the slightest, if you hang around for a bit you'll learn that I don't give a rats arse about what practically anyone says to me. If you want to think that I'm a pointless boggler you go right ahead my boy. In fact I've also been called a jumped up office girl in my time, you can use that too if you like (although the original poster has, sadly, met a sticky end).
I shall continue to think that Scout Leaders are Proportionately Dodgier than Your Average Bloke and wonder what alternative universe your excellent and convenient sounding career has taken you to where you think the opposite. But rest assured I don't really CARE.

fennel Tue 08-May-07 20:19:55

We are thoroughly enjoying Woodcraft folk here. dd1 joined a year ago and we've all been sucked in - camping trips, parties, running evenings. They do indeed attract strange men, also strange women and children, but that's part of their pacifist hippie charm.

I was a keen brownie, guide, ranger, venture scout and guide young leader in my rather too wholesome youth, and would have sent the dds if there were no local woodcraft option, but it is very nice not to have the monarchist militarist theist agenda. Given that we're not very into any of those things.

DrDaddy Tue 08-May-07 20:19:50

I loved Scouts; it was fantastic. Not sure what it's like these days though. In our current culture, you probably aren't even allowed to wear woggles in case you accidentally, brutally hanged yourself at a scout meeting....

My parents wouldn't let me join the Woodcraft Folk who emerged briefly near us in the 70s as apparently they wanted to indoctrinate children in communism (according to my father).

FrannyandZooey Tue 08-May-07 20:19:43

And why exactly do we have to call what we believe in "a God"?

I believe in lots of things but none of them are Gods. Getting children to promise to love their God implies (well, states, really) that they should have a God.

WK007 Tue 08-May-07 20:19:27

I promised to serve 'my god' - if I don't have one at the current moment then there's not a lot of serving to do, the minute I get one I will do what is needed.

Cammelia Tue 08-May-07 20:18:56

Did your house cost more to be in the catchment area of SMH mp

Blandmum Tue 08-May-07 20:18:52

Funnily enough Mrs V's dh was a butcher, and there was always a pig's head in the window, that was never sold. Was that where she hid her radio, do you think???

The plot thickens.

You should walk him the 20 miles. Character building. Oh hell, but then he will need shoes earlier, and that adds to the cult of global capitalism

FrannyandZooey Tue 08-May-07 20:18:13


some kind of computer thing where you have to rub the screen

either that or living with me has finally pushed dp to the brink

NKF Tue 08-May-07 20:18:03

A friend of mine said her kids loved Scouts because they were given chocolate biscuits. Of course when they come back from their next tour of Iraq she might feel differently.....

WK007 Tue 08-May-07 20:17:51

F&Z - yes, you don't have to have a God to be in Guides/Brownies - we don't interrogate the kids on their way in about who they worship!!! We've got one who's a spiritualist and got about 14 gods, the point is to reinforce that they have to stay true to what they believe in.

Greensleeves Tue 08-May-07 20:17:30

Sorry, didn't you asy you promised allegiance to your God? Which God was that, then? The one whose existence you're not sure of?

Don't worry, everyone else was lying too

suzycreamcheese Tue 08-May-07 20:16:48

lol greeny..

f&z whats a ds lite? marlboro?..

Cammelia Tue 08-May-07 20:16:39

The wood craft folk look like a bunch of longhairs to me, and we all know as history proves, the hippies turned out to be the biggest capitalist pigs of all

WK007 Tue 08-May-07 20:16:20

Sorry Greensleeves, exactly when did I lie?

morningpaper Tue 08-May-07 20:15:42

The other problem is that the Scout Military Headquarters is across the road from my house, whereas the Woodcraft folk will no doubt involve me driving 20 miles in my gas-guzzling car

<Guardian Reader Stress Syndrome>

FrannyandZooey Tue 08-May-07 20:15:27

Oh and as for this:

"The god part says 'my God' so can mean whatever you want it to mean"

erm, well, except it doesn't really mean anything if you don't have a God, does it?

PrincessPeaHead Tue 08-May-07 20:15:24

Old Mrs Vaughn was just a cleverly disguised operative called Clive. That stroke she had which meant she had to retire early? That was him being called to Moscow to replace Douglas Fairbottom who was poked in the eye by a poisoned umbrella.

MrMariella Tue 08-May-07 20:14:42

PPH - I said nothing like any of the things there.

I DO work in the area of sexual abuse, and have done for many a year now. And, yes, I HAVE gained some insights in that time.

If you could be so bothered to get all worked up, take some time to read carefully.

Option is to let your mind boggle away, pointlessly.

morningpaper Tue 08-May-07 20:14:26

Greensleeves is that dribble? I thought it was your Woodcraft-inspired beard

southeastastra Tue 08-May-07 20:13:40

yes mb! we had to show our 10p each week in case of emergency

Greensleeves Tue 08-May-07 20:13:39

Old Mrs Vaughn was a well-meaning myopic unfortunate dupe, MB. Imperialism relies heavily on a constant supply of them

Cammelia Tue 08-May-07 20:13:23

Lol mb

NKF Tue 08-May-07 20:13:22

Is it just me or do the Woodcraft Folk sound as if they've stepped out of the Lord of the Rings?

Greensleeves Tue 08-May-07 20:12:07

Oh, don't burst my bubble FFF, this is the most fun I've had all week

<<wipes rabid foam off chin>>

morningpaper Tue 08-May-07 20:11:47

I have emailled the local Woodcraft folk, although the do look like a bunch of long-haired hippy cult members who bang drums naked in the wood

oh well

I may as well pack them off to Spring Harvest and have done with it

PrincessPeaHead Tue 08-May-07 20:11:20

Oh excellent Kimi
So as far as parents are concerned, strange bloke volunteered for scouts and was allowed to accompany them on a trip without any sort of police check being done. Simply marvellous.

Yup, sign em up Morningpaper, that's the ticket, nothing to worry about here, no sirree

Blandmum Tue 08-May-07 20:11:06

at the thought of poor old Mrs Vaughn being such a supporter of the Western Military Industrial Complex. I never realised. I thought she was just teaching me some silly games and making sure I had the change for a phone box, and a clean hankie at all times.

FiveFingeredFiend Tue 08-May-07 20:10:57

Greensleaves = ditto - RE: view.

I am a staunch republican. Line them up and shoot them.

However i weigh up my sensible (shooting royalty) parenting versus a good time with some mates at a local church hall.

PrincessPeaHead Tue 08-May-07 20:09:55

Mr Mariella are you objecting to the police on principle now?

I wonder in which sphere you work which enables you to disparage the police, claim intimate knowledge of the statistics relating to sex offenders working in youth fields and think scouting is A1 clean as a whistle. The mind simply boggles

My grandparents actually met when they were Scout leaders. They had a guard of honour of Cubs at their wedding.

Greensleeves Tue 08-May-07 20:09:43

LOL WK007, so you lied, that's all good then

<<note to self - enrol dc tomorrow to be indoctrinated by fibbers and fascists>>

rabbleraiser Tue 08-May-07 20:09:24

Then as you were, Greeny.

Cammelia Tue 08-May-07 20:08:49

But itsworldwide

kimi Tue 08-May-07 20:08:16

DH1 is a scout/beaver helper and had to have the police check.

He was going to camp for a weekend, the check came back 6 WEEKS after he had been to camp.
Thankfully DH1 is a lovely bloke and not a mad perv

FrannyandZooey Tue 08-May-07 20:08:10

We no longer have a chapter of the Woodcraft Folk near us

I keep telling dp it is his civic duty to revive it but he just mutters and hides behind his DS Lite

WK007 Tue 08-May-07 20:07:16

lemonaid - I'm agnostic and when I started Guiding I was never asked my beliefs and never have been. I took my promise just like everyone else because it states 'to love MY God' - if you have a different one to everyone else or no God at all its up to you.

Greensleeves Tue 08-May-07 20:06:42

Oh, and I was aiming at FFF (in a pacifist non-ballistic way you understand), I just type too slowly

Greensleeves Tue 08-May-07 20:06:07

Eh? I'm enjoying myself immensely

MrMariella Tue 08-May-07 20:05:56

morningpaper. I hope things are much clearer for you now, and you can come to a rational, well-informed, joint decision that you are both happy with.......

rabbleraiser Tue 08-May-07 20:05:05

Good grief, Greensleeves. I was being light-hearted. Lighten up, girl

lemonaid Tue 08-May-07 20:04:19

The Scouts, Guides, etc., won't have atheists as leaders (in spite of theoretically being a "non-religious" organisation), which really puts me off (in fact, it's only really being an atheist or a paedophile that will disqualify you, because clearly the two are comparable ). So it'll be the Woodland Folk for DS.

ChocolateFace -- Many are listed here or call head office on 020 8672 6031 for your nearest group.

Greensleeves Tue 08-May-07 20:03:57

LOL Kathy, did I miss one? It won't happen again

MrMariella Tue 08-May-07 20:03:37

"has anyone mentioned 'scouting for boys'?"

that's another site, suzy.....

(Greensleeves where were you last time I was struggling on a republican thread?)

gybegirl Tue 08-May-07 20:02:19

Morningpaper. Yes, he's being unreasonable... Mini morningpapers will have lots of fun, meet new pals and generally have a good time . Deciding to send them is in their best interests and you shouldn't be put off by your DH's hangups!!! PC gone mad I say!!!

suzycreamcheese Tue 08-May-07 20:01:12

has anyone mentioned 'scouting for boys'? yet...the book of course!

Greensleeves Tue 08-May-07 20:00:56

Well, that's the rest of us told then

You may think having your child swear to "serve" an old woman she's never met on the basis of fading elitist principles (the same bloodthirsty and arrogant principles which have wrought evil and suffering across the world {still do, in fact}, and which currently make us the laughing stock of Europe and a disgrace to the civilised world), but others take these powerful symbols rather more seriously and choose not to turn a blind eye to the history, significance, uniform and abiding rituals of these organisations. You don't think it matters - that's your choice. But is it really so difficult to understand that others hold a different view? ]

rabbleraiser Tue 08-May-07 20:00:00

Your dh needs to get with the 21st century. We're all done with left wing/right wing class division stuff. Just tell him his views are old-fashioned.

Men hate that

MrsWho Tue 08-May-07 19:57:55

I do Rainbows (if we can include that) and we are definatly not militaristic , a bit of order might be quite nice for a change

I think in general the groups are more disciplined rather than militaristic nowadays

The god part says 'my God' so can mean whatever you want it to mean.The Queen is mentioned in the Brownie promise upwards(not the Rainbow one )

FiveFingeredFiend Tue 08-May-07 19:57:03


FiveFingeredFiend Tue 08-May-07 19:56:22

Huntley wasn't police checked was he? which was the cause for outrage, that he could be in such a position close to children as a caretaker and not be police checked.

police checksare only as good as the day they are printed, granted, but in any organisationw here you leave your child in the supervised company of an adult who has some responsability for your child, one entrusts them.

So there will ofcourse be incidents where this position of power is abused.

To intimate that this is somehow wide spread practice is simply untrue.

I think the whole argument is silly, Kids get together to play games. not be brainwashed into becoming a monarching or pseudo military gun toting patriot ready to fight for britain in Iraq -in the hour and a half 2 hours they spend there once a week FGS get a grip. Its a social group.

suzycreamcheese Tue 08-May-07 19:56:20

def military bent..and think the god thing and queen thing would bother too....

was in girls brigade all marching and god scripture stuff....yawn..very small stick town...

woodcraftfolk...can i join too?

Cammelia Tue 08-May-07 19:53:23

Brownies, Cubs, Guides, Scouts, fab stuff for children to do in a (usually) single gender group where they (usually) make another group of friends outside of their school ones. I was a Brownie, my mother was Brown Owl, dd was a Brownie from the moment she turned 7 and is now a Guide. Loves the camping and other outings, church parade, the whole thing. There's got to be a lot of worse stuff out there.

pointydog Tue 08-May-07 19:51:13

xenia, our middle class is your working class

southeastastra Tue 08-May-07 19:49:49

my guide group was full of very posh girls!

MrMariella Tue 08-May-07 19:48:09

Ha! Can't win can you??!!!

Criminal checks are done yes, MB, but one wouldn't rely on them much. OR even police intelligence access - see Huntley??.

There is no way of eliminating risk, as we don't know what is going through people's minds, do we??

Judy1234 Tue 08-May-07 19:46:54

I always thought they were fairly working class actually although the Queen did join the guides I think in her youth.

Greensleeves Tue 08-May-07 19:45:25

Better a Commie than an embarrassing anachronistic uniform-fetishist paramilitary freak

I want my boys to go scouting when they're older . My brother was a cub, then scout, then venture scout, and it seemed to involve lots of fun outside, camping, trips abroad in a big group. I was jealous until I could go to Ventures too, as our local guides was crap.

Why does it reinforce class division?

DH just saw this and said, "oh the woodcraft folk, they're Commis".

nickytwotimes Tue 08-May-07 19:42:07

the checks for getting within 50 feet of a kids group are pretty rigorous, plus you have to go on umpteen courses about child protection . a lot of this puts people off, not cause they have something to hide but because it is a pain in the arse filling in paperwork, etc, when you are basically providing free childcare and doing peopl ea favour.also the work that goes into running scoputs, etc is unbelievable

tigi Tue 08-May-07 19:41:57

I do Beavers, and it's great, lots of fun craft stuff, making things, games,badges, useful things like when to ring 999, quizes, healthy eating etc. We are strict with them if they are rowdy, have to else the place would be chaos!our goodnight song doesn't even mention God or Queen.

MrMariella Tue 08-May-07 19:41:01

They probably do, Kathy, though I have absolutely no experience of them at all to base that on. As we know, children are far more at risk in the home, rather than on some knot-tying exercise in a draughty hut.

ChocolateFace Tue 08-May-07 19:40:39

Wood Craft Folk. on that website I didn't see a link for local groups. Did I miss it? How do I find out? It would so suit my DS who refuses to have his hair cut!

kimi Tue 08-May-07 19:39:42

DH1 is a scout helper and he is not strange!!!!

southeastastra Tue 08-May-07 19:38:49

maybe some of the views on this thread is the reason scouting/guiding groups are becoming rarer to find.

Blandmum Tue 08-May-07 19:38:48

Everyone has to be CRB checked now.

So do the Woodcraft Folk not attract strange men then?
I just assume that if there is a correlation with dodginess, probably it will apply to all kids' activities, won't it?

Maybe this or this will help.

kimi Tue 08-May-07 19:34:05

beavers cubs and scouts are great for little boys your hubby is being unreasonable

MrMariella Tue 08-May-07 19:33:14

PPH!! Sweeping, no??

Essentially, "all men" are potentially leaders, statistically, not more so. Is my point.

nickytwotimes Tue 08-May-07 19:33:04

excuse me! i am a lady!

WK007 Tue 08-May-07 19:33:03

PPH - sorry to burst your bubble but I'm a Brownie leader and I'm sure most people on here would agree that the WI for banish me as soon as look at me - yes, some leaders are knitted-cake types but there are also a lot that are very normal....well, different if not normal.

If scouts today is anything like Brownies its mainly running round, making a hell of a mess, learning some basic skills and the only military bit is having to do what you're told occasionally, which applies to most things. And the allegiance to the queen is one tiny bit in one song (brownies don't even swear allegiance, they just say they will serve their queen) which none of them actually take notice of, most of them have to be reminded of what to say even.

pointydog Tue 08-May-07 19:31:49

"Also Scouts do Attract Strange Men As Leaders"

har! tis true, tis true

Greensleeves Tue 08-May-07 19:31:31

definitely the woodcraft folk chez Greeny <checks watch....1.7 years to go >

I wouldn't let my sons within twenty miles of a woggle if they were the only dyed-in-the-wool royalist imperialist pompous obsolete bunch of cap-doffing feudal scumfucks on earth

WendyWeber Tue 08-May-07 19:31:29

How about St John Ambulance Badgers? Uniforms, but hardly militaristic

pointydog Tue 08-May-07 19:30:28

I can't believe people are slagging the Woodcraft Folk

MrMariella Tue 08-May-07 19:30:20

Idon't have to have a chat with the boys in blue, as you call them....I DO work in this sphere myself......I didn't mention boarding schools or swimming instructors..we are mentioning scouts and brownies.....

also..boys in blue? "pseudo-military..etc.." themselves.....not a healthy environment initself....

Isn't Ian Hislop doing a documentary about how actually Baden Powell was v radical and Scouts not dodgy at all?
You need to track this down, Morningpaper.

PrincessPeaHead Tue 08-May-07 19:28:43

and woolly minded liberals from a lower middle class backgrounds and a vegetarians to boot can't be dodgy?

not sure I'm buying your alibi Nicky

pointydog Tue 08-May-07 19:28:31

Woodcraft Folk - t'would be groovy to sign them up for that

pointydog Tue 08-May-07 19:27:59

I agree with dh.

But I still let dds go to Brownies/Guides

PrincessPeaHead Tue 08-May-07 19:27:26

bolleaux, MrMariella. Have a chat to the boys in blue operating in this sphere.

Are you going to make the same claims about boys boarding prep schools because if so I'll have to howl much louder and drown you out completely.

Oh, swimming coaches too. Disproportionately dodgy.

Howl away!

nickytwotimes Tue 08-May-07 19:27:07

i used to be a scout leader. i am also a woolly minded liberal from a lower middle class background and a vegetarian to boot! most of the pther leaders were just mums and dads who wnted to help out.we did loads of fun stuff with our kids - many troops are co-ed these days. it's not like the old days you know!

chonky Tue 08-May-07 19:26:00

I used to go to Venture SCouts - bloody brilliant, lots of mountaineering, underage drinking and snogging boys. However, I don't think that's the age group that you're asking after!

I used to desperately want to go to Brownies, and never went. As my parents are staunch Grauniad readers maybe they had similar concerns I'd personally say what the hell, surely going to Brownies can't hurt?!

RubyRioja Tue 08-May-07 19:25:44

Well I have just attended DDs enrolment, which was very sweet. I think they have worked had to lose the obsolete aspects of the organisation. Frankly any pseudo military organisation run like they are would not be v effective!

By the way, she is an elf . It was like the Harry Potter sorting hat.

MrMariella Tue 08-May-07 19:25:41

Howl, howl, howl, howl......PPH. No evidence that such chappies are disproportionately represented in offending. Just in the media as it is so juicy for them as a story......

PPH - in our troop the majority of leaders are women and the men are all fathers of boys in the pack and are all v normal

foxinsocks Tue 08-May-07 19:24:13

I'm afraid I side with your dh (though not sure about the class thing) - think there's also a religious element to it too (which put me off even more) - sorry!

PrincessPeaHead Tue 08-May-07 19:23:33

but if you are talking about brownies then I remove my objection to the adults that work with them.

Brownie leaders are the sort of women who in previous times would have been stalwarts of the WI. Completely different kettle of fish. You still have god and the queen in there though, can't avoid that

PrincessPeaHead Tue 08-May-07 19:22:18

He Has a Point

Also Scouts do Attract Strange Men As Leaders

I know you will all howl me down and say that your scout leader is a marvellous gentle chap and your brother is a scout leader and wouldn't hurt a fly.... but it won't change the bare cold fact that Scouts do attract dodgy men much like boys boarding prep schools do.

FiveFingeredFiend Tue 08-May-07 19:20:37

Working class children who arn't educated enough to know about these things go to scouts/cubs and other dubious dib dib dib groups. Middle class children definatley shouldn't mix with any such groups that allow children to skid accross church hall polished floors on their knees and play "Pirates". The former is obviously socially deviant and the latter the mockery of a tragic part of history including rape, killing and such horrid acts.

MrMariella Tue 08-May-07 19:20:33

I think he does MP, but not the 'winning' one. If dd expessses a desire, then I'd go for it, albeit with reservations, and an indepth "de-programming" session after every meet up. Readings from Das Kapital would help......

morningpaper Tue 08-May-07 19:15:50

This is not good, it looks like he Has A Point


NKF Tue 08-May-07 19:12:36

I remember being told that Hitler got the idea for Nazi Youth Groups from the Scouts but that's probably an urban myth.

NKF Tue 08-May-07 19:11:37

It's probably quite nice for kids to do something that isn't a specific skill. Mucking in together rather than progressing through grades in ballet or belts in karate.

Blandmum Tue 08-May-07 19:03:10

Woodcraft folk, but would you have to hand knit his clothes from hemp and dried placentas????

MrMariella Tue 08-May-07 18:59:48

My father was an Irish Republican, so the thought of any of us swearing an allegiance to the English crown was anathema..

and I must admit seeing my dd in her Rainbows uniform, aged 5, when it was something 'for fun' did repel me a little.

But taking the longer view...children have no such qualms - it's fun to them and whattheir friends do and there are, chill a bit is my VHO.

ThatBeetroot Tue 08-May-07 18:55:48

very funny title

Blu Tue 08-May-07 18:54:47

Well I was a Brownie...and look at me now!
Had a Homemakers Badge for cooking buns and some other useful domestically competant task...and look at me now!
Whatever the effects, they won't last.

morningpaper Tue 08-May-07 18:54:43

I thought it was just camping and making fire

Hmm the Woodcraft Folk look so cult-ish

Aren't they allowed to cut their hair?

FrannyandZooey Tue 08-May-07 18:51:04

They are quite militaristic if you attend one of their ceremonies, it kind of takes you aback

the God thing does loom large as well

MrMariella Tue 08-May-07 18:50:45

Aren't Woodcarft folk just "pseudo-military........things" but without the shouting??

TheArmadillo Tue 08-May-07 18:50:13

I have a friend that runs scout/beaver/cubs groups and has recently written a history of his local scout movement.

From him I'd say

Yes the scouts have always been militaristic and will always contain part of that about them. I don't think you can deny that one sorry.

reinforces class divisions? Don't think so. Depends on the area the group is in as to the class makeup of the group. Friend has run at least one group that was paid for in a disadvantaged area where there was nothing else to do. Also in rural areas apparently there is sometimes no other groups or activities for children to join. I don't think class division is as much of an issue as it used to be.

Pledge allegience to the queen - yes I still think they do that.

I think he claims 2 out of the 3. Sorry.
I still think it is a good organisation now. Can you concentrate on the positive points.

Sorry - very old fashioned view IMO.
DD & DS go to cubs & scouts and love it! They do so much they could not do otherwise - night hikes, building fires, camping - lots of camping and generally having so much fun. Useful stuff too like learning to cook, taking responsibility for others and themselves. There is a "military angle" in that there is a bit of bringing to order at the begining and end of a session but teaches them there are times to shut up and times to be rowdy. We don't do church parade as we are not religous.

I don't understand reinforcing class divisions - people from all walks of life at ours - working to upper, able bodied and not and lots of different backgrounds.

Really good for letting kids be kids.

Have you looked at Woodcraft Folk - that might be more what you are after?

tissy Tue 08-May-07 18:48:58
MrMariella Tue 08-May-07 18:48:34

Are scouts uni-sex these days???

dd is in the brownies......I think dh has an historic point, but I suspect his position has been de-constructed by the advance of post-modern materialism. Or something like that.......

edam Tue 08-May-07 18:48:04

That's what my parents said. Managed to argue my way into the Guides after we moved house, though - my mother thought it would help me to make friends.

I can't say I ever noticed any quasi-militaristic stuff going on, although we did swear allegiance to the Queen. Didn't bother me or affect my view of politics.

tissy Tue 08-May-07 18:47:35

no, but neither is dh (sitting on fence emoticon). Perhaps there is a Woodcrraft Folk group near you- sounds like it would be more dh's thing. (Or you could put them down for Sea or Army Cadets, which really are militaristic, then Scouts would seem quite tame! )

morningpaper Tue 08-May-07 18:44:36

Well I thought that the Brownies and Scouts were okay but DH has objected that I have put their names down because they are "psuedo militaristic organisations that pledges allegiance to the monarchy and reinforces class divisions."

I told him they are probably full of working class Muslim eco-warrier children but he says no.


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