Outdoor adventure thrill sees record waiting list for Cumbrian scouts

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Cumbria Scouts at Great Tower Scout Activity Centre
Cumbria Scouts at Great Tower Scout Activity Centre

Adventurer Bear Grylls has joined Scout leaders in Cumbria to issue a public plea for volunteers as the waiting list for young new recruits in the county hits an all-time high.

While young people are often painted as device-addicted, technology obsessed, social media junkies, Cumbria appears to be bucking the trend.

Figures from this month’s Scouting in Cumbria census, released today, reports that 281 youngsters across the area are hankering for a space in their local groups.

The ‘Bear Grylls effect’, movement away from traditional gender stereotypes, and a desire for digital detox are just some of the factors which leaders believe have contributed to demand outstripping supply.

It comes as the local branch of the association also reports a record number of adult volunteers - more than 1,000 - on its books.

There are now 3,412 young people involved in Scouting in Cumbria. Including adult volunteers, total membership today is 4,426, up by 32 per cent in the last decade.

The association puts the success in the growth of the movement down to changing with the times to meet the needs of modern members - young and old.

Eddie Ward, county commissioner for Scouting in Cumbria, said: “Our adult volunteers today seek much more flexible volunteering arrangements than in the past so they can fit it around their busy lives.

“Many adults who are signing up with the Scouts have a limited amount of time to donate to us, and so we need more volunteers as a whole to accommodate the continued demand for Scouting among young people.”

Mr Ward is urging the adults of Cumbria to consider giving their time.

He said: “I am calling on adults who want to make a difference to the lives of young people in their communities to give scouting a go.

“We know that not having enough time is the main barrier to volunteering among adults, which is why we want to make it easier by offering flexibility in a range of roles from scout group leaders to administrative and trustee positions.”

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Don   McCutcheon , Carlisle Tuesday, 11 April, 2017 at 11:25AM
Our Scout Group in the north of Carlisle is like many. We have two sections Cubs and Scouts and find it difficult to recruit adult volunteers. We currently have a Cub Pack being looked after by the Scout Leaders. They are helped by a number of young people aged 14 to 18 who need supervision to help out. our group would love to have four new volunteer leaders to help the Cub Pack, look after the young leaders and the role of group manager. Anyone interested give me a call 07802 289818
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