Community Impact in British Scouting Overseas

Community Impact in British Scouting Overseas 
By Nathan Prince – Area Commissioner 




Scouting’s impact in society is visible on two levels: 

  1. Personal Impact, which is the long-term impact that follows from young people going through the Scouting programme to become active citizens driving positive change. After an average of four years of Scouting, the impact will be felt during 60 or more years throughout the lifetime of the Scout. 
  1. Community Impact, which is the short-term impact that follows from Scouts engaging in their communities through actions and projects, for example helping the vulnerable or protecting the environment. Although Community impact manifests itself immediately, it can also have long term effects. Community Impact encourages Scouts to take practical action in the service of others, in order to create positive social change. It aims to benefit the wider community as well as the young people taking part. 

The BSO Development Plan strategy aligns with the Scout’s 2018-23 Skills for LIfe strategyWithin the “Community Impact” strand we have two objectives I’d like to discuss: 

  • D.2. Where applicable, Scout Groups to develop effective informal friendships with their local host nation Scout Groups to identify community issues where they can work jointly to deliver significant community impact. 
  • D.5. Comms and District teams to publicise and encourage participation in the relaunched Million Hands programme. A determined and progressive long-term push is required to get Scout Groups signed up and engaging. This could deliver massive impact in their communities especially in collaboration with the local NSO. This could be linked to Scout SDGs aligning with NSO strategies. 

Our AAC(International), Peter Dawes has been busy helping BSO Groups across FranceMadrid and in the Czech Republic to establish more formal links with their national Scout organisations (NSOs)  Junak Scouts in the Czech RepublicScouts et Guides de France (SGdF) and Exploradores de Madrid. As it says above, it is hoped that building these friendships will enable us work jointly to deliver community impact. 

In our two Madrid Groups, John Pearce GSL 1St Majalahonda and Catherine Fenton GSL 1St Madrid, turned to the Exploradores de Madrid, the local governing body for Scouting and held Zoom calls with senior managers to discuss Covid-19 guidelines and protocols. After getting this important information, discussions turned to collaboration and building of friendshipsThe Exploradores de Madrid, generously offered to share resources, including future access to campsites, as well as contact with local groups for meet-ups and working on fun, joint community activitiesThey were also invited to participate in Spanish Scouts Olympics in June! BSO Madrid offered in turn to help Spanish Scouts with their English by getting together and sharing UK Scouting games and songs at a future date.  

This is a great result and an example of how simply putting out the hand of friendship can result in unexpected but welcome consequences, leading to friendship, collaboration and community impact. We all make the same promise, part of which is ‘to help other people’. As we start to emerge into a post-Covid world, we want to see BSO Scout Groups having a much bigger impact in our communities.  

The staged activity badge, shown at the top of this page, along with the Million Hands programme provides an easy-to-follow framework to ensure we really are living up to the promise we’ve made. 

If you’d like to make contact with your local NSO, and extend the hand of friendship, please first contact so we can support you.