Boys and girls barely out of their cub scout units could be referred under the guidance to sex clinics where they would be given condoms. Simon Carter, head of media at the Scouts, refused to give Christian Voice a lower age limit for the children who could be so advised. In a statement, Chief Scout Peter Duncan said: 'We must realistic and accept that around one-third of young people are sexually active before 16.'
Incredibly, the Scouting Association expects scout leaders to take time out from their traditional activities to research the contact details of local contraceptive services and sexual health (VD or STD) clinics. Scout leaders are advised to meet up with Government teen sex activists and to know where scouts and their girlfriends can find supplies of the abortifacient morning-after pill and pregnancy testing.
'If asked,' it says, 'you should try to provide details of local emergency contraception provision, which you can obtain from the local Teenage Pregnancy Coordinator.'
The factsheet 'Promoting good sexual health within Scouting' even suggests taking a unit of Explorer Scouts (aged 14-18) down to the local Venereal Disease clinic. There is 'no need' to seek written parental consent, it says, blithely, advising leaders simply to tell the Scouts' parents or carers that it is going to happen.
In a reference to the Fraser Guidelines, the guidance says 'an adult in Scouting may give advice without the parents' knowledge and consent' if 'the adult cannot persuade the young person to inform his or her parents.' Then in a Q&A section, which clearly betrays the fear of the Scouting HQ that Scout leaders will be less than happy with the guidance, the guidance says 'many young people will want to talk to someone who is not their teacher or parent. Sometimes an adult in Scouting will be the easiest person to approach.'
Church-based scout groups are told not to let their faith get in the way of sending children to anti-Christian agencies such at the fpa and Brook Advisory for information. 'Religion,' the Scouting Association Fact Sheet says, 'should not be a barrier to providing appropriate advice'. Scout leaders may also ride roughshod over the children's religious beliefs, including those of Christians and the Muslim girls featured heavily on the Scout website. While lip service is paid to 'respect' for 'everyone's religion and cultural beliefs', 'all young people are entitled to appropriate advice and information,' it says.
A web-page on the scouting web-site (www.scouts.org.uk/shis ) shows that part of that 'appropriate advice and information' is where to get an abortion, with weblinks to both Marie Stopes and British Pregnancy Advisory Service, the 'big two' abortion providers in Great Britain. Links are also given to the Terrene Higgins Trust, which promotes homosexuality, and to websites claiming that condoms protect against all sexually-transmitted diseases funded either by the Government or contraceptive providers.
Stephen Green, National Director of Christian Voice, said today:
'We have sadly grown used to schools corrupting children behind their parents' backs, but now scout leaders are coming under pressure to do it as well. While Peter Duncan throws up his hands despairingly about the one-third of children he claims are sexually active, he is doing nothing to support the two-thirds who aren't.
'The Scouts have traditionally emphasised good works and the health benefits of an outdoor life. By encouraging premature sex, they are putting all of that at risk.
'Scout leaders should be teaching boys the virtues of chastity and chivalry, emphasising self-control and self-respect, showing them the value of caring for themselves and for others and of having respect for young women. Girls in the Scouts need to hear about the virtue of modesty and the value of their virginity.
'Instead, Scout leaders are going to send boys along to sex clinics and shove their pregnant girlfriends into the grasping clutches of abortionists. By promoting the condom culture, they will make it inevitable that the current rates of teenage pregnancy, abortion, sexual-transmitted disease and consequent infertility amongst the young will increase. On top of that, they are preparing boys for sexual advances from predatory homosexuals including some who may be drawn to positions in the scout movement itself. Their advice falls little short of grooming children for sex. "Be prepared" never included that.
'Ironically, the Scout Movement may well do what its Child Protection Policy specifically rules against, by exposing the young people in its care to all the physical, sexual and emotional harm associated with illicit sexual activity. Such harm can range from feelings of inadequacy that he or she is not sexually active to pregnancy, the emotional scars of abortion, and the contracting of sexually-transmitted diseases, chronic conditions such as genital warts and those which result in infertility which condoms are powerless to prevent.
'Young people deserve better than this bleak assumption that they are no better than farmyard animals. The Scouting hierarchy appear to have stumbled on the challenge of the teenage sex problem, and like rabbits caught in the headlights, the only people they thought of approaching were those in the teen sex industry who have a vested interest in keeping young people sexually active. They should have spoken to pro-life and pro-family groups as well. But their inexperience in this field does not excuse them. A word from the Lord about millstones around necks comes to mind. They should revise their advice drastically. In the meantime, Christians involved in scouting, churches associated with scout groups and parents should make very clear their complete opposition to these disgraceful developments.'
Last year the Girl Guides started a similar programme called 'Get Wise' to teach about 'sexual health'. The programme appears to have sunk into embarrassed obscurity, but the organisation's website has a page called 'fit for life' which promotes new age treatments such as aromatherapy, colour therapy (whatever that might be) and yoga. Unlike the Scouts, there are no links to abortionists, although there is one weblink to the fpa and another to a Government url astonishingly called 'www.playingsafely.co.uk', as if sex is just an adolescent recreational activity. The link is redirected straight to a suggestive NHS website called condomessentialwear.co.uk.
The Scouting Association advice comes as figures show the number of sex offenders is on the increase.