DS wants to join the cubs. He says he is fine with saying 'do his duty to god and the queen' if that is what it takes to get in. I guess that is ok, as it is a meaningless statement if god doesn't exist and you have no duty to the queen. I do resent that he has to say it.
They are only accepting new kids if parents are willing to become Assistant Leaders. I said ok. I quite like the idea of the camping and activities etc... but reading into it I wonder 1) if they will have me as an atheist and 2) if i really can be involved if they expect adults to lead prayers and all kinds of other religious stuff.
I joined because I was 10 and I had been in the linked Brownie pack which did very little that was overtly religious (I was consciously atheist from the age of about 7 or 8, so I would have noticed), then when I joined the guides we seemed to spend a lot of time sitting around writing prayers. I assumed the difference might have had something to do with the interests/inclinations of individual leaders.
Scouting movements in other parts of the world seem to be doing fine after removing the religious part of the pledge, so it seems odd that it could be seen as so essential in the UK, which is an increasingly non-religious country.
Oh, and what is the situation with disabled scouts/guides and badges with a component they are unable to do? Are they just excluded from those badges, or are concessions/alterations made for them?
Also, it doesn't seem beyond the bounds of possibility that the 'my faith' badge could have an option for those not affiliated to any religion to, for example, study the beliefs of a major world religion, attend a ceremony or service of some kind, and produce a report etc. I would have no problem with doing that as an atheist.
I have to correct GayScoutLeader. No, of course all Scouts aren't expected to do all badges - indeed, there was an article in Scouting not long ago as someone actually had completed all the activity badges, and it was thought to be a unique achievement, there are so many. Some youngsters go through some years without bothering to do any. Re Scouts with additional needs, adaptations and adjustments are made. It is recomended you adapt things and look at the effort and progress the Scout has made.
*by 'Scout' I mean Beaver / Cub / Scout / Explorer / Nework member.