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Forget campfires… today’s scouts focus on climate crisis and homelessness

Inspired by a wave of youth activism, scouts from across Britain are setting aside campfires and hobby badges to tackle some of the UK’s biggest social issues, from homelessness and the climate crisis to migrants and mental health.

The 112-year-old movement has enlisted the support of British astronaut Tim Peake to lead its campaign, in part spurred on by the 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg.

“She inspires me with her passion,” says 19-year-old scout Sam Murphy from Salisbury. “To see a young person taking a stand on that sort of level, it’s amazing – you look at her and go, if she can do it why can’t I?”

The scouts themselves chose the issues they wanted to take on in a vote among their 640,000 members. The campaign kicks off next week with a focus on Britain’s homeless in partnership with the charity Crisis.

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