It’s census time in Scouting, with lots of boxes and numbers that need to be filled full of information. Some leaders do question why the Association seems to have an obsession with demographics and statistics – especially when most of the young people either don’t understand or relate to the terms used.
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Matt Hyde, chief executive, of the Scout Association told Scout Radio he had seen this conversation thread on 1st Facebook, which he admitted he regularly looks at.
Its fantastic that young people.. wouldn’t view others by their race or what have you, thats a really important part ofwhat we do in scouting – we are open for all
Matt went on to explain that the data is used to see how we compare to local and national trends, and helps the association identify how open it is to all in all communities.
The data can help focus programmes to increase access with targeted projects and funding, as well as counter negative perceptions. Matt explained recent survey results showed a 2% drop in the numbers of public thinking Scouting is open to all.
That’s despite an increase in girls, and diverse membership growth, particularly in Muslim communities after successful support from the Muslim Scout Fellowship.
The data can also help with groups, districts, counties and HQ apply for funding to help grow and develop Scouting in all communities – particularly in the hardest to reach.
As a parent its not something I am unused to being asked, any club and society or school activities – I think there is a basic expectation these days that you be able to give demographic information.
More snippets from our ‘In Conversation With’ interview with Matt Hyde will be released throughout February. To find them head to scoutradio.org.uk/questions.