Thousands of children are waiting to join Scouts, Beavers, Cubs or Explorers due to a shortage of adult leaders according to the organisation in charge of the clubs.The waiting list is the longest is has ever been.
The Scout Association, which is open to boys and girls between six and 18, said a lack of adult volunteers was the reason the waiting list was so long.
There are 51,000 children waiting to join one of the organisations but there is not enough leaders to manage them all. This comes despite Scouting having the largest number of volunteers it has ever had. Scouting is the largest co-educational youth movement in the UK with 457,000 young people involved across the UK.
The Duchess of Cambridge started volunteering for the Scouts in 2012. It is thought that her involvement has helped increase the popularity of Scouts and made more adults want to volunteer.
Scouting has tried to become more flexible for volunteers, allowing adults to help out more casually but it is still in desperate need of adults who are willing to spare some time. The organisation needs around 15,000 new volunteers to cope with the huge waiting list of children.
Tim Kidd, chief commissioner said: “I’m calling on adults who want to make a difference to the lives of young people in their communities to give Scouting a go. We know that not having enough time is the main barrier to volunteering among adults, which is why we want to make it easier by offering flexibility in a range of roles from Scout group leaders to administrative and trustee positions.”
The most popular section of Scouting is currently the Cubs. There are 158,000 members of the Subs and nearly 2,000 joined in the last 12 months.