Every year at the end of January, the Scout Association asks every group in the country to provide it with details of their current membership; our annual census.
For the past 7 years we have recorded growth, and in recent years our growth has accelerated, with over 130 members joining us in the last three years. However, the real story is that in the past 7 years we have doubled in size from 180 members to the current 358.
Some of the statistics from our latest census are as follows:
286 Youth members
72 Adult volunteers
A 13% increase in membership since 2017
34% of our members are female
10% increase in adult volunteers
13% increase in young people
5% increase in Beavers
Cubs maintained numbers
26% increase in scouts which is the largest section with 109
29% increase in Explorer Scout Young Leaders now 31
Our membership of 358 doesn’t include Explorers, only those who are young leaders involved in our sections. Explorer numbers are recorded as part of the District census; however we are pleased to announce that they too have increased membership by 27% from 32 to 44!
One of the measures which demonstrates our popularity is the waiting list which continues to grow, we have over 232 names on our list with 140 children eligible to join right now! This is a problem as it means hundreds of children miss out on Scouting, waiting up to 2 years to join! We are doing all we can to reduce this including a new building, but we do need your support and will be asking for your help and support in the next 12 months to ensure future generations don’t miss out.
You can point to lots of reasons for our success, the number of new houses with children in the Penistone area, the national popularity and profile of scouting, the effect of Bear Grylls, the Duchess of Cambridge and a number of high profile celebrities being linked with Scouting; however it is my belief that the team of adults who volunteer their time at Penistone are the biggest factor by far in our continued growth.
TEAM PENISTONE is made up of 72 adults who form the executive, administrators and leaders that provide the environment, management, stability and infrastructure for the group enabling the provision of a fantastic weekly program of challenging and innovative activities that excite and inspire our young people, and keeps them coming week in week out. I am awestruck by what we have achieved in the past few years and what is really exciting is this shows no sign of abating, if anything the future looks even more fruitful.