The source of Shields scouting

Jack White's scouting pictures.

Jack White's scouting pictures.

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The recent pages featuring cubs and scouts from South Tyneside has certainly sparked a lot of interest among readers, both near and far.

One of the area’s younger scouting volunteers, Jack White, today talks about the local scout movement and his time with the organisation.

Jack starts by explaining that South Tyneside Scout District serves the borough area of South Tyneside, following a merger in 1997, of what was then South Shields and Jarrow Scout Districts respectively.

“The district now makes up the largest district in terms of numbers of members out of the 14 districts that comprise of Durham Scout County,” he reveals.

“There are currently nine scout groups within South Tyneside.

“Some of these, such as the 3rd South Shields Sea Scout Group, date back to the very beginning of when scouting started in 1907.

“Others started later on, such as the 7th South Shields Scout Group which is believed to be about 50 years old.

“However, the records on when scout groups started is a foggy area, given various mergers over the years and frequent changes of venues.

“Nevertheless, scouting remains very strong in South Tyneside, with more than 750 young people being involved in scouting in the district every week.

“In addition, we have two of the largest scout groups in the country located within South Tyneside – the 3rd South Shields Sea Scout Group and also the East Boldon Scout Group.”

Jack goes on to say that the unsung heroes of this success is, of course, the 150-plus adult volunteers who give up hours of their time for scouting.

“However, nationally, we have a waiting list of more than 40,000 young people who as of yet cannot join scouting because of a lack of adult volunteers.

“As a result, we require both male and female adult volunteers aged from 18 upwards.

“Anyone who is interested in helping out can find out more about volunteering on our website: http://www.southtynesidescouts.org.uk/