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14th Medway Scout Group

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Faith and Promise

Q. Do I have to be a Catholic to join the 14th?

A. No. The Group is open to people of any faith or none. We do ask our young people to attend church parade if they can but, if they can't for religious reasons, it's not a problem.

Q. Is it true I have to make a promise?

A. To become a member of the Scout Association, you have to make the Promise that goes with your section - Beavers and Cubs each have their own Promise, designed for them to understand. Scouts, Explorer Scouts and adults all take the same Promise. You also have to promise to abide by the Scout Law.

Q. Do I have to promise to 'Do my duty to God'?

A. Not necessarily. There are several different Scout Promises. The original does include duty to God and, as a Group sponsored by a church, we ask everyone to consider carefully whether they can take that version. If not, there are versions for other faiths such as Islam and one for those of no faith. You can take whichever Promise you prefer. 

Q. Does that mean that faith and beliefs no longer have any place in Scouting?

A. No. Scouting is about becoming self-sufficient by developing knowledge, confidence and skills while having fun. So, understanding the role of faith and beliefs in the world and in our own lives is still a key part of the Scout programme. Everyone needs to make up their own mind about faith and spirituality. We don't preach. We ask young people to think for themselves and make up their own minds.

Q. So you don't try to convert your members?

A. No. That isn't the Scouting way. We value diversity, tolerance and equality. Robert Baden-Powell, who founded Scouting in 1907, was very forward thinking for his time. He wanted to create a worldwide movement in which everyone was equal. That applies to faith as much as anything else. There are millions of Muslim Scouts as well as Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, Baha'i, followers of Shinto and most other world faiths; plus many people of no faith. All are brothers and sisters in one family, united by Scouting's values - and our Promise and Law.

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