Scouting’s Promise of Value
Some years ago, when we were considering nationally how to improve Scouting’s image during the Centenary, we looked what Scouting’s “brand” should be. A “brand” of course isn’t just a logo or a design, as any marketing professional will tell you – it’s the essence of what an organisation or product stands for. A brand is the “promise of value” to the customer – why people join, buy or show support. And in Scouting’s case the idea of “promise of value” is especially important.
As we get ready for 2014 and an even more exciting year of Scouting, it’s worth reflecting on Scouting’s brand and thinking about what we all need to do in order to make this “promise of value” a reality. 1. Everyday Adventure – the brand statement we’ve been using in Scouting since 2007. It’s the biggest reason young people join and stay, it’s what most people remember about their time in Scouting, and it helps to achieve our aim of developing young people. Unpick the brand statement a bit more, and you’ll discover it’s not only about adventure. It’s “everyday adventure” that’s accessible to all young people, from Beavers cooking twists on an open fire, to Scout Network members completing Queen’s Scout expeditions in the mountains. And it’s “adventure everyday” – not just in the summer, or on camp, but in the Scout HQ week after week – adding adventure to young people’s lives every week. 2. Values - of trust, loyalty, friendship, family, courage, responsibility and respect. These are in our Promise and Law, and hopefully embedded in the culture of our meetings and behaviour every week. And not just for the young people – for us adult volunteers as well. They’re not empty words – they’re actions we need to live out in practice. If you watched the Doctor Who special, you may have spotted a great quote from the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius – “Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.” 3. Community – Scouting works best when it is a community – the welcoming friendship of the Cub Pack or Explorer Unit, the “social life with a purpose” of adult volunteers, the parents who come together to help with fundraising and support their children in experiencing all that Scouting has to offer. But Scouting also has to be an integral part of the wider community – out there, offering adventure, fun and friendship to more than just its traditional members through community service, activity opportunities, and embracing diversity. Pope Francis has recently said he preferred a Church that was “bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security”. What would a similar vision for Scouting be like? So there you have it – the “brand” of Scouting – everyday adventure, values, and community. Brands of course only work if they deliver on their promises. Do we?
County Commissioner Hampshire Scouting
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