The Chief Scout of the UK Scout Association, a TV adventure presenter, Bear Grylls is running a series of events to encourage adults to volunteer to take part in leading tween and teen children in adventurous scouting activities. It seems that the Scout Association is having problems recruiting enough adults interested in leading Scout Troops.
From my view point, one of the main contributory factors to this reluctance to take part in leading scouts is the attitude of of national and local government officials. Regulation after regulation has been introduced which treats any person showing an interest in leading children as likely criminals until proven innocent by a series of intrusive and ineffective official examination. Add to this this risk averse nature of officialdom where simple activity plans have to go through layer after layer of stifling and unnecessary evaluations. In essence, voluntary youth leaders are treated with a barrage of mistrust and a lack of respect.
I used to be involved in the Scout Association many years ago, but no way would I involve myself to the indignities of the present vetting procedures. This is not really the fault of the Scout Association. It is the poorly thought-out legislation introduced by the recent Labour government and also nameless jobsworth officials in the various unelected Quango's and local authorities. They love to exercise authority, but shirk the responsibility of causing this negative atmosphere in the youth leadership environment.
The insurance companies also bear some of the responsibility. Their risk averse approach leads them to placing unnecessarily high insurance premiums on any activity that is not padded in cotton wool.
I'm a responsible person, I've raised a family and guided my kids through University and they are on their way to raising their own families. It is ridiculous that people like me would be treated with suspicion if we offered to help out in the youth community. It is in essence disrespect of elders.