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  • Writer's pictureJohn Hemming-Clark

Suspended by The Scout Association

“I resent the idea that people would blame the messenger for the message, rather than looking at the content of the message itself.” Anita Hill


For over 100 years scouting has played a mostly positive part in the lives of countless young people around the world. They have hiked, camped, cooked, played and learnt practical skills based on a vision of Robert Baden-Powell that was developed in Scouting for Boys that was first published in 1908.

It could never had become such a success without an army of volunteers but whilst much is written about what the young people in scouting can achieve for scout leaders it may be a different story.

A seemingly increasingly autocratic Scout Association with its own political agenda despite professing to be non-political, a safeguarding system that acts first and assesses second and a focus on a corporate brand rather than grass-roots scouting, coupled with financial deficits in five of the last six years appears to be alienating a large number of volunteers on which it relies leading some to wonder whether The Scout Association is any longer fit for purpose.

Scout leaders find it difficult to speak out with a suspend first, investigate later culture in response to criticism but now one has broken ranks following an angelic encounter.

This is his story.

It will make you laugh, cry or get angry; maybe all three.

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