Greenock’s on a High
A staggering 1604 young people now join the adventure across the Inverclyde area – the biggest number in our 105 year history.
The local figures were revealed as it was announced that Scouting in Scotland has grown 4 per cent in the past twelve months, helping take total Scottish membership to 41,261. This impressive surge in national membership – the 6th consecutive year of expansion – has helped cement Scouting’s position as the largest co-educational youth organisation in the country.
In Greenock and District, members of the Scouting family rose by 158 members in the past year – a rise of 12 per cent. From this we have 1331 youth members and the rest is made up of adult volunteers. We now have 500 Beaver Scouts, the highest ever recorded and almost 500 Cub Scouts.
There are now 17 groups working the length and breadth of Inverclyde, meeting weekly in schools, church halls and in their own Scout buildings.
District Commissioner David McCallum said: “I am absolutely delighted at the figures for Greenock and District. Just five years ago we had 816 members so we have had a 100 per cent rise in that time. That is astonishing, especially against a backdrop of falling school rolls and a shrinking population in Inverclyde.
“This sort of thing does not just happen by accident. We have great leaders with bucket loads of enthusiasm and drive as well as a first class District management team.
“Our work with schools through the Curriculum for Excellence programme is well documented and working well and I take great pride that Greenock and District is a trailblazer for the rest of the country.”
The Scout Association believes that the reasons for this growth are twofold.
First, Scouting provides an enormous range of adventures for young people, allowing them to experience the great outdoors. In the UK Members can enjoy more than 200 activities including zorbing, water skiing, abseiling and adventure glider flights.
Second, Scouting offers an environment for young people to achieve their full potential as individuals and responsible citizens. When joining up, all Scouts promise to do their best and help other people. These principles are reflected in the range of community work that Scout groups undertake week in-week out.
An independent report unveiled last year showed that Scouting can positively impact both individuals and local communities. For example, 41 per cent of employers say Scouting experience positively influenced their decision to employ job applicants while 40 per cent of voluntary groups surveyed would not be able to get the same amount of work done if Scouts had not been involved.
Chief Commissioner and lead volunteer in Scotland, Graham Haddock, who comes from Quarrier’s Village, said, “We are absolutely delighted to see that Scouting in Scotland has grown again for a sixth consecutive year. We are also very pleased that we are growing more strongly than the UK average for the third year in a row. It means that we are achieving our mission to spread the fun, friendship, adventure and personal development opportunities that we offer in Scouting to more young people and adult volunteers.
We are proud that our organisation is producing confident, capable and well-rounded young people and adults while giving opportunities for our older members to develop and increase their own skill sets. We are particularly grateful to our many adult volunteers who make this all possible.”
Chief Scout Bear Grylls said “It is so great to see Scout numbers rising in Greenock and District and a big reason for this is the number of teenagers joining the adventure. More and more young people are realising that Scouting offers them so much – whether it’s the opportunity to go on a big international adventure or the chance to learn and hone vital life skills.
I am also excited to see so many young people in the Inverclyde area have committed their time to give back as Young Leaders. Leadership in Scouting offers so many personal rewards and practical benefits, and so many employers nowadays recognise these as being both empowering and work/life-enhancing. There truly is something for everyone in the world of scouting.”