SCOUTING leaders in Wigan have welcomed the launch of an alternative promise allowing youngsters of no religious faith to pledge themselves to the movement.
The new wording will sit alongside the traditional promise which sees youngsters pledge to serve God and allow new scouts to promise to do their best, perform their duties to the Queen and uphold the organisation’s values.
Scout leaders in the borough say the new promise will make the organisation more inclusive and recognise the increasingly diverse make-up of packs and troops.
It is not the first time an alternative promise has been offered, with pledges relevant to a number of different faiths having been offered for almost 50 years. New Scouts who are not UK citizens can also pledge to serve the country where they live rather than the Queen.
Sarah Bellis, media development manager for Greater Manchester West Scouting, said: “We are committed to being inclusive and we have removed barriers that might prevent those who share our values from taking part.
“Of course, those who wish to continue to promise to do their duty to God can continue to do so. Part of Scouting’s role is to help young people explore their faiths and beliefs.”
Both in Wigan and nationally Scouting is growing rapidly, with young people enjoying more than 200 activities ranging from abseiling and archery to travelling abroad on expeditions and to jamborees.
To find out more, visit www.scouts.org.uk/getinvolved