Baden-Powell chose Saint George to be the patron Saint of Scouting. He felt that the Saint George legend set a good example of faith, courage and perseverance for future generations.
St George's Day is celebrated on the 23rd April, and around this time Scouts will hold some form of celebration. All Scout St George's Day events should;
Traditionally, St George's Day celebrations have often been parades and faith services. For some, these remain popular shared moments, while for many Districts, this tradition no longer fully engages the young people or reflects the make-up of their Groups.
Scouting is successful because it is a movement. As a movement, Scouting is constantly growing and developing to ensure we continue to engage and meet the needs of young people today. There are many traditions within Scouting, and occasionally these traditions need to be carefully considered to ensure they continue to add value.
As you plan you St George's Day event, it is important to reflect on your local traditions and ensure this event is a true celebration of local Scouting.
Choosing the venue
St George's Day is an opportunity to bring Scouting together and celebrate Scouting's national day with a collective Promise renewal. Celebrations of St George should take into consideration the faiths and beliefs, including a lack of affirmed faith of the members. An event which does not reflect this diversity would not be appropriate- St George's Day events should be open to all.
Venues should be carefully considered. The use of non-religious buildings or open air venues can be a good starting point to ensure the event is welcoming to all.
The day can be celebrated in many different ways, both formal and informal. Here are some practical tips to ensure your event is inclusive, and open to all.
The Promise renewal
We have a range of wordings of the Promise to ensure that every member can make their Promise using words which reflect their personal beliefs. It is important that all these variations are treated with the same respect.
Promise posters are available to download, or order via the Print Centre.
When reaffirming the Promise at the St George's Day event, everyone should be invited to renew their Promise using the wording which means most to them. All the wordings should be said at the same time so that everyone can join in, rather than repeating the Promise line by line.
Promise renewals can happen in many different locations, everywhere from the meeting place to local campsites, on the water and in the air.
Shaped by young people
The content of any St George's Day celebration should be shaped by young people. Find out more about enabling youth shaped Scouting with the You Shape resource packs;
Engaging the community
Inclusive St George's Day events that have been shaped by young people are great opportunities to engage your local community, and promote the benefits of Scouting. Events that showcase the fun, challenge and adventure of everyday Scouting can have a positive impact on attracting new youth members and adult volunteers. Being visible, proud and enacting the values in the community on St George's Day is a great advert for Scouting.
The story of St George focuses on an individual taking positive action for the good of the whole community, so it can be an obvious moment to celebrate community impact activities within the District. Ideas for community impact projects are available within the A Million Hands resource packs.
Managing any change in Scouting can, at times, be challenging. Further support is available via the Enabling Change leadership and management video.