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Our unique selling point

Friday 17th February 2017

I was asked recently if I knew that the first three men to walk on the moon were Scouts. I replied saying I had heard that but I was also confident that the fourth one had not been in the Brigade. Just a quick question but perhaps it epitomises our relationship with our friends in the Scouts.

Many Scout leaders are often surprised to know that the BB was formed before their own organisation and not many seem to know that some of the boys at the first Scout Camp on Brownsea Island were actually members of the BB.

It is always good at local level that there is friendly rivalry with other organisations but it is also an opportunity for us to learn from each other. Hopefully we can all agree on the positive benefits of youth work regardless of which uniform we wear. I sometimes hear BB leaders grumbling that the Scouts get more PR than we do but we need to accept that they are currently 10 times our size! We have been working hard to improve our PR and raise our profile but one of the best ways to tackle this would be for us to focus on growth.

Obviously the main distinction between the Brigade and the Scouts is that we are rooted in the Christian faith. That is still our unique selling point and is crucial to our way of working. However, we should not be complacent – despite many initiatives we still have Companies which lack members whereas the local Cubs and Scouts have waiting lists. What can we do to ensure that we attract more young people and give them the opportunity to hear the Good News in the BB?

In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul tells us that growth comes from God. But I am sure God expects us to play our part too!  We need to ensure that all our Companies have exciting and sustainable programmes, unfortunately that is not always the case. Often we find that the BB is the only contact our young people have with the church, and we all therefore play a very important role in engaging a generation - bringing children and young people into the life of the church.

Every blessing for all your plans in 2017!

Bill Stevenson

Brigade Secretary & CEO

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