Scouts sporting scarves

Last updated 05:00 01/08/2014
Gwyn Fraser and Mike Hayden will be wearing their scout scarves to work as part of National Scout Scarf Day.
GRANT MATTHEW/ Fairfax NZ

SCOUTS: Gwyn Fraser and Mike Hayden will be wearing their scout scarves to work as part of National Scout Scarf Day.

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If you scout a lot of scarves on the street today, don't just put it down to the wintry weather.

August 1 marks the inaugural scout Scarf Day, an annual tradition where current and former scouts wrap themselves in scarves to show their commitment to the "spirit of scouting".

There are more than 20,000 active scouts spread around 4000 groups in New Zealand, and global numbers are estimated at about 33 million. Membership is open to anyone aged 6 to 26.

Scarf day has been celebrated since 2007 and is promoted by scouting organisations throughout the world. Scouts New Zealand is hoping people will get into the spirit of the day and wear their scarves to school, work, the supermarket, or wherever it is the day takes them.

National scout commissioner Kelly Bleakley said it's all part of upholding the common values of scouts.

"The scarf represents unity between 33 million scouts around the world, and is a visible reminder of the skills and values we hold," she said.

Alongside Scarf Day, Scout New Zealand is running a nationwide "Bring A Friend" initiative, where scouts will earn badges if they bring a friend along to their scout group.

Scouts development manager Mark Long said it would help scouting to continue to grow in New Zealand.

"We really are New Zealand's best kept secret," he said.

"We have grown steadily since 2008 and are continuing to grow with the support of our 5100 dedicated adult volunteers and the world-class weekly programmes we provide."

Scout New Zealand's youth body is also holding a competition for scarf wearers, including the most novel place to wear a scarf, and the most notable celebrity to wear a scarf.

Their suggestions: wear a scarf while bungee jumping from the Sky Tower, or wear one on a trip to the Beehive.


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