Friday 22 November 2019

ReadItDaddy's Second Book of the Week: Week Ending 22nd November 2019: "Scouts: The Stories that Built a Movement" with a foreword by Bear Grylls, chief scout (Studio Press)

Our second book of the week is something very special indeed, celebrating a movement that arose from humble beginnings, but with a core aim that is still as relevant today as it was back at the turn of the 20th Century.

"Scouts: The Stories that Built a Movement" with a foreword by the chief scout himself, Bear Grylls, isn't just a celebration of Scouting as it stands today, but digs deep into scouting history to show how Lord Baden Powell began the movement way, way back in 1907.

The very first scout camp was on Brownsea Island, a place that is still in use by the scouts and guides, brownies and cubs, rainbows and beavers today.

We have a specific reason for being completely thrilled by this book's existence. Both my wife and I were part of the scouting movement (me as a cub, her as a brownie, guide and later a guide leader) and we always wanted C to join the movement as soon as she was old enough.

She progressed through Rainbows to Brownies and is now still in the Guides, and without a doubt the opportunities that have arisen from membership, and the amazing gains in her confidence and abilities have been in no small part due to the nurturing and development that is the heart of the modern scouting movement.

I would truly have liked the book to have slightly more of a balance for both the scouting and guide movements but there are sections in here that show the opportunities have always been open equally to both girls and boys, for kids of all creeds and abilities - stretching around the world to international scouting movements that at home and abroad have seen some of the world's most famous celebrities sharing stories later in the book of their own experiences as scouts or guides.

The book goes a long way to addressing some of the criticisms that have been levelled at the movement over the years. Misconceptions that it drums people into being religious or militaristic, things that we've never seen or experienced in the many years C has been a member.

It's something that she'll be able to take forward with her into all aspects of her life, and this book pays homage to scouting's origins, and the plans for the future to keep the movement as relevant and as fun for kids as it has always been.

Sum this book up in a sentence: A brilliant celebration of the scouting movement, a fascinating slice of history and anecdotes from many celebrities to whom scouting represented a happy time in their lives.

"Scouts: The Stories that Built a Movement" with a foreword by Bear Grylls is out now, published by Studio Press (kindly supplied for review).