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Scouting Today

Fiona Crack | 09:32 UK time, Friday, 3 August 2007

What's a woggle? scouts woggleThat's the little ring of leather to hold together the neckerchief, that you wear if you're a guide or a scout, for those of you not in the know.

Question: Where in the world are young people between about 14 and 19 gathered together, representatives of 50 counties and 6 continents, people who are electing to take workshops and discussion groups about world affairs, international news and media participation?

Answer: It's Chelmsford, Essex, 30 miles from Bush House and the World Service, its the 2007 Scout jamboree. They are celebrating 100 years of the organisation, and I thought we should go and hear what they have to say about the day's news. In fact, I thought more than that, I wondered if they wanted to help produce, edit and present World Have Your Say on Friday 3rd August.

They said yes.

If you're after more information about the Scouting movement then have a look at this which Irna kindly created for us.

scoutsIn the early 80's I was a Brownie. I wore a brown dress and a bobble hat. Every Thursday after Brownies, when I went home, my dad said "Dib dib, dob dob", some reference I believe to the promise that I certainly made, but without those words.

In 1990 I upgraded to the Guides, and I was asked to go on an "International girl guide camp" I was so excited, where was I going to go? Tokyo, South Korea, Australia, Italy, Finland, Turkey, Argentina? No, I was going to Ripley, a small village in North Yorkshire, England. About 3 miles from where I went to school and 10 miles from where I lived. I was absolutely gutted. Mind you, it was great. And getting used to those chemical toilets for the music festivals years later was also invaluable.

My next trip, 17 years later....... I'm off to Chelmsford, Essex, UK about 20 miles from where I live, 30 miles from where I work. Where is the justice in that?

Anyway, back in the days when I was a brownie (a sixer of the gnomes) and a guide (until but they shattered the illusions about the international camp issue) and I'm also taking with me - Mark (never a Cub or a Scout) Anna (a Brownie until an unfortunate incident with another girl and some water bombs) Matt (he was a Beaver, he wants to know if there's a badge he can sew on his engineers uniform for this?), James (a Scout for two weeks who left having got bored of tying knots) and Ros, our presenter. He isn't in today so I can't ask him about experience. But I'm thinking, back in Cornwall, when he wasn't out in his dad's fishing boat, he was in the cubs, and then scouts. That's our memories of scouting share yours here.

I tried to crack jokes with my new pals - Andrew, Richard, and others - who are helping us organise this. When I chat to them I'm overtaken by the need to say things about campfires, guitars, flags, sewing badges, baking things, playing unnecessarily loud and physical games. It seems things have changed. I loved my time in the organisations. But now it's different, the guides have boys, the scouts have girls. Recently in the news, the Girl Guides asked for talks on safe sex and advice on putting together flat-pack furniture.

This is about young people finding their place in the world, discovering the people they are, forging links and friendships with other youngsters throughout the world. We're going to ask them, as we do local residents of countries we broadcast from, what they want to talk about on Friday. What issues in the news they think are big talking points,

More controversially we're asking them to help produce the programme, make the editorial decisions, tell our producers back in London who they want to hear from, what guests, what callers. They're in charge,

Do you want to suggest a topic for them?
Do you have a question for them?
Post on our blog using the form below or email us now.


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