This morning I’m joining thousands of members of the Scout family across the UK and taking part in my local St George’s Day parade. When Robert Baden-Powell founded Scouting in the early 1900s he chose St George as the patron saint of Scouting, believing that the figure of legend set a good example to Scouts. As St George’s Day is celebrated on 23rd April, the nearest Sunday is generally used for some form of celebration – generally a parade.
Nationally the focus is on the Day of Achievement & Celebration at Windsor – this recognises Scouts who have achieved the highest youth award, the Queen’s Scout Award, Gallantry award winners and adult members who have been awarded honours for their outstanding contributions.
In my local area the parade is done jointly by both Scouts and Guides, I paraded in it myself as a Guide and one year was given the honour of carrying our unit’s flag. Since becoming an Assistant Beaver Scout Leader I’ve been back on parade – it’s a little different being part of the adult side of the movement! The people of the town always provide a good turn out, and it’s wonderful for them to see all our young people involved in doing something good.
Partway through the parade we stop for a short service, this includes the renewal of the promise. Every member of the Scout family gets to renew their promise on St George’s day, this happens section by section as the promise varies a little between each with the adult members along with any observing audience members who have been Scouts (once you join Scouting you’re always considered a member) completing this part of the service.
For me I always find today a lovely time to reflect on what I, and everyone involved in our Beaver colony, have achieved in the last year. It’s also a chance to see former Beavers who are now Cubs or Scouts (I’ve been here long enough for them to have moved up two sections) and see how much they’ve grown up and hear about all the brilliant things they’ve done since leaving us – a welcome reminder of why iScout.