UK scouts must be prepared to make the Scout Promise:
On My Honour, I promise that I will do my best
To do my duty to God and to the Queen,
To help other people
And to keep the Scout Law.
The Scout Association’s website claims that,
Scouting is open to all young people aged 6 to 25 of every faith and background. There are also plenty of opportunities for adults to become involved as Leaders, Assistants or Administrators.
However, what it doesn’t say is that scouting is not open to those who don’t have a faith. Since 65% of 12–19 year-olds aren’t religious, this policy effectively excludes a majority of young people.
On 24 January, Keith Porteous Wood of the National Secular Society and Hanne Stinson of the British Humanist Association met the Scouts’ Chief Executive, Derek Twine, together with Scout Company Executive David Shelmerdine and the Chairman of Trustees Mike Goodison. Keith and Hanne sought to persuade the Scouts to change its discriminatory policy and make the religious part of its promise optional. So far, the Scouts have refused to consider this.