Church links with uniformed youngsters still strong, says scout leader

Christianity still plays a large part in the life of thriving scout groups across our region, says Mark Edwards, Scout County Commissioner for North Yorkshire.
Interviewed by Brownie young leader Emma Arnold from Catterick, Mr Edwards said:
“Many Scout groups across North Yorkshire have direct links with the church and special services involving them are organised and led by clergy across the area.  
“There is a strong bond between the volunteers, young people and church clergy and congregations.
“Many groups will attend significant services throughout the year, as well as significant national occasions like Remembrance Day.
“St George’s Day is also important to scouting as it is the time of the year we renew our promise.
“All sections have the option to work towards a faith badge and again it is here that many groups will seek support from their local church to achieve this.”
Emma, who has been working with the Diocese of Leeds Communications Team said:
“The relationship between Scouts, Guides, Cubs and Brownies and the church has always been important to the communities they serve, especially in our diocese.
“For example uniformed groups across all five areas took part in Remembrance Day memorials this November, including at Kildwick (pictured).”
The promises that each member makes to become a part of their unit are central to Scouts and Girl Guiding. 
The Scouts Promise states they should do their duty to God in their Christianity promise and this is a line common throughout the Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorer Scout promises. 
They also have a variation of the promise for each of the world religions to try and be inclusive of everyone’s faith.
One of the Scouts values is about beliefs, specifically exploring the different faiths and their attitudes and ideas. 
The Girl Guides Promise is more about developing personal beliefs of the girls whatever they might be. 
This allows for an exploration of different religions, discussing what they believe and why they might believe that.  
Rachel Lamond, the Girl Guiding County Commissioner for North Yorkshire North East, said: “the girls are allowed to explore their personal beliefs.”
The Brownie Law stresses the idea of love your neighbour and every Brownie has to think of others before herself and do something good every day. 
Spiritual development is a key part of both Scouts and Girl Guiding programmes and they attend national events and services such as Remembrance Sunday as well as part of gaining deeper spiritual understanding.
To find out more about Girl Guiding or Scouts UK or to become a member of one of their groups, visit their websites for more details.

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