Of any 100 children who become Scouts, it is highly probable that 30 will drop out in their first year. Perhaps this may be regarded as failure but, in later life, all of these will remember that they had been Scouts and will speak well of what they did.
Of that 100, only rarely will one ever appear in juvenile court. Twelve of the 100 will belong to no church, but through Scouting, these 12 and many of their families will be brought into contact with a church and will be actively involved for the rest of their lives. Two of the 100 will eventually become ministers.
Each of the 100 will learn something from Scouting. Almost all will develop hobbies or skills that will add interest throughout the rest of their lives. Approximately 50 will serve in the nation’s military forces and, in varying degrees, profit from their Scout training. At least one will use it to save another person’s life and many credit it with saving their own.
Four of the 100 will become Queen’s Scouts and at least one will later say that they valued this above their university degree. Many will find their future vocation through the programme work and their Scouting contacts.
Seventeen of the 100 will later become Scout Leaders and provide Leadership to many more young people.
Only one in four children in the United Kingdom will become Scouts but it is interesting to know that of the leaders of our nation in the fields of politics, religion and business – three out of four were Scouts.
All over the United Kingdom, thousands of adults give their time to be Leaders in all kinds of youth organisations. Their involvement is not just one hour a week but is many hours of careful thought, discussion, planning and training to provide a good programme for young people.
Leaders of the Scout Association are the backbone of the Movement. These men and women who are involved with Beaver Scouts, Cub Scouts, Scouts and Venture Scouts and spend many hours voluntarily training and supervising activities for those in their sections. They believe that Scouting, through its programme, provides a good solid foundation for life and gives a young person values, challenge, fun and adventure. Through Scouting, they can find new friends, new interests and the feeling they are doing something worthwhile. The Leaders do, just as the young person does, take the Scout Promise. This and the Scout Laws set the standards for everyone in the Movement and gives all something to live up to.
During their years of service, many must, at times, become frustrated and wonder whether it is worth continuing and if they are doing any good. Yes, their work is very important and valuable. The Leader is a most essential part of the Movement and all the work and development that is done with the young people could not be achieved unless the Scouters had that all-important sense of dedication and commitment.
This story will never end. Like a ‘pebble of service’ dropped into the sea of humanity, the ever-widening circles will continually radiate to influence the character of men and women throughout the ages.