Village preparing for a tog-of-war

PUBLISHED: 06:55 15 June 2006 | UPDATED: 09:27 24 May 2010

A RECRUITMENT battle for Wedmore's youngsters could be launched after the village scout group announced it will be enrolling girls for the first time. The group will have to accept female members under national scout guidelines by the end of this year, pu

A RECRUITMENT battle for Wedmore's youngsters could be launched after the village scout group announced it will be enrolling girls for the first time.The group will have to accept female members under national scout guidelines by the end of this year, putting them into direct competition with the village's guide group.Bill Bellshaw, leader of Wedmore Scout Group, said they had avoided recruiting girls because of the guide group in the village, but would have to follow the new guidelines.Female members would wear the same uniform as the boys and take part in all the activities, including going on camp.He said: "We do a lot more adventurous activities than the guides, such as rock climbing and raft building, and that might appeal to some girls."The guides are a lot stricter on their rules on what they can and can't do so I think some might prefer the scouts. There's no shortage of children wanting to join and it's a case of finding the adults to supervise."Rosemary Cowin, who runs 1st Wedmore Guides, says she fears losing some of her members to the scouts, although she had no plans to start enrolling boys.A total of 24 girls aged between 10 and 13 meet in the village every Wednesday night.Mrs Cowin said: "I think some of the girls might be curious to what goes on in the scouts. I would like to think they would stay with us or maybe even do both."There could be a battle to get girls to join the two groups, but we're not too worried. From what I've seen of scouts and boys, I think they could be a bit too much of a handful for me.

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