Did you attend Scouts or the Girl Guides when you were younger? If so you could be experiencing better mental health than your counterparts that didn’t attend such clubs. A recent study has suggested this. The study consisting of 10,000 people found ex-members were 15% less likely than other adults to suffer anxiety or mood disorders at the age of 50. This is believed to be due to lessons in resilience and resolve that such organisations offer, which has a lasting impact.
Researchers stated their findings indicated that programmes that help children develop skills such as self-reliance and teamwork, and encourage being active outdoors, may have lifelong benefits. Attending the guides or scouts may help build resilience against common stresses in life, or it may increase a person’s chances of achieving more in life, so that they are less likely to experience such stresses, the team suggested.
This is therefore surely likely to help in the careers of those who joined Scouts or the Girl Guides, making them more comfortable to go for interviews and confident in the work place, perhaps making them stand out against those who don’t have such qualities!
A History of Scouting and Guiding:
- In 1908 Robert Baden-Powell (left) founded the Boy Scout organisation after the first Brownsea Island (Poole Harbour) Scout Camp.
- Baden-Powell’s ideas originated from his time serving in the army in South Africa, where he took an interest in reconnaissance work and woodcraft skills, and observed the work of a boys’ cadet group during the Siege of Mafeking.
- His book, ‘Scouting For Boys’, published in 1908, sees Baden-Powell setting out his vision of outdoor activities, developing character, citizenship and personal fitness qualities amongst youth.
- Initially aimed at boys, it soon became clear that girls were also interested with a small group of “girl scouts” gate-crashing the 1909 Crystal Palace rally. Baden-Powell later formed the Girl Guides and asked his sister Agnes to look after the organisation. Young women were soon earning badges in sailing, aviation and home electrics – and contributed during World War One, growing food, acting as messengers or working in factories and hospitals.
The Scout Association estimates more than 570,000 people are involved in Scouting in the UK while more than 540,000 are involved in Girl Guiding.
If you were a Scout or a Girl Guide, how do you think that experience has affected your life?