Adventurous Scouts are the new cool
Forty thousand scouts are camping in Sweden at the 22nd World Scout Jamboree. Scouting is on the up-and-up, attracting 30 million young people between the ages of 14 and 18. There are now half a million British Scouts.
The Financial Times says the new emphasis is adventure. It was also the emphasis of Scout founder Robert Baden-Powell.
The FT writer also says that the Scouts have dismissed "religious trappings". It's a bit difficult to know what she really means, but the ideals of Christianity continue to be part of Scouting's ideals.
In Britain, the new head scout is Bear Grylls.
Occasionally, Bear will launch into an escapade known as “Bear in the Air”, in which he crosses the country by chopper in order to visit 10 scout patrols in a single day. “I go to council estates – say in the back end of Liverpool, or a tough area of Glasgow – and the scouts are there. And you think, gosh, this is an incredible, small group of guys. They are super-motivated, and they have found an identity and a purpose and a sense of belonging. And they are planning expeditions to Patagonia! When you give kids opportunity, they can do incredible things.”
The cool old credos remain.