TEENAGE Scout membership in Cumbria has increased by almost 20 per cent in a year, a new census reveals.
The popularity of the movement – founded 107 years ago – continues to grow with membership rising by three per cent across the whole range of ages. It now stands at 4,211.
The Scout Association says teenage membership in the county increased by 19 per cent over the year, with a record number of girls joining troops.
The number of adult volunteers in the county has also grown, with 136 new people joining the movement in Cumbria over the past eight years, bringing the total number to 704.
Among the factors thought to have influenced the scouting revival are the Duchess of Cambridge’s involvement as a high profile volunteer and the appointment of TV adventurer Bear Grylls as Chief Scout.
Last year, the Duchess braved snowy March weather to take part in a Scout camp at Newby Bridge.
Now the Scout Association is launching a plan to recruit a further 58,000 young people, as well as 18,000 more adult volunteers, by 2018.
A spokesman said: “More than 200 activities, including adventure glider flights, skiing, rock climbing and water zorbing, are offered by Scouting around the UK, so it’s no surprise that more and more young people are joining the movement.”
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Chief Scout Bear Grylls said: “I am super proud to see so many young people and adults learning new life skills, achieving personal rewards through Scouting in Cumbria.
“I am excited to see Scout numbers continue to rise across the UK and the big reasons for this are that more and more young people are realising that Scouting can give them so much – whether it’s the opportunity to be involved with some incredible adventures, learn practical life, outdoor and teamwork skills, or helping to improve their local communities.
“People don't want to miss out and Scouting brings them all together and allows them to make a positive impact.”