Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Scouting for Boys

In the Refuge Conference Hall, Strangeways, on March 7th 1915, 24 youths of the Central Refuge made the Scout three-fold promise:- 
To be loyal to God and the King, 
To help other people at all times,
To obey the Scout Law
And so formed the 218th Manchester Troup of the Baden Powell Scouts.

Scouting had begun as a movement in 1908 following the successful publication of ‘Scouting for Boys’ by Robert Baden-Powell. The youth association aimed to ‘incorporate an informal educational system that emphasised practical activities in the outdoors.’

In 1914 the Manchester Refuge had set up its own scout group for the boys in its care. A year later an investiture was carried out to formally establish the group. The Scout law was taken by all 24 boys; 
(1) A Scout’s honour is to be trusted.
(2) A Scout is to be loyal to the King and his officers, and to his parents, his country and his employers.
(3) A Scout’s duty is to be useful and to help others.
(4) A Scout is a friend to all, and a brother to every other Scout, no matter to what social class the other belongs.
(5) A Scout is courteous.
(6) A Scout is a friend to animals.
(7) A Scout obeys orders of his parents, patrol leader, or Scoutmaster without question.
(8) A Scout smiles and whistles under all difficulties.
(9) A Scout is thrifty.
(10) A Scout is clean in thought, word and deed. 

After this promise was made the boys received hats and staves and were formally admitted by Scoutmaster Johnson (Superintendent of the Refuge). 

Girl Guides at Belmont 1920s
A short time later a Girl Guides was also established. It was yet another way for the Refuge to provide established activities for the children in its care. And of course the practice goes on today with many of our service users taking the Scout or Girl Guide promise.

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