With St George’s Day fast approaching many Groups and Districts will be thinking about their renewal of promise ceremonies. Renewing our promise is an important part of the Scouting calendar, and a time that we can reflect on what we’ve achieved and look forward to the adventures still to come.

As well as being a time for reflection and renewal, we can use St George’s Day to demonstrate the adventure of Scouting. Fun days, outings, incident hikes and challenge camps are ideas used by different Groups and Districts to ensure their renewal of promise ceremonies and events remain relevant, fun and attractive to young people. We can use the power of St George’s Day to publicise ourselves to our local communities, but need to be very careful that we are giving a true and modern picture of Scouting.

Scouting is about adventure; and as a vibrant, modern multi-cultural and multi-faith organisation we need to ensure that we don’t fall in to a trap in reinforcing negative stereotypes about Scouting by thinking there is only one model for St George’s Day. Sadly many members of the public still consider Scouting to be a middle-class, Christian and militaristic organisation, and sadly marching and parades often to the local church for a Christian based ceremony don’t really do anything to help us demonstrate our relevance to 21st century Britain and encourage more young people to join the adventure.

In our centenary year we were all encouraged to ‘think differently’ about St George’s Day, and we should continue to do this. Young people join Scouting to experience challenge and adventure, so let’s use every opportunity we have to demonstrate that.