Sex lessons for Scouts? Is there a badge for that? Well there could be, as from today, Scouts will be able to ask their pack leaders for sexual advice, much to the fury of some family experts.
Under the new policy, more than 35,000 boys and girls in the Explorer Scouts group - who are typically aged from 14 to 18 - will be able to approach their leaders with their sex related queries. The youngsters will also have access to info about abortion, condoms and sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea.
But many family campaigners are criticising the plans, with some branding them 'completely inappropriate' for an organisation like the Scouting movement.
Speaking to the Daily Express, Patricia Morgan, who is a campaigner for parental rights, fumed: 'Local Scout groups are not the right environment for even more sexualisation of our children. Parents send their children to these kind of activities to enjoy themselves and have fun in very healthy and innocent ways, not to come home with a pocketful of condoms.We have done nothing since the introduction of the Teenage Pregnancy Strategy in 1998 but force-feed young children and teenagers information they do not need about sex, and the result has been ever higher teenage pregnancies and soaring rates of sexually transmitted diseases.'
Anastasia de Waal, of the think-tank Civitas agreed, telling the paper: 'Even among parents who welcome sex education, the feeling may be that it is more appropriate at school than in after-school settings.'
But Bear Grylls, Chief Scout, justified the moves, saying: 'This programme is about getting the right information to young people to help them make smart decisions about their relationships. We want to help young people become confident, clued up and aware.'
What do you think?
Do you want your youngsters quizzing their scout leaders about sexual health and relationships? Or it is right that teens should be able to turn to trusted people for advice?
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