As the Scout Movement celebrates its 110th year, the Province of Bristol has formed a new lodge dedicated to promoting Freemasonry though the Scouts and other youth organisations
With its members having personal links with both Freemasonry and Scouting, Scoutcraft Lodge, No. 9936, was duly consecrated according to Bristol custom.
There are currently 38 Scout lodges in the UK. They, along with other lodges connected with youth organisations, collectively form the Kindred Lodges Association.
Scouting and masonic parallels
Mirfield Masonic Hall in West Yorkshire was packed to capacity when Woodsmoke Lodge, No. 9317, which is a member of the Kindred Lodges Association, hosted an additional presentation of the 2012 Prestonian Lecture by Tony Harvey.
The lecture, ‘Scouting and Freemasonry: two parallel organisations?’, was adapted to allow non-masons to be present and among the audience of more than 100 were 40 non-masonic members of the Scout movement.
Among those who attended the event were David Pratt, Provincial Grand Master for the Province of Yorkshire, West Riding and Mayor of Kirklees, and a Grand Officer, Cllr Martyn Bolt.
Links between Scouting and Freemasonry took another step forward when both the Kindred Lodges Association (KLA) and The Freemasons’ Grand Charity ran a stand at The Scout Association’s Reunion. The annual event at Gilwell Park near Epping Forest brings together more than 2,000 Scouting adults from around the world.
Working in partnership, the KLA and the Grand Charity explained how Freemasonry supports local Scouting and its ambition to change young people’s lives. The stand had a positive reception, with many visitors asking how they could connect with local Freemasonry as well as thanking the Grand Charity for its £500,000 grant to help encourage the growth of Scouting. The KLA intends to return to next year’s Reunion.
As well as being an experienced Freemason, Tony has been a national volunteer with The Scout Association for the past 25 years, working in a range of areas including the recruitment and training of adult volunteers. He is also the Provincial Grand Mentor for Derbyshire and Director of Communications for the Derbyshire Festival 2014.
For the past five years, Tony has been the point of liaison between the Kindred Lodges Association and The Scout Association, aiming to promote a better understanding of Freemasonry within Scouting and of Scouting within Freemasonry. As two organisations with similar values and shared challenges, both The Scout Association and the United Grand Lodge recognise the potential that communication between the organisations has for the future and both endorse and support the work that Tony is doing.
In his Prestonian Lecture, Tony will outline the many similarities between Scouting and Freemasonry – as well as some key differences. His research examines the relationship the founder of Scouting Robert Baden-Powell had with Freemasonry and he will also identify some of the many Freemasons who have made a positive impact on the growth of the world’s largest youth organisation.
Tony will additionally describe some of the work that Freemasons are doing to support Scouting today and explain how Freemasonry can learn from an organisation that is growing in membership.
At times entertaining, at times challenging, Tony’s Prestonian Lecture will be of interest to all Freemasons, whether they have a Scouting background or not.