Twenty-First Century Scouting

boy scout

Britain has a new fourth emergency service, and it's one that might surprise you: the Scouts.

Hello there, my name is Sir Edmund Woggle, former CEO of several leading international investment firms and lifelong Boy Scout. I first joined the Scouts in 1955, rising quickly through the ranks to become Second Ferret, then Brown Otter and finally Chief Wombat. Through the years I've seen the Scout movement go through many changes, from the imposition of regulation cap sizes, the introduction of self-igniting campfires and the terrifying Basingstoke uprisings of the late eighties.

I pride myself that during my time I have contributed much to the Scouting movement myself. I don't want to blow my own trumpet but I have made several significant discoveries in tents, I was solely responsible for a number of innovations in knot design and have personally instigated many new badges - including one for blowing your own trumpet.

Last year, following many years of selfless devotion, a lifetime of distinction and an incident with an alpaca during the summer jamboree, I thought my career as part of this distinguished organisation was at an end. Time to cast aside my neckerchief, hang up my compass and release my knee-length shorts into the wild. But no, it seems I was wrong. My services were still required and it is for that reason that I am speaking to you now.

Hello again. I have been given the very great honour of bringing the Scouting movement into the twenty-first century. A somewhat belated commission given that we're already one and a half decades in, but on the principle that it's better late than ever I have been tasked with shaping the movement to meet the challenges of the future. And let me tell you, gone is the traditional image of the khaki-clad callow youth who knocks on your door during bob-a-job week and offers to wash your car for a quid. Today's Boy Scout is a smart, disciplined professional, with many specialist skills at his disposal, who will fully valet your vehicle to the highest standards, carry out a thorough service and, if necessary, entirely overhaul its major systems. For a quid. Well, at least he will until we have had chance to review our pricing structure.

Of course, there's more to our organisation than just cleaning the bird poo off your brand new Ford Smug or Nissan Trendy. We can provide help in genuine emergencies. Trapped under a fallen tree trunk? Call for a Scout! Lost a limb in a freak gardening accident? Call for a Scout! Stranded in the middle of the ocean on a burning raft surrounded by sharks? Call for a Sea Scout, they love that kind of thing.

You might not think it, but we have Scouts for every occasion. Flame retardant Scouts for use in house fires. Lead-plated Scouts for nuclear emergencies. Stealth Scouts for covert activities. And at the latest international Scout symposium in Amsterdam, a panel of twenty of the world's top Business Scouts proposed we invest in a troop of Space Scouts that can be launched from a campsite in Woomera to avert the imminent impact of near-Earth objects.

So, is the Scout movement dead? I should say not. Whatever your problem, whoever you are, when you're in trouble call for a Scout! Unless you're being set upon by a gang of muggers. We won't touch anything that might involve a punch-up. We leave that kind of thing to the Brownies.

 

Anatomy of a modern scout

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