By Scott Ideson
It’s currently past one in the morning, and I’m sat in a
bustling marquee in a field within walking distance of the M25 listening to the
dulcet tones of L.M.F.A.O playing in the distance. I’ve been awake about 18
hours, and have at least seven hours until activities end. I’m at Gilwell24, of
There are over 4000 Explorers on site at Gilwell Park today
taking part in the yearly action-packed fun-filled 24 hour extravaganza that is
Gilwell24. Today activities included DJing sessions on a red double decker bus
courtesy of Volvo, kiteboarding, firefighting, laser quest, scuba diving, amongst
many, many others. Of course, tonight the activities continue – the disco being
This weekend, FLAGS are attending Gilwell24 again - this time
running our own activities within the Global Zone. Old favourites returned. Diversity
Jenga and rainbow paracord woggles were as popular as ever. Although the
woggles ended up being fluorescent pink – but shhhh, we won’t mention that!
New to our repertoire of activities was the Diversitree. Diversity.
Tree. Get it? Please say you get it...? The Diversitree allowed us to consult
youth members and find out their views and opinions on diversity and inclusion
in Scouting. Explorers got the chance to write their ideas on post-it notes
which were then stuck to our Diversitree. Questions asked included:
What makes you unique in Scouting?
your unit do to improve your Scouting experience?
Who is your Scouting hero?
Do you think Scouting is
inclusive? And why?
We also set out some statements for the young people to ‘like’
or ‘dislike’ (agree/disagree), surrounding how welcome they feel in Scouting
for example. Some, of course, were less serious than others! Beyoncé or Bieber?
As a member of FLAGS, it was terrific to see young people in
our movement’s passion for equality and inclusion and how much they embrace
diversity in Scouting and in their lives more widely. Scouting is more diverse
in its membership than ever before and it’s humbling to see we’re as equally as
accepting. The mostly positive comments from the weekend demonstrate that we
have a movement to be proud of, but there is still some way to go to ensure
that our youth members feel equally as welcome in their groups, districts and
counties as the friends they’ve made from across the country at Gilwell24 this
P.S. FLAGS is
also now on Instagram! Be sure to follow us on @flagscouts where you can find
some fantastic photos from our activities from throughout the weekend at
Gilwell24!Author: Mike Preston