In a bid to welcome atheists and humanists into the movement, The Scout Association (TSA) is launching an alternative version of the Scout Promise.
For the first time in its 106-year history and following an extensive 10-month consultation policy, this new promise option will accommodate those who previously felt they could not commit to the core Scout Promise.
Alternative versions of the Scout Promise have been available for nearly 50 years and have been used by Muslim, Hindus, Buddhists and those that live in the UK but are not UK citizens, but the Scout Association are keen to stress that the core Scout Promise, that refers to ‘Duty of God’, remains intact.
The move has been welcomed by faith leaders and the British Humanist Association, demonstrating inclusiveness of the Scout Movement to all sections of society.
With faith and religion still a core element of its programme, the alternative version will be available to be used by Scout Groups from the 1st January 2014.
This decision follows a consultation process of members and non-members who voiced their support for the introduction of an additional alternative to the Scout Promise that humanists and those without faith could take.
For nearly 50 years alternative versions of the words “Duty to God” have existed for faith groups such as Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists but this is the first time that the Movement has introduced a Promise for members and potential members who are without faith.
The core Scout Promise remains in place and Scouting remains fully committed as a Movement that explores faith and religion as a core element of its programme.
The introduction of the additional alternative to the Scout Promise enables the Movement to engage with more young people and adults than ever before as well as increase inclusivity at a time when membership for the Movement is at the largest it has been since 1999.
In the following video Wayne Bulpitt, UK Chief Commissioner of The Scout Association explains about the new additional alternative version to the Scout Promise