To think scouts guides etc

(246 Posts)
alicetrefusis Mon 27-Jan-14 01:41:31

Are bloody weird. And the adults even more so. The uniforms!I speak as an ex guide ran away- but shit all that weirdly pseudo military stuff.looked at from the outside v disturbing. Also the cannibalistic rites and torture bits of the Christian service awful. Yet look around and church full of daily nail blue rinses and young parents desperate to get em into school, scary,

NigellasDealer Mon 27-Jan-14 01:47:29

you may indeed have a point.
mine joined cubs for a while but none of the leaders were particularly kind and my son why should he have to wear a 'candy arsed monkey suit' and 'go out in the evening to be shouted at by weirdos'. grin

NigellasDealer Mon 27-Jan-14 01:47:52

*my son said

FatOwl Mon 27-Jan-14 01:49:46

Well I think you are confusing Guides with something else, we are not a christian or military organisation at all, even though many people think we are.
I don't read the DM (in fact the DM hate us with a passion) or have a blue rinse
I do confess to being a bit weird though (but not in the way you are thinking)

ComposHat Mon 27-Jan-14 01:49:55

I have no idea what you are talking about.

'cannibalistic rites'

'torture bits'

Things have obviously livened up a bit since I was in the cubs.

Bogeyface Mon 27-Jan-14 01:51:11

Given the origins of the Scouting Movement and what we now know about Baden Powell, YANBU. It all seems a little to earnest for me.

But then I am the most cynical person in the world so probably not a great judge!

NigellasDealer Mon 27-Jan-14 01:51:15

yes what are the 'cannabalistic rites and torture bits'? confused

Bogeyface Mon 27-Jan-14 01:52:36

Well I think you are confusing Guides with something else, we are not a christian or military organisation at all, even though many people think we are

Christianity was a big part of it. I remember promising to "serve God". Is that not in it anymore? You couldnt opt out of that bit of the promises when I was a brownie/guide.

Bogeyface Mon 27-Jan-14 01:53:46

And the Guides werent military but the scouts were and the guides were (originally) there to do the nice girly bits while the boys were off fighting, so it was military in origin.

FatOwl Mon 27-Jan-14 01:55:11

We are open to people of all faiths and none (ie atheists). Any Brownie/Guide leader making out you have to go is church is just plain wrong

YoureBeingASillyBilly Mon 27-Jan-14 01:56:50

my ds is a scout- he's never tried to take a bite out of me confused

FatOwl Mon 27-Jan-14 01:57:27

I am intrigued by the cannibalistic rites and torture bits of the Christian service though

Maybe my Guide meeting are just a bit more fun and less ritualistic

NigellasDealer Mon 27-Jan-14 02:00:32

"we are not a christian or military organisation at all" - well that is debatable

FatOwl Mon 27-Jan-14 02:05:18

You might have come across a leader who has not been delivering the programme correctly and adding his/her own Christian ethos to it, but Girlguiding itself is not and never has been an exclusively Christian organisation,

Can't talk about scouts though

NigellasDealer Mon 27-Jan-14 02:05:57

girl guiding is/was a branch of scouts so share a history

Bogeyface Mon 27-Jan-14 02:06:38

Girlguiding itself is not and never has been an exclusively Christian organisation,


Bogeyface Mon 27-Jan-14 02:08:13

If you didnt promise to serve God then you couldnt join, at least in the UK.

FatOwl Mon 27-Jan-14 02:11:21

We share a history in that we have the same founder but we are and always have been different organisations.

I'll say it again:
You might have come across a leader who has not been delivering the programme correctly and adding his/her own Christian ethos to it, but Girlguiding itself is not and never has been an exclusively Christian organisation.

If you can show me documented proof (not from the DM or your own personal anecdotes) that proves otherwise I'd be very interested

FatOwl Mon 27-Jan-14 02:16:52

I am talking specifically Guide here (not scouts)

Even though the Promise had until last year a reference to my god (small g) and God (pre 1995) it has always been clear that a girl can replace this with Allah or any other word for god in any religion.
Any girl who felt uncomfortable with this did not have to make the Promise at all.

Any leaders who pressurised any girl to go to church or do christian activities were in the wrong and not representative of the organisation.

NatashaBee Mon 27-Jan-14 02:20:33

I'm disappointed that the guides group I went to didn't have any cannibalistic rituals. All we did was cook marshmallows on the campfire and do crafts.

FatOwl Mon 27-Jan-14 02:24:13

I'm beginning to think my Guides might be missing out.
We are doing Chinese New Year tonight complete with Fortune Cookies and Chopstick relay races.
Maybe we should do some sewing and praying instead to make sure the DM brigade can sleep easy in their beds

arabellarubberplant Mon 27-Jan-14 02:26:39

Goodness, is it time for this thread again already? So soon?

Yes, yes, we make 'em line in rows and shout when they are out of step. Anyone who refuses to serve God gets dunked, and we regularly roast non-conformists o'er the campfire.

Run along, there's a dear.

alicetrefusis Mon 27-Jan-14 02:27:41

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

arabellarubberplant Mon 27-Jan-14 02:28:17

I am bloody weird though. There's no denying that. Fortunately I'm not as much of a twat as the op. I mean, ya gotta be fairly screw loose to put so much time and effort into other (ungrateful) people's kids, eh?

arabellarubberplant Mon 27-Jan-14 02:30:16

Ah, ok. Just a piss take then. In which case, I take it back.

But I'm still quite odd.

I am, however, just to start a thread about how to grow out a curly pixie cut with an unfortunate tide line where the dye finishes. About an inch of grey in patches, rather like a badger.

Maybe a mauve rinse?

FatOwl Mon 27-Jan-14 02:30:50

I think (but it's not very clear) that your rant is about a very disturbing church service so not sure why the vitriol towards the Scouts and Guides

alicetrefusis Mon 27-Jan-14 02:31:35

Gosh really didn't know this was a well gnawed bone of contention! Let me add " doing chopstick relay races" to the list!

alicetrefusis Mon 27-Jan-14 02:32:27

Oh come off it fat you know what I mean!

arabellarubberplant Mon 27-Jan-14 02:32:33

There are some very special leaders. I once met a chap who appeared at camp fires in his wife's leopard print dressing gown, with red tassels. And a serious face.

I wear a blanket. With badges on. Or a sturdy north face fleece so that I melt if I stand too close.

No dodgy leopard print negligee for me.

arabellarubberplant Mon 27-Jan-14 02:34:30

If you search 'scouts' on mn you will understand. Honestly, this has been rerun so many bloody times it rivals disabled parking.

There's always the woodcraft folk. <helpful and yet repetitive>

ComposHat Mon 27-Jan-14 02:35:16

I think I like the sound of the Brownies. Pixies, sprites and enchanted toadstools... it all seems a bit trippy, like it seems like it was all cooked up by Syd Barrett in the 1960s when off his bonce on acid.

arabellarubberplant Mon 27-Jan-14 02:37:15

Ah, no, you DEFINITELY need the woodcraft folk, compo...

alicetrefusis Mon 27-Jan-14 02:43:01

Had no idea Arabella and all.
Just reeling from the absurdity of it all and recollections of my own uncomfotableness at the time,
And enjoying making a real experience funny.
And I didn't even park in a pfb on board space either.

arabellarubberplant Mon 27-Jan-14 02:45:21

there's Nowt wrong with a smidge of absurdity in life. As long as you don't take it too seriously wink

nooka Mon 27-Jan-14 02:53:38

My children did Cubs/Scouts and Guides, but are atheist/agnostic and haven't been to church more than a couple of times since their community school stopped being chummy with the local vicar. Neither of them have ever been to church with the Scouts/Guides or done anything vaguely religious. ds's Cub leader did try to persuade him that he had to eat a slug to become a cub, but didn't manage to keep a straight face for long enough grin

Church services can be a bit strange especially if you've not been to one before and listen to all the words (being brought up a church going Catholic meant that I learned long ago to zone out). My sister joined a very evangelical (singing in tongues and all that stuff) church for a while and going with her was a very very odd experience. When her dd was christened most of my Catholic family arrived after the service because it was just too much for them.

alicetrefusis Mon 27-Jan-14 03:23:42

Thanks Nooka. I have been to far too many services in my youth- that's my point. Familiarity leads to zoning out when actually what is at the heart of the Christian religion is pretty, well, gross when unpicked. Very glad to hear church attendance no longer mandatory. I guess it couldn't continue to be these days anyway.

Kytti Mon 27-Jan-14 03:59:20

I'm a cub leader! (And a 'laydee' too! Shhhh! Don't tell the founder!) Where do we sign up for cannabalistic rites?

Yes, ORIGINS are military. 'Scouting for Boys' was all about campcraft and the like though. That's where it comes from. Now run along before I get out my rope and begin to practise knots on you.

lol at arabella Yeah, love it when you realise how much you're appreciated, eh? Wonder how many community groups the OP runs in their own time for free?

Kytti Mon 27-Jan-14 03:59:51

... and I'm not remotely interested in church.

Onesie Mon 27-Jan-14 04:06:23

Mine do non of the churchie stuff you mention, they are too busy running around in the dark building campfires.

MothratheMighty Mon 27-Jan-14 04:07:31

So that's what all the campfires and Deadthingsonastick were about, my son told me they were sausage cookouts.
Ah well, too late now, he's loved the scouts for years and years and is obviously lost to cannibalistic rituals and the like.

redexpat Mon 27-Jan-14 08:22:24

I'm a Guide leader. Not military. Not Christian. Yes we USED to promise to serve God but that was more than 20 years ago.

But hey why base a thread on fact when you have outdated anecdotal evidence? It's so much more fun this way.

There's only one person on this thread who sounds bloody weird and it's not the Guide and Scout leaders.

livelablove Mon 27-Jan-14 08:36:43

I used to go to guides years ago and my overwheming memory of it is tidying up the patrol box, which we seemed to do every week. I know my mum didn't like it when she found out we sang a campfire song that went "father Abraham had 7 sons, 7 sons had father Abraham, and they didn't drink, and they didn't smoke and they didn't have much fun"

WooWooOwl Mon 27-Jan-14 08:38:54

I can see where you're coming from, but a little bit of odd is far outweighed by the brilliance of our local scout leaders.

We are so lucky to live near such an active group, and the only church service is the Remembrance Day one with the parade, which is lovely.

Scout leaders can be as odd as they like as long as they continue to do mud, fire, camping and numerous sports activities with my ds's. I am extremely grateful to them.

Lottiedoubtie Mon 27-Jan-14 08:43:53

There's only one person on this thread who sounds bloody weird and it's not the Guide and Scout leaders.

Yes. Quite.

OP some of your posts don't make you sound quite well?

Grennie Mon 27-Jan-14 08:59:21

I know things have changed. But when I was a child Guides went to church parades, to Thanksgiving services, promised to serve God, etc. This is what happened in the UK. It was not rogue leaders doing this, but standard practice of the Guides.

MoominIsGoingToBeAMumWaitWHAT Mon 27-Jan-14 09:09:33

My future FIL is a scout leader, and my future SIL is a cubs leader. Both staunch atheists and not cannibalistic at all (in my experience). Although maybe the Welsh scouts are a bit more placid than your raving rabid English ones? grin

Grennie Mon 27-Jan-14 09:14:08

When talkiung about cannibalistic, is the OP talking about mass?

Unexpected Mon 27-Jan-14 09:21:48

Op, I know you said you were trying to make a real-life experience funny but it isn't working. You are coming across as a bit deranged and certainly not the possessor of "at least two degrees" - have you forgotten what your education level actually is? You have rolled guides, scouts and the Church of England into one confused ball and come out with a misguided rant. Was the teaching of the Church really such a surprise to you? Mind you, I notice you were posting very late at night - had you been at the wine - communion or otherwise?

Mass is cannabilistic - all that talk of eating and drinking the body and blood of Jesus in order to be saved from sin. From an objective pov it's a bloody weird thing to do to your dead leader

BigW Mon 27-Jan-14 09:30:23

I went to Brownies and then Guides. I think I liked it on the whole, but the leaders were a bit mean! I got in trouble EVERY week for not going to Church. (I'm Jewish, they did know). I remember it being very religious. They used to go through the register and ask each child if they had been to church.

Also, I got the flu at camp once. I was in brownies, so whatever age that is. They refused to let me call my mum and then locked me in a room on my own all night.

CiderBomb Mon 27-Jan-14 09:35:29

The Brownie pack I was a member of was always closely affiliated with the the church, we went to services regularly, sang Carole's at Christmas and had to pledge to do our "duty to god".

It might not be now, but it was definitely a Christian organisation then.

prh47bridge Mon 27-Jan-14 09:38:25

Neither Scouts nor Guides are specifically Christian. Individual units can be attached to churches, other religious organisations or completely independent. Some, but by no means all, of those attached to churches operate as part of the church and do have a strong Christian element. But overall the ethos is for the young person to be encouraged to be a good follower of whatever god they worship. There have been issues with not catering well for people of no faith but there have been recent improvements on that front.

For specifically Christian uniformed youth organisations you want the Boys Brigade, Girls Brigade and similar.

17leftfeet Mon 27-Jan-14 09:47:04

I promise that I will do my best:
To be true to myself and develop my beliefs,
To serve the Queen and my community,
To help other people
To keep the (Brownie) Guide Law.

No mention of god there

My guides know I have no faith but I do try and instil good morals which also fit into the guide laws like being kind to each other and everyone has a voice

We actually had a really good debate the other week about disabled toilets, euthanasia and people speaking English

And then we played ladders grin

Hoppinggreen Mon 27-Jan-14 09:57:53

My daughter is just in Brownies so she's going to have to wait a couple of years for the Military and Canabalistic rites!!

Grennie Mon 27-Jan-14 10:07:43

17leftfeet - They changed the promise. It used to be:

To do my duty to God.

I'm an atheist I was 'brown owl' for the 1st slightly nice suburb (name of local church) brownies.

Simply meant we met in their church hall.

I have to confess having had dealings with Brownies, Guides and Rangers all my life, I find Scouts infuriating.

DD2 joined Scouts (instead of Guides) to be with her DF. God they are a pain. Stupid trousers that don't fit, horrible stiff shirts and smart black shoes, of a (female) leader would not see that DD did not want to wear her school shoes to run about (she doesn't have boys lace ups) and I didn't want to buy her black trainers just for 2 hrs a week.

FFS we wore jeans and trainers to Guides 35 years ago (only on Remembrance Sunday and occasional apart occasions were we asked to put on our navy school skirts, no one had an official one).

Guides and Brownies have had practical relaxed official uniform for almost 20 years. Beavers have sweat shirts, why do Scouts have to be so stuffy.

Grennie Mon 27-Jan-14 10:10:04

Actually the oath was only changed in 2013. So it is a very recent change.

Goldencity1 Mon 27-Jan-14 10:16:06

Well I have been a leader in guiding for 20 years, Brownies, Guides and Rangers and have yet to eat any one!
It might liven up this weeks Ranger meeting, I'll have to ask if they fancy it! Perhaps we could capture a scout and roast him over the campfire....

"The God Thing". Guiding is not, and never has been a Christian organisation. There are Guiding associations all over the world from Peru to Pakistan and Guides of all faiths and none.

Up until last year the promise in the UK [made by all Guiding members] said " I promise to love my god..." This could mean any god: not just the Christian God, Muslims for example would say "Allah"... Only those who were atheists could not make the promise.

After a consultation open to all members, children and adults [44,000 people took part], the wording is now " to be true to myself and develop my beliefs". So Guiding in the UK is now open to absolutely everyone, whatever their beliefs or background.
The leaders in our local groups range from a committed Catholic, a Church of England regular church goer, an number of agnostics and an atheist and none of us imposes our views on anyone.
We do meet in a local church hall, in common with a lot of other groups, as it is cheap and available! We do not attend services at the church.
The only "church parade" we do is on Remembrance Sunday and we make it clear that attendance is voluntary.

As for the uniforms, has the OP seen the Guides uniform recently? uniform

There is even a hijab....

The blue shirt and air hostess cap went out over 25 years ago!

As for being military...well over 100 years ago, Baden Powell was in the army and did draw on his experiences when writing "Scouting for Boys". But that is as far as it goes, todays Guides and Scouts are not a junior branch of the armed forces!

And BTW, neither I or any of our other leaders have a blue rinse or read the Daily Wail....

Perhaps if the OP took the time to volunteer with a local group she might be able to talk sense, but no, it is much easier to make up rubbish!

SmallSherryforMedicinal Mon 27-Jan-14 10:16:50

My dd is a scout. She loves it. No mention of god or churchy business.

soverylucky Mon 27-Jan-14 10:23:27

I went to a catholic brownie pack back in the 80's. There was church parade but you didn't have to attend. There was the 'duty to god' bit in the promise but I don't think any of us really thought about the words and what they meant. There were no prayers either.

I get frustrated with people slating volunteers who are just trying to do something nice for their local community which is not a compulsory activity. If you don't like guides etc find an extra-curricular activity that you do like.

17leftfeet Mon 27-Jan-14 10:23:44


It's not been to do my duty to god since 1995 when it was changed to love my god then more recently god was removed altogether

I've been involved in guiding for 28 years, I'm not now, not have I ever been, involved in church

When I was a brownie we never went to church. Then as a guide and ranger there were church services once a month that we were welcome to go to -I never did

My guides now parade twice a year -if they want
St George's day which where I live is a big event, and remembrance
I generally get about a 60% turn out -those that do come are thanked but nothing is said to those that don't as I recognise its often not their decision

The original promise was written in a different era and can't be judged on today's standards

The guide association is also clear that members take their promise when they are ready to do so and not having made your promise is no barrier to joining in activities

Grennie Mon 27-Jan-14 10:24:39

Until the 80's I think, the promise was to love God. It then changed to, love my God. And then changed again in 2013.

Until the 80's all Guide packs in the UK clearly meant Christian when they talked about God. And most packs went to church at some point during the year. So given this history, it is unsurprising that most still see Guides as a Christian organisation.

MammaTJ Mon 27-Jan-14 10:25:22

It used to be!

I still remember the promise I made.

I promise that I will do my best

to do my duty to God

To serve the Queen and help other people

And keep the (brownie) guide law!

Grennie Mon 27-Jan-14 10:28:11

17left feet - It was as late as the 90's it changed? So not long ago at all. No of course Guides didn't have to go to the church services, but they were part of the pack activities in the past.

And honestly I would have felt a total outsider as a Guide if I hadn't taken my promise. Most girls would not be happy to be in that situation.

I know the Guides has never been as overtly Christian as the Girls Brigade though.

Cannibalism? Keep with the times, OP. Literal belief in transubstantiation in a protestant country is like, so 16th century.

Scouts and Guides are a bit twee though, IMO. It's more the Queen bollocks that puts me off.

Grennie Mon 27-Jan-14 10:37:29

Pregnant - Catholics still believe in literal transubstantiation though?

NigellasDealer Mon 27-Jan-14 10:41:27

hmm well the cub pack that we briefly joined had a C of E vicar at most meetings and everyone was expected to attend church together at least once while we were there.
even my son wondered if Jewish and Muslim were welcome at cubs, and he was about 9 at the time.

Lucylouby Mon 27-Jan-14 10:47:56

I can assure you that even though I am a brown owl I am as normal as any of the other mums at the school gates. I dress normally, do normal activities, have a normal looking home. I am wondering if I need to change all these things in order to fit the stereotypical guider image. I certainly need to change my programme for brownies, we haven't done any cannibalism activities before, is their a website I can go on for ideas? Maybe I should get in touch with the military, maybe they have some ideas, do they know much about cannibalism?
You can't even join the younger guide or scout sections until you are older Than normal school age, 5 for rainbows, 5 and 3/4 for beavers, so I don't know which section you are looking at to see parents desperate for their children to start school.

I'm also a Guider - my Rainbows (age 5-7) now promise to "think about my beliefs", prior to September 2013 they promised to "love my god". Although I did promise to "do my duty to God, serve the Queen" etc as a Guide back in the middle ages 80s.

We are a church-sponsored unit, which means that in return for not paying any rent on using the hall (so Rainbows costs £20 a term, or £25 for Brownies or Guides), we attend church parade 8 times a year. This is voluntary, and there's no pressure on the girls to attend. I've had anything from 1 or 2 Rainbows - one being my own daughter - to a dozen or so turn up.

Next one is next weekend, and we have our very own flag to carry for the first time, so I expect most of them will be there and fight over who gets to carry the flag in grin

Do any of the other Leaders know, is there training on how we provide these cannibalistic rites and rituals? grin

drspouse Mon 27-Jan-14 10:52:42


Historically, many Scout and Guide groups met in church premises and had strong links to the church - because so did all the other community organisations.

Those who watched Call the Midwife recently will have noticed that the mums didn't trust the new antenatal clinic because it wasn't in the church hall any more.

Churches assumed that this mean that Guiding and Scouting were church organisations. Some groups were specifically set up for the children who went to a particular church. All the children went to church anyway, so appearing once a month in uniform wasn't that odd.

There have always been Jewish Scout and Guide groups. There are now Muslim Scout groups (and some fledgling and rather amorphous Guide groups, though those are a bit less successful for some reason). Neither organisation has EVER been an exclusively Christian organisation. Whatever his failings, B-P emphasised that children should be following their family religion.

We changed our (Guiding) promise last year (but it hadn't contained Duty to God for quite some time). However, we value tradition, and some groups (my Brownies for example - the girls themselves) like the old wording of some of our songs and asked to keep them. The girls themselves were divided on whether they prefer the new promise, or don't.

Some leaders, however, value tradition more than they should in some areas. Some Guiders found the switch to letting girls have a lot more say in their own activities very hard to work with. Some have assumed that "everyone goes to Church Parade" is still policy. Some now are unhappy with the new Promise (chosen after consultation with all our members... old and young...). You can't please everyone, and where an organisation is volunteer led, you do have to take the volunteers you can get, for the most part, and work with them to make sure they are "delivering good Guiding" as we say...

SooticaTheWitchesCat Mon 27-Jan-14 10:53:06

What a weird OP!

My DD goes to brownies and it isn't military and even though the meeetings are in the church they learn nothing to do with Christianity. MY DD is a Muslim anyway.

I think it is good for children to go to scouts and guides, they learn all kinds of things and they learn to help in the community.

I was a venture scout leader when I was younger and I had about 10 teenage girls and boys who would happily learn camping skills, volunteer to help in a nursing home and help run activities for younger children. Surely that is a good thing and not at all weird.

MomsStiffler Mon 27-Jan-14 10:53:36

I think the OP has been trying to hard for her "flora & fungi" badge & ingested a few "special" mushrooms. grin

Keep banging on though OP (and the others that think this is a serious thread) - we're all in stitches here!!

Goldencity1 Mon 27-Jan-14 10:54:14

Ohh Lucy...where are you? Perhaps your Brownies and my Guides and Rangers could have a joint meeting, if you bring the scouts my lot will build the fire and we can give the phrase "backwoods cooking" a whole new meaning....especially if I can borrow some equipment from the local army barracks in case the scouts don't want to be roasted!

DiseasesOfTheSheep Mon 27-Jan-14 10:55:15

Last time I checked, the C of E hasn't practised transubstantiation since the reformation...

Also a scout leader. I am bloody weird some times, but I have never yet led the scouts in a mad cannibalistic riot. What I do in my own time, on the other hand... wink

CalamitouslyWrong Mon 27-Jan-14 10:55:40

DS1's scout troop all tend to wear jeans with their shirts. The shirt isn't particularly starchy or anything (DS1's has never been ironed). And they wear trainers. The leaders are more interested in them getting involved than what they're wearing.

I find the driving out miles down tiny unfamiliar roads (sometimes with passing places) in the dark to take him to a field to be the worst bit of scouts. It's not exactly every week though.

And DS1 has never been to church with the scouts. They do attend services, but you just get an invitation. It's not mandatory to go.

Grennie Yep, that's why I said for protestants.

DiseasesOfTheSheep Mon 27-Jan-14 11:00:55

Aw damn it, I missed your post as I skimmed down, pregnantberry...

ChalkHillBlue Mon 27-Jan-14 11:02:29

My son has an amazing time at Cubs and has had loads of opportunities that he wouldn't otherwise had had. The leaders are volutneers and totally dedicated. There is very little god apart from rememberance sunday.

badtime Mon 27-Jan-14 11:02:32

My (atheist) partner really loved being in the scouts when he was younger. I asked him about the ethics of promising to do his duty to god, and he said that he had no problem with that: because god doesn't exist, this duty amounted to absolutely nothing, and he was honestly swearing to do that.

Groovee Mon 27-Jan-14 11:02:49

OP, I'd like to invite you to my brownie unit and I'm sure the Guide Unit and Senior Section unit would love to have you visit too. We make a donation to the church once a year and often chat to the minister and he ALWAYS turns up when we're baking.

We have never been to church apart from using the church hall and we have fund. We're currently doing the Big Brownie Birthday Challenge which I'm sure you will enjoy.

Thetallesttower Mon 27-Jan-14 11:08:50

Your main objection seems to be to the language of the church- body and blood of Christ and all that (although as someone pointed out protestants don't believe this literally at all).

So- don't go! Nothing compulsory about it, nothing compulsory about Guides or Scouts either.

I find it weird people go and then moan about it. You know what Christanity is about, avoid it if you don't like it!

Grennie Mon 27-Jan-14 11:24:21

Drspouse - I can assure you that by the time I went to Guides in the early 80's few children in the poor area I grew up in went to church regularly. The only time I went to church was with the school or Guides.

My brother went on a Scouts residential trip and refused to attend the church service on the Sunday - he hadn't known he would have to go. There were no adults to supervise him outside the church, so he was made to attend church.

Friends of mine of non christian religions were not mostly not allowed by their parents to attend Guides or Scouts. My parents were more relaxed about it.

Grennie Mon 27-Jan-14 11:35:25

I don't have any problems with a youth organisation havings ome religion. I don't have any problem with a youth organisation that was mainly Christian becoming more secular.

I do have a problem with those pretending that the Guides has always been pretty secular when many of us here know that simply isn't true.

The Guides became more secular because more and more children were not attending because of the Christian, and much more recently, the general God element. So it was a change.

Youth organisations like the Woodcraft Folk were established because there were no other youth organisations that were not religious. If your parents were not Christain like mine, they either had to ignore the Christian element in the Guides, or their children were not allowed to attend.

drspouse Mon 27-Jan-14 11:38:59

grennie if you saw my reference to Call The Midwife you'll know I was talking about the 1950s or earlier when "everyone" went to church/things were expected to be church based.

We do still have some leaders who were girls at that time, and some whose values were moulded by the prevailing values at that time (though they are a little younger, but were perhaps brought up in Guiding by leaders from that era, and assume it's supposed to be like that).

I am fully aware that the kind of thing you talk about does still go on in Guiding and Scouting. In Guiding, it is specifically disallowed, and a stiff complaint to District or County would bring down a ton of bricks. I don't know what the policy is in Scouting (but may find out in about 4 years when I say No Thank You to church parade for our Beaver-in-Waiting; we do go to church, but we go to our church).

Lottiedoubtie Mon 27-Jan-14 11:57:01

other Leaders know, is there training on how we provide these cannibalistic rites and rituals?

Email your DC to ask? then post the reply here so we can have a good laugh wink

Goldencity1 Mon 27-Jan-14 11:59:51

is there training on how to provide cannabalistic rites

...goes to guiding manual to check on list of approved activities....

will report back later!

drspouse Mon 27-Jan-14 12:04:51

You know what they say golden if it isn't in the manual someone will have written a byelaw about it it doesn't mean it's approved!

JupiterGentlefly Mon 27-Jan-14 12:05:19

I run a Beaver group.. I am putting them on a rack later and will be making voodoo dolls..
Seriously, we don't do much religion, there is a monthly church parade but its voluntary. I am usually Mnetting (from my bed) when church parade is on. I am a shocking example of a leader blush

I have just looked at my 1941 copy of Scouting for Boys and I can find no reference to Cannabalism.

How to judge a character by the way they were a hat, is in there all so How to deal with a mad dog. There is also how to deal with a victm of suicide.

Very interesting reading but I am disappointed due to the lack of how to perform your own cannablistic ritual whilst dancing round a camp fire.

chandlery Mon 27-Jan-14 12:09:32

YABU. Raise your own children how you like. You do realise you could be a writer for the Daily Mail don't you?

annbenoli Mon 27-Jan-14 12:13:58

Get over yourselves, scouts and guides are organisations which are run by volunteers (they start by telling you an hour a week and then laugh that it is an hour a week off) which thousands of children get massive enjoyment from. Many children who do not fit into other clubs which require one interest gain massively from scouting. Yes my husband is a scout leader and yes they are expected to goto church parade - but as most of them go to a church school this is not really an issue. Many children with sen also gain massively from scouting so don't knock it till you have tried it and don't knock something WHICH IS RUN BY VOLUNTEERS!

ChocolateWombat Mon 27-Jan-14 12:19:07

Many Guide and Scout groups meet in Church halls. These are often available to them free or at very cheap rates. This gives an immediate connection to the Church, but doesn't necessarily make the organisations religious. Probably in the past, these links have been stronger,with more children doing things like Church parade. Sometimes the leaders of the group go to the Church. Also doesnt make the organisation religious.

There is often still some link with the Church, many packs will have a Remembrance service, for example, which many schools also do.

However, all of these things are voluntary. There is no requirement to go to Church parade etc. Likewise there is to requirement to go to Guides or Scouts etc. if the fact that some of them might be going to Church parade is a big issue for you, (not sure why it would be, but seems to be for some people) then don't go. Shame to miss out on all the fun things though.

I really don't think Scouts and Guides are being used as a tool to evangelise children. There is a difference between being a religious organisation and having connections with the Church. Most people don't have issues with the connection, and are happy to attend, as they would a Church school. The connection between the Scouts, Guides and Church is less than it is in a Church school these days.

Goldencity1 Mon 27-Jan-14 12:21:14

This is the list of prohibited activities, cannabalism isn't directly mentioned!
That's next week sorted then....

drspouse Mon 27-Jan-14 12:25:26

Golden I'm so glad you posted that, I was hoping to include it at our next meeting too but this thread gave me pause.

Latara Mon 27-Jan-14 12:26:03

I remember the best bit of guides was the campfires! As well as toasting marshmallows we found out that when you burn laurel leaves the smell makes you a bit high...

Lottiedoubtie Mon 27-Jan-14 12:26:08

I really don't think Scouts and Guides are being used as a tool to evangelise children. There is a difference between being a religious organisation and having connections with the Church

Very good point. Fwiw I encourage my guides to come to church parade for a few reasons,

1. The elderly people in the church like to see them, and it's nice to be able to brighten up their weekend,
2. It's respectful to the church, given that we benefit hugely from the exceptionally cheap rent etc..
3. It's a good way for the girls to connect to a part of the community that they live in and they enjoy the responsibilities that come with it - flag carrying etc..

I don't give a monkeys which religion they are and I certainly don't believe church parade has ever converted anyone. Having a belief in god is not a prerequisite to attending church parade!

ChocolateWombat Mon 27-Jan-14 12:28:57

I don't think it is weird...returning to the original question.
I think it's a place to go for fun activities for a couple of hours, for a bargainous price. It's a place to try some new things and get a chance to perhaps be in first simple position of leadership. It is often very simple....but children enjoy simple things and get a lot from them.

There are definitiely traditions, such as the songs and uniforms. They help children feel part of something bigger.

I have very happy memories of Brownies and Guides. I did learn new things, made good friends and had my first chance to be a bossy boots. I went camping for the first time and learned to organise things, when a bit older. My daughter gets a lot out of Brownies now and there is a waiting list to join.

I'm very grateful to the people who were willing to volunteer and still do. They enjoy it and it makes a difference. If that seems a bit worthy, I don't mind. Fun and worthy are a great combination in my book. No one has to join, but it seems a really miserable attitude to take when some people are so negative about it.

Goldencity1 Mon 27-Jan-14 12:29:57

Seriously though, when guiding and scouting started over 100 years ago, society was very different! Most people did go to church and Britain was not a multi-cultural society.

Society has moved on, and so has guiding and scouting.

Want to see what we do? Volunteer at a local won't find a group of religious zealots preaching to military style recruits.
What you will find are kids doing a huge range of activities activities
and having fun!

weebarra Mon 27-Jan-14 12:30:26

I suppose the cannibalistic bit didn't apply to us Scottish ex-Guides as the whole transubstantiation thingy was never really popular with us Presbyterians.

meboo Mon 27-Jan-14 12:38:00

I am highly offended at the OPs post.

The weirdo adults that you speak about give up hours and hours of their time, for free, to try and provide a fun programme for the girls to enjoy. As in life some are wonderful and some not so much but they ALL give up their free time to VOLUNTEER.
and to be honest we all have to be a little weird to put up with the grief we get from parents and to want to spend time with the children too!

We are not a religious organisation and yes, until recently we have had promise to serve God but if you objected to that then it could be changed/omitted.

As for military uniforms.....I have no idea what you are talking about. We have a very casual appearance (too casual for me) that is suitable for activities that are provided.

I think you are sorely misinformed and should go get a tbbiscuit

ErrolTheDragon Mon 27-Jan-14 12:47:41

I think the OP is wrong about the scouts/guides nowadays, but there's something in the 'Also the cannibalistic rites and torture bits of the Christian service awful' - DH went to a cathedral school which had quite a lot of foreign boarders. They used to regularly attend Eucharist (yes, protestant) and he remembers the look of sheer horror on the face of a classmate who came from a non-Christian culture. The boy knew perfectly well it was only bread and wine, but found the idea utterly appalling. Which if you look at it from the outside, it is - rooted in bronze-age blood sacrifice.

JennySense Mon 27-Jan-14 12:54:04

"I do have a problem with those pretending that the Guides has always been pretty secular when many of us here know that simply isn't true.

The Guides became more secular because more and more children were not attending because of the Christian, and much more recently, the general God element. So it was a change."

How do you know?

Guiding is the biggest voluntary membership organisation in the UK. There are not enough spaces to fill demand.

Guiding has always been a spiritual organisation. It has never been a Christian organisation. Many posters have already pointed out that the connection with churches stemmed from the availability of places to meet.

No one is "pretending" the organisation is secular at all. That's the truth. Some people posting here have had differing experiences - the Church parades etc - this is not the experience of modern Guiding. The official website explains Guiding and religion.

I don't see why all those involved in modern guiding have to keep explaining this to those who believe outdated information and stereotypes.

Guiding began because girls wanted to have the same experiences they saw their brothers having in Scouting. They joined Scout groups. Baden powell saw girls in uniform at a Rally and was shocked - he asked his sister to set up a separate organisation for the girls.

In those early days, Guiding was one of the few places that girls from all social backgrounds could meet together. This pioneering work continues today for example with outreach Guide units for street girls.

Guiding has continued to evolve - many posters on here are speaking about their experiences of guiding in the 70's/80's and not contemporary guiding - changes are made via consultation with members - girls as well as adults.
Take a look at the website to see what it's like now.

I wasn't able to join Guiding - there wasn't any space in my local groups. Nor have I volunteered. I have a massive amount of respect for those women who do choose to invest their time in my daughters [Guide and soon to be Brownie].

Grennie Mon 27-Jan-14 12:57:37

Jenny, yes as I have said on the thread, I know things have changed. But those of us talking about our own experiences when we were kids, keep getting told our experiences were an anomaly. They were not. They were the standard ones of the time.

Grennie Mon 27-Jan-14 12:58:42

And incidentally. the Brownies and Guides I went to was not held in a Church Hall. It was still fairly Christian though.

ChocolateWombat Mon 27-Jan-14 13:02:23

Scouting and Guiding have a long history, which is one of its key strengths. However of course many of us remember it as it was when we were children. It has moved on with the times though. I doubt that ma'am any of the criticisms some of you now feel of your experiences, were felt by you AT THE TIME. That's because you were in an organisation of the time and you were children of the time. Back then, stronger links with the Church were perfectly normal. I don't imagine our children attending now find things about it odd....but they will I. He future, just because we and society moves on. There are lots of things about our childhoods we look back at and laugh about or are shocked about. It's just time moving on.

I was in the cubs and scouts, which were both "affiliated" to the church that was attached to the school where they met. Most of the kids went to church regularly and the scouts did church parade on the last sunday of every month.

We went on a nationwide jamboree, and everyone was weirded out by the fact that no one said any prayers or sang any hymns.

Turns out our cubs/scouts was religious because it drew its membership from a church school. Most cubs/scouts arent religious because they take their memberships from more diverse backgrounds.

As for military based - I always assumed the air cadets and the sea cadets and the army cadet force covered that base rather than the scouts.

Grennie Mon 27-Jan-14 13:14:50

Chocolate - As a child of a non Christian family, I was critical of it at the time. But the Brownies and Guides were the only activities taking place in the poor area I lived, apart from Sunday School. So it was either accept its limitations and enjoy the fun, or do no organised activities at all.

And some of my friends from non Christian families were not allowed to go to the Brownies or Guides at all by their parents.

Don't assume all children are non questioning/just accept whatever is happening.

CestTout Mon 27-Jan-14 13:24:20

"Weird" - Do you mean how we give up lots of time to run a unit? Because it sure isn't just those two hours a week at meetings.

I am 26, have ran a Guide unit for 5 years and before that have come up through Guiding from being a Brownie. Have also volunteered with the equivalents in Ireland and France.

Some units are more traditional than others but for me and a lot of my Guiding friends all we aim to do is give a girls somewhere to come in a safe environment, run activities, trips, camps etc. The Big events show how much Guiding has changed - The Big Gig is a great example. The only time we go to Church is Remembrance Sunday and that is at the Guides preference - if they come, great. If not there is no pressure.

I think a lot has changed in recent years, I now cannot get rid of my 14/15/16/17 year olds - when I was a Guide 95% left by their 14th birthdays!

BarbarianMum Mon 27-Jan-14 13:36:20

I made my 2 join Beavers/Cubs specifically for the quasi-milateristic elements. I thought it would be nice for them, as they don't get the whole uniform/saluting/religion/patriotic thing at home (we're lentil-weaving environmentalists).

Annoyingly, other than wear a jumper, scarf and woggle all they get to do is play games, try exciting new pursuits and go outdoors. They don't even march or go to church (like I did as a Girl Guide although, disappointingly, no cannibalism there either).

ChocolateWombat Mon 27-Jan-14 13:36:51

Grennie, as you said, you chose to go. Most children chose to go and enjoyed it. I guess you did too, or you wouldn't have kept going. The fact that there were not many alternatives where you lived wasn't down to the Guides and Scouts. Why hadn't those people who objected to what was available set up an alternative for you to go to?
I didn't say children are not critical. They are, perhaps even moreso today. Today there are far more options of things for children to go to. Some chop and change their activities constantly and are so critical they never find something they can settle to. But Scouts and Brownies etc still have long waiting list of people who want to join, despite the alternatives. That says a lot doesn't it.

Almostfifty Mon 27-Jan-14 13:53:54

400000 children and young people are in Scouting. We must be doing something right.

MomsStiffler Mon 27-Jan-14 14:02:28

400000 children and young people are in Scouting. We must be doing something right

Exactly you'll never please all the people so just keep on doing what you're doing (very well) and leave them to find their own entertainment!

DinoSnores Mon 27-Jan-14 14:03:07

And 450,000 girls and young people from 4-25 involved in Guiding.

If anyone would like to find out more about Girlguiding for them or their daughter, the website is

Those tempted to join for "cannibalistic rites and torture bits" might be disappointed but otherwise there is lots of fun to be had and the opportunities open to girls through Girlguiding are amazing!

Almostfifty Mon 27-Jan-14 14:32:46

I was trying to find some numbers for Guiding, but failed. grin

Goldencity1 Mon 27-Jan-14 14:42:13

Almoststiffty, according to the girlguiding website, 450,000 girls and adults under 25.

Lottiedoubtie Mon 27-Jan-14 14:47:04

Yep, rising to 500,000+ if you include adults over 25. So the OP thinks we're all weirdos... shrugs

If she could tell that to the 20 girls currently on my waiting list it'd probably save some disappointment....

Almostfifty Mon 27-Jan-14 14:47:06

Yes Dino put it. I just didn't see it when I looked on the website myself.

mckenzie Mon 27-Jan-14 15:00:02

My DD would rather chop off her right arm than miss a cubs night. And the leaders are always top of my Christmas gift list. They do a grand job and I am very grateful for the life skills they are teaching her and the fun they are allowing her to have in a safe environment.
DS used to feel the same way about scouts but seems to be going through a 'Kevin'' stage so is rather blasé at the moment grin

drspouse Mon 27-Jan-14 15:04:33

I'd actually be quite grateful for someone to tell one of the pushy enthusiastic mums who did the classic play Mum against Dad (well, one leader against the other) when we didn't have a space.

My SEN DD2 cried when she left Brownie's at Christmas. She loved her time at Brownies but is just too old at 11 to go anymore.

Unfortunately Guides is not an option at the moment. Guides ends at 9.30pm and she can't cope with a late bedtime.

drspouse Mon 27-Jan-14 15:16:28

Oh fortified I'm sorry about that - are there any Guides nearby? Would she like to be a Rainbow Helper and do the Guide programme with you (it's called being a Lone Guide)?

Lottiedoubtie Mon 27-Jan-14 15:20:07

fortified Would going for half the evening be an option? Speak to the leaders, something should be worked out.

9.30 finish is quite late, are their other units nearby at finish earlier?

drspouse Mon 27-Jan-14 15:22:14

Yes I should have said Guides nearby that finish earlier.

It often depends on when the hall is available - if Brownies finishes at 7.15 and the Guides want to do a 2 hour meeting, for example...

Monetbyhimself Mon 27-Jan-14 15:27:05

I know someone who has a police caution for assaulting a child. Who is also a cub leader.

And yes thise in authority DO know.

madhairday Mon 27-Jan-14 15:28:22

Oh dear. My ds seems to be missing his Cannibal Badge. I must get on to the leaders.

I have a scout and a cub and am involved myself. They do rememberance service once a year. Recently they did their faith badge which involved going and making some candle holders in a church and visiting a sikh temple.

The next weekend 200 or so across the district all slept on a cinema foyer floor after watching films all night. Terrible, insidious stuff no?

I am so grateful to the Scouting movement. My dc learn so much through it and have so much fun through it. Lovely, lovely leaders in our section and non stop activities. I hate to see posts denigrating scouting/guiding.

As for church - if you don't like it, don't go. Hth.

Lottiedoubtie Mon 27-Jan-14 15:36:35

I know someone who has a police caution for assaulting a child. Who is also a cub leader.

And yes thise in authority DO know.

If this is true, which I'm pretty doubtful of, then here must be extremely special circumstances and I am sure the cub leader works under a strict risk assessment/ supervision.

The good news is, we have a belief in rehabilitation in this country and don't believe people should be punished forever.

Eg, if a man in his 50s made one mistake in his late teens (that didn't even go to court), and has lived a responsible, upstanding life since, shouldn't he be allowed to be a scouter?

kitnkaboodle Mon 27-Jan-14 15:43:09

Monet - what point are you making there?

btw I think the OP is Russell Brand ... nobody else talks like that ..

TheSporkforeatingkyriarchy Mon 27-Jan-14 15:50:38

I find the repeated refrain that if leaders are using Guides religiously they are doing it wrong interesting, I wonder what safeguards are in place to stop such things. Because my daughter was in Rainbows and each time they began and ended with a prayer to 'Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit' about all the things God made, including them, and how they had to be thankful to God. Girls who were not members of the church were repeatedly left out of things, their bullying brushed aside, and only church members were allowed to volunteer. It really crushed DD1's confidence and self image.

Laurel1979 Mon 27-Jan-14 16:18:55

Sorry OP, but I think you should be grateful for the leaders who give up their free time to run these groups. It's not just the 2 hours on a Tuesday night or whatever, there is a lot of preparation behind the scenes for camping and badge work. My dad has been a scout leader for years, and despite recent illness still runs a fantastic group. I'd hate to think some silly b***h of a mum was making fun behind his back. Don't you have better things to do than start idiotic threads like this. If you don't like it, don't go.

drspouse Mon 27-Jan-14 16:31:19

thespork There is nothing to stop an individual unit using religious wording as part of their regular meetings if the girls want to. When the promise changed, our girls said they were happy with it. Did they want to change the words of the opening song, I asked, to move God out of that too? No, they said, we like it.

I'll ask again when the bulk of that cohort have moved on. Like a lot of children, they love tradition. If your daughter's unhappy, you and she need to say something.

JennySense Mon 27-Jan-14 16:31:41

Monet anyone who has a conviction for crimes against children would not be allowed to volunteer. All volunteers need to have been police checked.

If you know that this individual is volunteering in a children's organisation then you MUST call the National Headquarters and ask to speak to the Child Protection Unit, tell them what you know and they will take it from there.

Monetbyhimself Mon 27-Jan-14 16:33:49

Thanks Jenny. As I've already said, those in authority DO know.

JennySense Mon 27-Jan-14 16:35:18

Lottie anyone who has any convictions/cautions related to child protection would not be allowed to volunteer with children.

ChocolateWombat Mon 27-Jan-14 16:36:03

TheSpork, that sounds just so unlikely and exaggerated. I can believe there were prayers, but the idea that only girls from the church ever got to do anything sounds ridiculous. Children are prone to exaggerate things. I have sometimes found that my daughter says 'everyone is allowed to...' Which on closer inspection, means 2 people. Or she might say 'I am never chosen to....' Which again isn't correct on closer inspection. Parents who unquestioningly accept every word their child says without looking into it more are often the first to complain....and then get egg on their faces.

Of course I do not know about your individual circumstances, but I cannot believe you are suggesting this is what the Scouting and Guiding movements are like. There has been lots of research carried out about the impact of Scouting and Guiding on confidence and later outcomes in life. I knew someone who did a PhD on it. In that study, it was found people involved in Guiding and Scouting into their teens were high achievers at school, had a wide range of interests and were more likely to end up in positions of leadership in the workplace.

I assume you did address your concerns with the Rainbow leaders? Or did you just leave and feel aggrieved?

maillotjaune Mon 27-Jan-14 16:37:26

I went to Brownies and Guides attached to a Catholic church but we went to church about once a year. The nearest DSs' troop get to a church is visits (and they have been to mosques and synagogues too) or the panto in the local church hall.

I am glad DS1 asks to be put down as a vegetarian for camp though, now that I know they're cannibals. He just thought the cheap sausages weren't as tasty as the McCartney oneshmm

Theodorous Mon 27-Jan-14 16:38:38

Giggling at the Russell Brand comment

JennySense Mon 27-Jan-14 16:40:47

Monet how do you know that the national organisation knows?

Monetbyhimself Mon 27-Jan-14 16:51:12

I don't know. I will have no further involvement due to the risk to myself. But social services were involved with scouts regarding the issue. I won't be posting any more details as it's way too identifiable- in as much as I'll have to name change again.

ChocolateWombat Mon 27-Jan-14 16:57:47

No, don't talk about it anymore here. If you have any doubts though that the matter is being followed up properly, you really must tell the national organisation or the police. Don't worry about interfering or getting it wrong. If the authorities already know or if all turns out to be nothing, then you will have still done the right thing and the organisations that deal with these kind of concerns know that people don't always know the full story and that many concerns come to nothing.. If you think there is a risk, it really is your duty to voice it.

What I'm saying here applies to any situation where there is a suspicion, not just about Guiding etc. Sadly, concerns will arise in all organisations which deal with large numbers of young people. Fortunately, many concerns turn out to be nothing, but some don't, which is why we must always tell and not wait for someone else to do it.

FunkyBoldRibena Mon 27-Jan-14 16:58:58

candy arsed monkey suit

I am so going to use that every day this week. Thank you.

Fine, so you are making light of a strange situation you found yourself in. However, I think your attitude towards those adults who give up their time to work with children pretty grim. I work full time, have DS and DH who want some degree of time and attention, yet I give up around 3 hours a week to run a Beaver pack.
Mind you, I have found the attitude to be sadly representative of the one we encounter in real life too. Those people in "weird" uniforms may not love them the blouses do give you mono-boob but wear them to be identifiable to the children and adults around them, not as a style statement.

Pantah630 Mon 27-Jan-14 17:49:50

Hmmm cannibalistic rites, we've just had a Clay oven made at our district campsite, I was going to treat the Cubs to kleftico, think I'll rejig the menu and see if we can cook up a passing stranger instead.

Scouting now has a promise for atheists, it's had one for different faiths for ages but now is accepting of those of us that worship nothing at all. The only church bits we do is the annual march of respect for Remembrance Day and St George's Day parade, for those of us in England. Pretty sure that would be substituted for St David, St Andrew and St Patrick depending where in the UK you're located. Hardly Christian indoctrination.

Really pleased to be appreciated hmm

mothermirth Mon 27-Jan-14 17:56:00

Haven't read the whole thread, but wanted to big up our local Cub/Scout leaders, whose patience, tolerance, hard work, fairness, enthusiasm and ability to forgive and forget and move on have helped me to just about, fingers crossed keep my DS on the straight and narrow through some very trying times. smile

endlesstidying Mon 27-Jan-14 17:57:28

DD's in Brownies. I've just checked with her. She says the only Brownies she's ever eaten are chocolate ones smile

Goldencity1 Mon 27-Jan-14 18:21:49

Just a point, but all Guiding volunteers [and I assume Scouts too] are police checked and have to give referees as follows:

"We carry out recruitment checks on all volunteers who work directly with our young members. This includes criminal record disclosure checks, two references and an informal discussion with a local Commissioner – a member of guiding responsible for the management of adults involved in guiding." quoted from girlguiding's web page. for more information.

KatnipEvergreen Mon 27-Jan-14 18:22:06

How much does Brownies cost? DD1 has been asking about going.

Goldencity1 Mon 27-Jan-14 18:25:42

Each unit works out how much the subs should be, covering hall rent, cost of activities, badges etc etc....Our local Brownies is £25 per term. Some may be a bit more, some less.

Almostfifty Mon 27-Jan-14 18:30:13

It's the same in Scouting Goldencity. Two referees and a disclosure are mandatory. As is a lot of training. Which is also done in our own time.

Tinpin Mon 27-Jan-14 18:35:47

There are 35 girls on my waiting list. Eating a few of them would make it more manageable.

ChocolateWombat Mon 27-Jan-14 18:39:21

We pay £2 per week for Brownies. I think it is amazing value for an hour and half of quality activity. Ours is so cheap as the hall is owned by the Guides, so no rent to pay, although I suppose there are still bills and running costs.
Remember when it was 15p a week when I was a Brownie. It's probably about the same today, in terms of prices and inflation.

KatnipEvergreen Mon 27-Jan-14 18:47:43

Thanks Golden - is that a 6 week school term or a traditional, say "Autumn term" - i.e., September to December?

It is actually in Guiding rules that we are not allowed to make church parade mandatory so we can't eat the ones that don't turn up anymore

Lottiedoubtie Mon 27-Jan-14 18:48:37

*Lottie anyone who has any convictions/cautions related to child protection would not be allowed to volunteer with children.

Only if they have been placed on the barred list. It's an extremely individual thing, of course most child related offences would result in this but remember a caution is not the same as a conviction and it may not have been serious enough to warrent it.

If the authorities know they will have taken expert advice on this.

We charge our Guides £2.50 per meeting but prefer to have a whole term paid at once as it is a pain having lots of coins to pay in the bank all the time.

DinoSnores Mon 27-Jan-14 18:51:47

katnip, we charge £25 for each traditional term, so work out at something like £2-2.50 per meeting.

KatnipEvergreen Mon 27-Jan-14 18:52:42

Thanks, that's a good guide (groan, sorry) price. Very good value!

Goldencity1 Mon 27-Jan-14 18:54:48

At our unit subs are paid per term, that's 3 times a year: Sept, Jan and Apr. Other groups may do things differently, so check with your local leaders.

Go for it Katnip, linky Brownies can have waiting lists so register your daughter sooner rather than later smile

KatnipEvergreen Mon 27-Jan-14 18:59:39

Yes, I think one local one I should have put her name down at birth to get in smile But I didn't think she'd be able to go as I was working FT and couldn't see that changing, back then. But there are a couple of other troops where they may be spaces.

TamerB Mon 27-Jan-14 19:02:48

I can't praise them highly enough. They actually give children life skills, adventure and let them take planned risks- a wonderful thing for those with over protective, over cautious parents. They are also all inclusive and great for social interaction.

Do it now, do it now, do it now grin

An email will be sent to the leader of your first choice unit so someone should get back to you. How long it takes depends on the leader I'm afraid but they will get chased if they don't reply in time. You can select up to 3 units and put them in preference so if one unit isn't suitable you can be referred to the next one on the list automatically.

We have spaces in our local one and are currently trying to recruit more but doubt you are anywhere near us.

DinoSnores Mon 27-Jan-14 19:29:29

My DD has been on the Rainbows' waiting list here since she was 9mo!

drspouse Mon 27-Jan-14 19:31:32

We've just switched to monthly subs by standing order - it's £7 (every month of the year).

KatnipEvergreen Mon 27-Jan-14 19:32:53

Yeah, I suppose it wouldn't hurt. I asked before and the place offered wasn't convenient at the time as DD1 was more busy with activities then.

I never got on with it myself. I was so into my dancing when I was younger that I was a bit busy to go to Brownies. I did go once but didn't feel very welcome or like the atmosphere. With Guides I tried again, for a bit longer, but again I never felt I really fitted in. It felt like a continuation of school, and all a bit worthy, wholesome, churchy and middle class- as I would describe it now, of course. And I really wasn't interested in camping or outdoorsy pursuits, in fact I would have hated that. I'm still not a camping fan.

My mum was a Baloo for a while and I used to go along and help at cubs sometimes.

DD1 seems pretty interested though. She is also dance obsessed but she's more into outdoor pursuits and, well, wholesome middle class things than I was at her age.

I would put DD down on the waiting list for rainbows but I don't know which unit to send her to. Our village one has been temporarily suspended and I don't like the leader there but would prefer her to go the the local one rather than having to get in the car. The next nearest one the leader can be a bit too mother hen for my liking. I have no difficulty in deciding which brownies I want her to go to.

Blu Mon 27-Jan-14 19:45:01

I used to mutter about para-military this and pseud-armed forces that - and then my DS joined the scouts.


True, I can't begin to understand how they attract volunteers when the trendy young woman who runs DS's scouts has to wear that awful shirt and scarf thing, and, dear god, the trousers, but the enthusiasm is just brilliant. She organises so many interesting activities in addition to the weekly meet, outings, weekend hiking, different camps, volunteering to clear a local nature garden, building bird boxes for the nature garden, off to shows in central London, circus skills...the boys just love it and get so much from it.

DS is an out and out atheist (his objection to the new promise was 'I don't believe in God or the monarchy - I wish they had taken out the Queen, I mean, she's actually real') but when he was a cub I made him go to church parade and now I encourage him. Partly it's a payback for the church - they get their numbers up in return for the free space, partly it is for his cultural education, and partly to show reciprocal commitment to his scout leader.

Hobnobissupersweet Mon 27-Jan-14 20:05:34

The para military bit for kids is cadets of any variety. All 4 of mine have been in cubs/scouts, ds3 is now an explorer and loves it. I hate damping with a passion so anyone good enough to let my dc camp every month of the year, and for 10 days in summer for not much more than the price of food deserves a medal IMO. In the past 12 years I have been taking the dcs I have been invited to 2 church services a year. We have been to one, never been an issue at all.

Hobnobissupersweet Mon 27-Jan-14 20:06:06

Damping, tsk camping

atthestrokeoftwelve Mon 27-Jan-14 20:17:38

All weird- especially the adults that run them.

NigellasDealer Mon 27-Jan-14 20:19:27

could you enlarge on that point at all atthestrokeoftwelve?

TheRealAmandaClarke Mon 27-Jan-14 20:28:01

How have any of you understood the OP well enough to answer with information about scouting?

OP: What is a daily nail blue rinse?
Why are you talking about cannibalism? Are you making a bizarre reference to taking communion?

JennySense Mon 27-Jan-14 20:34:25


The "Queen" is meant to represent serving the community, not literally "the Queen" herself. It is replaced for Sikh girls to read as "obey the Laws of the Land" as I recall for religious reasons.

Perhaps Sikh MN can confirm I've got it right?

Pilgit Mon 27-Jan-14 20:41:48

But who wants to be normal? Guide leader and proud. We reserve cannibalism for camp grin

Almostfifty Mon 27-Jan-14 20:42:00

Thanks for that atthestrokeoftwelve. hmm

bunnybing Mon 27-Jan-14 20:45:38

Mine actually enjoy brownies/guides and I think it is a good thing - cheap subs, inclusive and, unlike most kids' activities, non-competitive. ie it is what it is - they turn up and have fun.

I do think the cubs/scouts leaders look rather hilarious in their massive versions of the cub uniform tho

Jenny is quite right about the Sikh version of the promise. The Scouting magazine which arrived okay as an article on the new promises which omit any mention of God. It was very interesting, it was just next to '25 ways to cook your Cubs' or something.

We have never tried cannibalism, maybe we should do that instead of cooking blackbirds in future. They are rather fond of blackbirds though so not sure if they will be up for a change

TheSporkforeatingkyriarchy Mon 27-Jan-14 22:50:42

ChocolateWombat - I didn't say the entire movement was like that, I asked what was in place to prevent what things like that happening because it did happen to us in our one unit no matter how unlikely or exaggerated you think it is.

I don't drive, so most of the time I just sat outside. I tried volunteering, but was told they had plenty and got them from church members (I found it odd that they preferred men from the church rather than mothers wanting to volunteer, though they did usually have 2-3 volunteers each week, quite good for a group of 8 girls). I still clearly recall the prayer discussing how 'your world was a lovely place to be, thank you God for making me' and had long conversations with DD1 about why it was 'Father, Son and Holy Spirit' and why it didn't include mothers or daughters. I wasn't actually bothered by that, I just find the repeated comments that it's not religious to ring hollow from our experience, our problem was with how connected it was with the church and how isolated from everything those who were not church members were made to feel. When she joined I asked about church parade, which in her group was monthly at least, because I'm not British and didn't know what it was - I was just told that because I was a member of a different faith that I didn't need to go. End of conversation. All my other questions on it were answered with how we didn't need to go when all I wanted to know was what it was so I knew what to do, I wanted to make sure DD1 was prepared, and was made to feel very unwelcome (particularly in how she gestured to my cloth cap when she mentioned different faith, though my headcovering isn't religious).

At the end of each term there was trip, and each time the plan changed and somehow they could only get in touch with church members. Every time. I brought this up, I was brushed off, I asked to check the details on her sheet which were right in front of her in her case and was refused repeatedly. I remember the last one was the park practically next to our house and I went with DD for hours, multiple days in a row, waiting for them to show up - they never did, they had changed parks. It was quite rough for DD1 because she would get so excited and then...nothing. She felt like she was being excluded because something was wrong with her. And I work and educate from home, missing me at home is quite hard.

I saw my daughter's bullying first hand, she was there for almost a year (started in September, left in June). One of the biggest incidents was DD1 being told that she was disgusting for not going to church, my daughter is literally standing next to me in tears, sobbing, gasping to speak, and the leader just said that my daughter wasn't really upset and that there was nothing wrong in the doorway where everyone heard it. Her father went with her the next week to try to clear things up, and he was told nothing had happened and brushed aside all the concerns brought up to her. That was last June when we pulled her because I didn't think it was good for her to go to a place and repeatedly come home in tears that weren't even being recognised let alone addressed. It made the previous times she'd come out upset and been brushed off quite concerning in hindsight after that incident.

She still gets upset and asks why those girls didn't want to play with her now, she still thinks its her fault, that something was wrong with her, and pines sometimes for one girl in the group that talked to her that had moved up to Brownies while she was there, even though DD1's moved on to other activities and friends since. No matter how unlikely one thinks or how exaggerated it could be, it was a really painful, hurtful experience for DD1, it really knocked her self esteem and confidence. She went from a real social butterfly to being really anxious, panicky, and worried about being wrong and not doing good enough. Might just be her development, but my original post was hoping there are safeguards in place to help stop and prevent isolation and bullying happening to anyone else because it was heartbreaking for us, it was not meant as a reflection on the movement as a whole.

Kayakinggirl86 Mon 27-Jan-14 22:58:50

So guiders/ scouters may be a bit different- most of us juggle ful time jobs, family and other commitments, when most people would be putting there feet up we are planning camps and outings!
But we must be doing something right with 102 years of guides, 100 years of brownies and 26 years of rainbows. 2 in six women in the UK have been at guiding at some point in their lives. That is a lot of lives guiding has had a impact on!
Sorry OP if you had a bad experance of guiding/ scouting. But no need to be so negative on a organisation that is run by people giving up their time (and some times money) for other people's kids to benefit.

arabellarubberplant Tue 28-Jan-14 06:21:09

Hey, is anyone taking a unit to wings 2014?

Goldencity1 Tue 28-Jan-14 09:42:11

arabella - we are!! 21 assorted guides and rangers.

DistanceCall Tue 28-Jan-14 09:49:32

Yep, Catholics do (in theory) believe in transubstantiation. When you eat the consecrated wafer, you are literally eating God.

Which I find sort of cool, actually (YOU EAT GOD). But that's me.

My dd loved the Brownies and Guides, and my ds had a great time at Beavers. He wasn't so keen on cubs though so he stopped going at that point (plus it clashed with karate). I think it can be great, depending on the group and leaders, especially for the younger/middle age groups. I also loved being a Guide - going camping with Guides was wonderful and gave me something to do every summer holiday. There wasn't so much choice growing up in the 70s - anything that helped you meet others your own age, and got you out of the house, was generally not a bad thing!

So sorry to read of your dd's experiences Spork - that's awful.
I hope she is enjoying her new activities and friendships, and feeling welcomed there?

DinoSnores Tue 28-Jan-14 12:08:10

spork, in terms of safeguards, each leader has a District Commissioner, then Division Commissioner (sometimes not both), then County Commissioner, then Chief Commissioner (of the Region/Country), then the Chief Guide as our sort of line management structure, so if there are problems, people can go up the chain. When my Brownies join, they get my details but also get the DCs' details so if there is something they don't want to discuss with me, they can go to them.

arabellarubberplant Tue 28-Jan-14 13:36:53

Golden, woooooooooo! We are bringing 12 at the mo, if we can raise enough money. (Overseas unit, I am WEEPING at the cost of flights)

We can have an mn mini-meet in the squircle wink

arabellarubberplant Tue 28-Jan-14 13:38:55

Spork, your rainbow unit were breaking every rule in the book, and whilst maybe a Rainbow unit in name, were not one in ethos or the rules they followed. You should report up the chain, immediately.

stickysausages Tue 28-Jan-14 13:42:35

Ds is starting beavers after the summer!

He will love it, he's quite outdoorsy & it will do him good to meet new people smile

momb Tue 28-Jan-14 14:02:19

I'm a Brownie Leader. We still sing Brownie bells. It's a prayer. Every September I offer them a different song. Every year they choose Brownie Bells...even my Muslim and Hindu Brownies.
But mostly we go on night walks or cook pancakes on bean tins, play games and do crafts.

momb Tue 28-Jan-14 14:06:25

Spork that's awful! Certainly different to my experience of guiding as a girl and now as a leader. I am so sorry that they were so awful to your DD.

Middleagedmotheroftwo Tue 28-Jan-14 14:42:27

OP - go and find someone else to pick on. The Guiding (and Scouting I think) movement has a waiting list nationally as long as your arm, so we must be doing something right.

(from our website) - Girlguiding is the leading charity for girls and young women in the UK. Thanks to the dedication and support of 100,000 amazing volunteers, we are active in every part of the UK, giving girls and young women a space where they can be themselves, have fun, build brilliant friendships, gain valuable life skills and make a positive difference to their lives and their communities. We build girls’ confidence and raise their aspirations. We give them the chance to discover their full potential and encourage them to be a powerful force for good.

If you don't like that, don't join and don't send your kids.

atthestrokeoftwelve Tue 28-Jan-14 14:57:54

I have three personal experiences of these organisations.

One when I was briefly a Brownie and was ridiculed by the Brown Owl and group because I didn't believe in God.
The second was spending the weekend with a Scout Leader at a chemistry symposium at a hotel in Cumbria. This guy sent a lot of time lamenting tha fact that his scouts were not made to wera short trousers these days- unlike when he first became a Scout leader- " nothing arouses my passions like the sight of a young boy in shorts" were the words that stuck in my mind.
The third was when my daughter briefly joined the Brownies and on her third week parents were invited to watch a presentation of a summer camp at a local youth hostel.
Apparently painters had been working on the window frames at the time of the stay and many of the youngers Brownies had surmised that the theme of the week was "peeping toms", and that these guys up ladders were trying to get glimpses of the youngsters in their underwear.

THe Brown Owl at the presentation thought this was hilarious and kept bursting into giggles at the mention of the men front of a roomful or parents and girls.
At no point did she correct the youngsters who even after the meeting remained convinced that the "peeping toms" was part of the weeks entertainment.

I was horrified and very confused that the Brown Owl should be conducting herself in this manner. Needless to say I did not allow my daughter to retun.

Only three experiences and all very negative.

ChocolateWombat Tue 28-Jan-14 17:06:27

TheSpork, I find what you are saying amazing. I think you should go up the chain with your issues, so that they can be sorted out. If what you are saying is investigated and found to be true, something will need to be done about it and the Guiding movement will definitiely want to know and address it. If things turn out to not be quite as they seemed, that would be good to know. Either way, you are obviously very upset about this and probably would benefit from getting some closure about it.
I think that when we have serious issues about anything, we should voice them to higher authorities so they can be investigated, because otherwise how do things improve. Sometimes there turns out to be a simple explanation, but other times not. If we just keep the issue to ourselves we can become bitter and it is difficult to bring improvement to the situation for others.
I am sorry if I was dismissive of your concerns. I think what you describe is extremely unusual, but should be investigated, because the Guiding movement want people to have positive experiences.

Almostfifty Tue 28-Jan-14 21:29:47


They may be your experiences, they're certainly not mine. I have spent many an hour doing training, and recently updated my Child Protection online. We have male Leaders in each section, but we ensure we have at least one male/one female at each meeting.

I went into it to ensure my DC had the chance to join as they were short of leaders. I enjoy it so much I've been doing it ten years.

I can honestly say there's not one leader in our group I would not go away on holiday with. We take children away to camp, they have a ball and go back tired out and filthy. We watch them become mature, confident individuals. One of the children that started with mine has just become a Young Leader herself. That to me is the way it should be.

atthestrokeoftwelve Tue 28-Jan-14 21:41:36

Almostfifty I don't get your point

" One of the children that started with mine has just become a Young Leader herself. That to me is the way it should be." What does that prove.
Children can become secure confident individuals without or despite the guiding movement.

Permanentlyexhausted Tue 28-Jan-14 22:57:56


I would imagine the point was that children get so much out of Girlguiding that many of them return as adults because they want to help provide other children with the same opportunities.

I don't think she was suggesting that children can't become secure confident individuals without the Girlguiding movement. Just that it can provide those opportunities for many girls who wouldn't otherwise get them.

Grennie Tue 28-Jan-14 22:59:15

I had forgotten about the brownies prayers. We used to sing them automatically at the end of each session.

Permanentlyexhausted Tue 28-Jan-14 23:03:10

Or, indeed, the Scouting movement. Just realised I was making rather an assumption there.

NoLikeyNoLighty Wed 29-Jan-14 00:37:50

We still sing Brownie bells. It's a prayer.

I've just googled that as I recognised the name, but convinced I couldn't remember it!
Read the words and straight away sang them even though it's been around 30 years since I last heard them!
(Must be ingrained, lol)
I used to go to Brownies and Guides and love it. I now have two boys and they go to Beavers and Scouts respectively. (Eldest has worked his way up from Beavers to Scouts which he has just started.)
They both love it as it teaches independence with all your badges, from home badges (learning to do housework etc) to surviving when out camping in the forest.
Life skills and all that!

arabellarubberplant Wed 29-Jan-14 01:44:30

Really, atthestroke? They are your only three experiences? What a limited array.
Fortunately, as has been mentioned, experiences from twenty or thirty years ago aren't terribly representative of the organisation these days.

Don't let that stop you accusing us leaders of paedophilia and being juvenile, though, eh?

Fortunately, we're robust enough to brush off such outdated nonsense, and understand that once in a while a young girl will become a brown Owl prematurely. A bit more life experience and she'll probably be fine. I notice that you immediately volunteered your maturity and willingness to help by stepping up as a mentor and co-leader? No?

Ah, no. You prefer to bitch and moan on an Internet forum. <shrugs> at least we're in it and helping girls (young people for the scouters) make the most of them themselves and become strong confident members of society, and having fun along the way.

Lord knows some leaders are proper crackers, though. grin Dd1 had a brown owl that bribed them with Mars bars to attend church parade (they met in the church hall and she felt obliged to try and up attendance) and ds1's scout leader is currently suspended pending investigation. All part of life's rich pattern. grin

arabellarubberplant Wed 29-Jan-14 01:46:29

(Oh, as a brownie leader, we were asked to replace the first line of brownie bells with 'oh hear us now' instead of 'oh lord our God'. It was fine.)

I still sing Taps in the original, despite a random re-mix version popular here. I have brainwashed my unit to do the same, despite their initial bafflement.

atthestrokeoftwelve Wed 29-Jan-14 06:55:00

I would be interested to read the "alternate " words to the Brownie prayer.

I see the Scouts still have to promise to do their duty to god- why is that?

Arabella the Brown Owl in the peeping tom case is in her 40s and still leads the local group.

A co-leader- oh please.

MomsStiffler Wed 29-Jan-14 08:53:21

Ah, no. You prefer to bitch and moan on an Internet forum. <shrugs> at least we're in it and helping girls (young people for the scouters) make the most of them themselves and become strong confident members of society, and having fun along the way.

This is what a lot of these people don't like. Their children leave the protection and constant supervision of the nest & go & have fun without hovering parents. Even worse - sometimes they have to wear the same clothes as each other!!

Personally, I think these organisations are great - Cubs, Scout, Brownies, Guides and even (waits for gasps of horror) Cadets - kids get out & have fun whilst learning how to interact and become independent.

As for slating the volunteers that give up their time to share - don't get me started!

If you don't like it, fair enough - but give your kids a chance to make up their own minds....

MomsStiffler Wed 29-Jan-14 08:55:00


You sure you didn't fall asleep watching "Carry on Camping" and dream the whole thing? You need to lay off the cheese before bedtime!!

alemci Wed 29-Jan-14 09:01:40

is it "Taps" which we used to sing in Guides Arabella

Oh Lord our God Thy Children Call
Grant us thy peace and bless us all

I am very grateful to the kind people who give up their time to run these organisations. My son isn't a great joiner but he loves going to Explorers and has done Beavers, cubs, Scouts all the way through.

PsychicPaper Wed 29-Jan-14 09:08:00

Is it just me who has had a run of new requests on join us since this thread started?

Goldencity1 Wed 29-Jan-14 09:12:30

Arrabella: well said! See you at wings!

Alemci. That's Brownie Bells, still sung at a lot of Brownie meetings, sometimes with alterations!

Guides sing taps
Day is done, gone the sun, from the sea, from hills, from the sky. Safely rest, God is nigh.
We sing "goodnight" at the end as one leader is an atheist.....

Lottiedoubtie Wed 29-Jan-14 09:16:04

I haven't psychic but I love the idea that threads like this actually boost the membership!

alemci that's brownie bells you've quoted there. Taps goes like this-

Day is done,
Gone the sun,
From the sea, from the hills, from the sky,
All is well,
Safely rest,
God is nigh.

I have a unit of 38 girls from reasonably diverse backgrounds, many with families who don't send them to church parade etc... But never have I heard anyone object to Taps, I honestly don't think they ever think that deeply about it.

JerseySpud Wed 29-Jan-14 09:18:54

Sounds like my Beaver scouts are losing out then O.o

blackcats73 Wed 29-Jan-14 09:41:23

Jeez, I'm a serial lurker on mumsnet and love it. However this rabid anti Christianity drives me mad.

I'm a cubs helper. The only references to Christianity is in the promise (and you can leave out the God bit), Remembrance Day, which isn't compulsory and St George's day. To be honest I object more to the Queen bit myself.

I volunteered as my son, who struggles with social interaction benefited hugely from it and I wanted to give other children a similar opportunity.

Some packs , attached to church may well have more of a Christian Ethos, however, it's not the 1950s any more. The Church of England and even some Catholic churches/schools isn't(In my experience) hellfire and damnation anymore. More about being nice to people and telling stories about Jesus. That's my experience of going to and sending my DCs to church schools. I'm agnostic.

Just can't get as worked up about Christianity as some on here.

Goldencity1 Wed 29-Jan-14 09:48:44

Atthestroke: The scouts have introduced an alternative version of the promise for atheists, their view point is explained here: promise

hellsbells99 Wed 29-Jan-14 09:48:56

I lead a guide pack. Uniform is jeans and hoodies. I am called by my first name. We go to church (it is voluntary) twice a year - and 1 of those times is for the Act of Remembrance which most of our village attend.
We go to the Big Gig (pop concert), Activity holidays, do chip tasting competitions, dance sessions, rambles, archery etc.
It is a social group for 30 odd girls to get together once a week and meet up with their friends in the village. Most are at high school and this is the one chance they have to meet up with friends that most have known from pre-school. It is probably quite rare that our girls go to approx. 8 different schools and all live within 1.5 miles of each other.

CalamitouslyWrong Wed 29-Jan-14 10:02:17

DS1 is a total atheist and has no objection to scouts. He didn't care about pledging to do his duty to god (since he doesn't actually believe in god) or to the queen (not monarchists here). Just because some people might find those bits meaningful doesn't mean everyone has to.

Ds1 will be going up to explorers next year and he's keen to become a young leader. Scouts has been great for developing his confidence and letting him see himself as competent (whereas school often achieves the opposite). He's currently a pack leader and really enjoys helping with organisation and looking out for the younger kids or just the new kids. And he loves all the getting muddy stuff.

Tbh, I don't care about religion, unless someone is using that religion to imply superiority or they're trying to convert me/my children. But scouts really doesn't do either of those things. Church attendance is always entirely optional.

I do not believe that a scout leader (or anyone for that matter) would say outright to someone they'd just met that 'nothing arouses their passions like boys in shorts'. They might well think that, but it would be incredibly unusual for someone to care so little about social norms to vocalise it.

pourmeanotherglass Wed 29-Jan-14 10:20:14

DD loved brownies, hated guides (too many teenage girls playing with their phones and not enough action), and is now loving scouts.
These organisations can be great, if the volunteers running the packs are enthusiastic and have lots of creative ideas.
The things we have liked about brownies and scouts have been the opportunity to try a variety of different activities. DD has been to PGL weekends away with brownies and tried climbing, abseiling, fencing, etc. With scouts she has built campfires outside the hut, been hiking in the dark, done orienteering exercises, and played 'wide games'. She's not been to her first scout camp yet, but is really looking forward to it.

Almostfifty Wed 29-Jan-14 11:02:44


I meant the Young Leader is giving something back to Scouting, after all it's done for her. It really has. She was a quiet, shy child who's really found her independence and I like to think we as a Group had something to do with that.

As to the Promise, Scouts no longer have to include God in it, as from a couple of weeks ago.

alemci Wed 29-Jan-14 11:05:17

Lottie - of course it is. It all got a bit blurred. I totally agree about the words. In a historical context this was/is a christian country and I believe Baden-Powell was a christian so it would make sense that the songs and promises are prayerful. It is not as though Jesus Christ is being mentioned in any of it so I don't really see why it couldn't have stayed as it was.

God is a fairly generic term.

ChocolateWombat Wed 29-Jan-14 22:46:34

I suspect that those who are so critical of Scouting/Guiding on here and the kind of people who have trouble fitting into lots of organisations. Are they the people who move school lots of times, because the teachers never understand their children and all the other children bully their children. And they leave their dance classes because the teacher always favours other people. And their child is never chosen to play in a good position in the football team, because the coach dislikes him. And religion or politics is being pushed everywhere and offending them.
I think there are just some people who are offended by everything and take exception to everything. So glad to read so very many more posts from people who accept that Scouting and Guiding isn't perfect, but gives their children great experiences, which they are pleased and thankful for.

atthestrokeoftwelve Thu 30-Jan-14 06:47:54

chocolate- your assumptions are wrong and highlight your intolerant thinking.

Unplastered Thu 30-Jan-14 09:58:00

Guide leader

CaptainGrinch Thu 30-Jan-14 10:00:45

I think Chocolate has it spot on.

They hate the idea of their PFBs doing things outside the protection of their wing.

At the end of the day the only people that lose out are the kids - the Guide/Scout leaders & volunteers are saved the hassle of needy parents making a PITA of themselves....

Unplastered Thu 30-Jan-14 10:15:34

Oops. Guide leader with over 20 years experience here. Before becoming a Guider I was a Brownie, Guide, and Young Leader, so around 30 years experience of the organisation.
Guiding is not a Christian organisation, and never has been. Refer back to early handbooks from the 1910's and 1920's and you will see Baden Powell's references to the inclusion of girls from other faiths. In 1910 when Guiding started, almost everyone had some sort of faith - in the UK, most were Christian. It is logical that Guiding followed this pattern. Over the years as people's beliefs and lifestyles have changed, so have the practices of Guiding. It is rare now to have a 'Guides Own' service at camp for example, and it is always voluntary. No Guide or Scout now has to promise to love or serve any God. church parade is usually limited to Remembrance Day (which locally at least is attended by the entire village, every age and religious background) and sometimes St Georges Day or Mother's Day, and again is always voluntary. There are occasional groups which are 'sponsored' by Churches or other religious groups, in the same way that schools are. They are VERY rare - there isn't a single sponsored unit in our whole county. In practice sponsoring means that the group gets to use the church hall for meetings rent free, that is all.
Of course there have been Leaders in both Guiding and Scouting who have done inappropriate things - as in every walk of life there are good people and bad people. The same applies to teachers, nurses, vicars, etc etc etc. they are all police checked and would Not be allowed to become a leader if any conviction was flagged up, or allowed to continue as a leader if they were convicted after the police check was done. I do not believe that any leader would make comments about young boys in short trousers.
Guiding offers a place where girls can enjoy activities from chocolate tasting to campfires, abseiling to baking, first aid to sailing. Girls get the opportunity to travel in the UK and abroad. I can't praise Guiding enough.
With a national waiting list of over 50,000 girls, the only thing we are short of is leaders. People who are prepared to give up their free time voluntarily to run activities for other people's kids, in between managing their own lives, jobs, families.
Instead of posting ill thought out comments on the internet about these people, why not volunteer yourself if you could do so much better?

DioneTheDiabolist Thu 30-Jan-14 10:21:18

YY Chocolate.

alemci Thu 30-Jan-14 11:11:58

fair point chocolate. perhaps it brings up difficulties connected with parents own childhood where they has hurts and misunderstandings and difficulties with authority.

atthestrokeoftwelve Thu 30-Jan-14 11:49:17

What rubbish!

My DD was happy going to dance class at the age of 5, and both my kids did week long residential trips with the school at age 7.

I was happy being a school prefect, I am a schoool Governor atm, a member of the local Authority children's panel, my son is on the student's council at secondary school and represents his school at the Model United Nation forum.

Where you get this idea that we don't want our kids doing independant activities or that we have a problem with authority is laughable.

NigellasDealer Thu 30-Jan-14 11:58:50

They hate the idea of their PFBs doing things outside the protection of their wing
sorry but that is bollocks, both of mine have done plenty of things without me, probably more than most, and I did send them to cubs, but tbh the general weirdness of the leaders was overwhelming. I do not speak for any pack but the one we joined of course. and no I am not going to volunteer myself.

atthestrokeoftwelve Thu 30-Jan-14 12:22:58

chocolate- you also describe the guiding movement as authority?

Please don't flatter yourself.

RedToothBrush Thu 30-Jan-14 12:49:10

Cannibalistic Rites?

Clearly you are not aware of how risk assessments have changed scouting. Axe throwing might pass Health and Safety, but I'm not sure how they could manage to get Cannibalism past it.

DH is an staunch atheist. You won't meet anyone more liberal or with a greater dislike for the Daily Fail. The God stuff really put him off and he was worried that his views would mean he wasn't allowed to become a leader. He refused to lie. He definitely does not like a lot of the petty bickering and power trips some of the old guard have.

Fortunately the changes in Scouts, particularly the God Stuff have come at just the right time for him. Which is just as well as they are desperate for new leaders who have experience with outdoor activities, particularly in his age group.

There is a lot of older leaders and a good crop of younger ones coming through due to the fact they changed the age bands for scouts/explorers a few years back with helped reduce kids falling out the organisation. But his age group are a novelty and are really needed as the older leaders will quite literally start dying out soon. There is a recognised need to change from the more stuffy institution it was and things are being done to do that. Though perhaps not quickly enough.

The health and safety stuff has helped to kill a lot of the 'fun' stuff - not because its dangerous as such, but simply because its more difficult to do, and there isn't always the trained youthful yet responsible people to support it. These things are great for teaching kids to be adventurous yet sensible at the same time. Amazing life skills. Give it a few more years and hopefully the situation will have improved, but the organisation is definitely going through a transition phrase.

So DH does it as its a great way to get involved in outdoor activities such as canoeing and climbing - as well as a cheap way to get trained in supervisory roles for them. He wants to give kids the same opportunities to do these as he had and to share the things he loves. Particularly kids from 'the wrong end of town' who don't get the same opportunities as their rich neighbours.

Can't see whats weird about that? Please tell me why its weird?

RedToothBrush Thu 30-Jan-14 13:11:26

Oh and DH is very unusual in that he left scouting at 14 and then didn't rejoin until he was 30. Why? Because all the scouts did when he was 14 was play football and he got bored. So he has had a negative experience of scouting himself.


Grennie Thu 30-Jan-14 13:16:21

I totally understand that Guiding has changed. But I can't agree that it has never been a religious organisation. The promise that was used until recently, made it clear that it was.

And in Brownies the closing prayers sung are also religious.

And children have always not being allowed to attend because of the religious element. Just because that is not your experience, does not mean it is not others.

Lottiedoubtie Thu 30-Jan-14 15:36:27

Grennie I think the Christianity evident in guiding past is cultural, God was a bigger part of English culture in times gone by and this was reflected in most organisations.

I think when people say 'we aren't a Christian organisation' they mean the stereotypical 'scary Christian spinster' guiding anecdote was always a rogue minority issue.

ChocolateWombat Thu 30-Jan-14 16:50:53

ATTHESTROKE I have never referred to Guiding as authority. Perhaps you are confusing me with another poster.

I think there is confusion about what is meant by a Christian organisation. Saying prayers does not make an organisation Christian. parliament has prayers before it sits and so do county councils. They are not Christian organisations. Likewise, Brownies and Guides etc who have prayers are not Christian organisations. You need to look at the founding of an organisation and most importantly it's purpose to see if it is a religious organisation. Lots of organisations in the past had LINKS to the Church or other religious organisations but themselves did not have a religious purpose. Many organisations have a TRADITION of things like prayers, not becuae they were ever religious organisations but because in the past, it was culturally relevant and widely accepted to do those things. Parliament, councils, many schools and also Guides have a long history and tradition is important to them. They say prayers as part of that. Some of the people involved are religious and involved with the Chirch, but many are not. Most adults and children are able to accept this without any issues.
There seem to be some people who cannot tolerate or stand to be in any building or have any contact with an organisation which follows these kind of traditions. They see them as being religious, when in actual fact they usually are not. These people I think find much to object to in society, not just Brownies and Cubs. Of course they are free to not join. But the organisations are not inherently wrong and they are not actually religious.

Grennie Thu 30-Jan-14 16:54:12

Lottie, this was in the 80's. There were lots of aetheists around then. Although the organisation has always seemed a bit old fashioned, so maybe that fits.

Grennie Thu 30-Jan-14 16:55:05

wombat - You are wrong. Parliament is a Christian organisation.

ShoeWhore Thu 30-Jan-14 17:07:22

My dcs have done Beavers/Cubs and had an absolutely brilliant experience. They've done all sorts of activities from camps to abseiling to junk modelling to cooking and learned a lot about teamwork and and independence and themselves along the way. Ds1 caught his own fish and cooked it on the campfire. Ds3 surprised himself by finding the confidence to try the abseiling when he thought he didn't want to.

I really like the fact that it brings together children with all sorts of different skills and strengths and pretty much everyone will be good at some activities and find others harder. I think that's a great lesson.

We're not religious and I haven't particularly noticed an overtly religious emphasis. They do attend the Remembrance Day parade in town but I don't think it's a bad thing for the children to reflect on how many people lost their lives.

Our Beaver/Cub leaders also work hard to provide a varied programme while keeping the subs within the reach of most local families, which I also think is really important. I absolutely take my hat off to them - they work so hard and put so much in. I think they know how much we appreciate it, I hope so.

RedToothBrush Thu 30-Jan-14 17:23:37

If its a Christian organisation as such, why does it encourage different faiths? Historically, it has been one of the most proactive organisations that have respected individual faiths of all different kinds. In other countries it does not encourage Christianity at all, but instead supports the local culture - something pretty unique for an organisation founded at the height of the British Empire. The purpose of the scouts is to make rounded individuals who are active citizens, with one of its core principles being respect, and it always has been.

I won't lie and say that it doesn't attract and has a sizeable percentage of leaders with very strong Christian beliefs - DH has come across a few with some 'interesting' beliefs (and expressed a desire to ram their bigotry and quite frankly racist opinions back down their throats). But I actually think thats more about attracting a certain percentage of type of more traditional and conservative and dare I say it 'middle class' leadership. Not that the organisation's values itself are Christian.

And its certainly not true that this is reflective of the entire districts leadership. DH has been very involved at a district level as he has specialist skills and has met a very wide range of people, many of whom are a LOT more liberal minded.

I would say that its probably worth considering the age of the leadership at whatever group you might be considering. A large number of younger leaders is likely to be more reflective of 'new' scouting.

ChocolateWombat Thu 30-Jan-14 17:27:15

Would you also call non Church schools which have the odd prayer or hymn religious organisations too. What about trade unions and guilds which often have a motto in Latin which refers to God. Or the Rotary or the Lions who may have prayers before meetings. Do you object to all of them on that basis? Do you object to parliament in the same way you do Guides etc. This country has a heritage which cannot be swept away in an instant. This heritage does not make all these organisations religious in purpose. They just value their heritage....and most people have a sense of heritage too which is not connected to being religious.

Grennie Thu 30-Jan-14 17:35:53

I agree with the French approach that religion has no place in public institutions.

LeBearPolar Thu 30-Jan-14 17:38:18

DS is going parascending with Scouts this summer - that's not an opportunity he's been offered anywhere else so far. He has also done loads of camps and outdoor activities.

No cannibalism or torture yet though confused - I'm guessing the OP is someone who has no actual idea what scouts and guides are all about but was just bored and wanting to stir a bit.

RedToothBrush Thu 30-Jan-14 17:38:32

I think its interesting what DHs district has a march for. They have two per year. These are St George's Day and Remembrance Sunday. Whilst part of these is a church service, its more about recognising sacrifice and national pride (in a positive way) and giving thanks. These are values that can be important in this country, whether you be Atheist, Christian, Jewish, Muslim or Jedi. Yes, because traditionally in the UK, the Church and State are closely linked and Christianity is the main faith thats why it has been tied together. But I don't think its about promoting Christianity as such.

RedToothBrush Thu 30-Jan-14 17:40:19

Grennie, then your issue is more about Church and State in the Uk, rather than about Scouting.

The head of this country is the head of the Church of England. The French have a President. Its simply a different state structure.

Grennie Thu 30-Jan-14 17:41:52

Yes our country is a Christian one.

I actually haven't any issue with any voluntary organisation having a religious component. I just like honesty about it.

RedToothBrush Thu 30-Jan-14 17:55:20

The organisation and the individuals in it are a different things though.

The agenda of an individual who is a leader can be very different to the agenda of the organisation.

I think there's nothing dishonest in that.

ChocolateWombat Thu 30-Jan-14 18:08:05

I think Scouting and Guiding would happily say they have a heritage of of a connection with the Church, in that they have often met in their halls etc. however this isn't the same a being a Christian organisation. They don't aim to promote Christianity. The mention of God in the old promise was not promoting was open for those making the promise to interpret S they liked. It was a personal promise for each boy or girl. These days Guiding is keen to emphasise Guriding is open to Christians, those of other faiths and those of none. They try hard to be inclusive to all. At the same time, they are not throwing their heritage out and value it. Many Guides and Scours also value the heritage and that they are involved in something 100 years old. As earlier posters have often said, when the kids are offered the chance the ditch Brownie Bells or Guide Taps, they have often chosen to hang onto them. It's not for religious reasons, but those of heritage. New traditions keep coming too. These are likely to be those that are part of today's culture. In the future not everyone will like them either. Those traditions won't define the purpose of the Guiding or Scouting movement either.

CaptainGrinch Thu 30-Jan-14 18:16:36

Grennie - Which youth organisations do you agree with then? I remember that you were vehemently anti-cadets as they were a "recruiting hotbed for the forces", Guides & Scouts are all God Botherers, what Youth Organisation would fit your criteria then? There aren't many more out there that I'm aware of - or should the whole lot be abolished as "not quite right"?

RedToothBrush Thu 30-Jan-14 18:20:02

Interesting read about religion and scouting

Its a lot more enlightened as an organisation than a lot of people on this thread realise. (Boy Scouts of America perhaps being the exception).

The fact they actively encourage questioning of faith in the UK as part of understanding their promise is brilliant.

Not forgetting that both the guides and scouts recently voted FOR the religious element to non-essential. Even with its links to the church. I think its more reflective of society rather than trying to influence.

The other thing is that, if you are unhappy with the views of local leadership, there is always a way you can improve it. Thats to volunteer yourself...

alemci Thu 30-Jan-14 20:32:09

yes chocolate my guides and brownies were affiliated with the anglican church but it happened to be 5 mins down the road so was convenient. There was an expectation to attend church parade every month

it was never pushing Christianity though in an evangelical sense.

my sons explorers is also at the scout hut behind another Anglican church but he has never been to church parade.

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