About GLSE

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Greater London South East County Scout Council is a Scout County within The Scout Association, the UK organisation of the World Organisation of the Scout Movement.

The purpose of Scouting is to contribute to the development of young people in achieving their full physical, intellectual, social and spiritual potentials, as individuals, as responsible citizens and as members of their local, national and international communities.

Greater London South East County Scout Council has a management structure, led by a Volunteer Manager [County Commissioner] and a Board of Trustees, where several sub-Committees and Operational Working Groups report to, and carry out the functions of the charity.

The County is responsible for two Districts [Bexley and Bromley] and almost 100 Scout Groups; where all the fun, challenge and adventure happens, every day of every week.


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A brief history of the Scout County of Greater London South East

The Scout County of Greater London South East was formed at the time of the reorganisation of London government in the mid-1960s.

Scouting generally followed that same pattern. Parts of the counties adjoining London - Kent in this case- were brought into what became an expanded London covered by the Greater London Council.

That was too large an area for one Scout County and thus seven new counties were formed. GLSE had Beckenham from the former London Scout County and the Districts from Kent which were within the new Bexley and Bromley Boroughs.

Although only two of those 32 London Boroughs and the City formed this county, because of the Scout membership levels it was not the smallest of the seven counties. By 2000, through population movements and changes in membership penetration levels, it has become the fourth largest of the seven with a membership of 6741 in January 2000.

Whilst in the early days of those changes there was still much reliance on Kent Scouting for support (the former London county having ceased to exist) GLSE soon stood on its own feet. However, even now, there are good working links with neighbouring counties inside and outside London and especially Kent.

Within the County, District organisation has changed in some places.

The original Beckenham was split into two Districts soon after the County was formed - Penge & Beckenham North and West Wickham & Beckenham South. Changes in membership and support needs resulted in the two Districts coming together again in 1997 to form the present Beckenham.

A review of the Chislehurst and Orpington Districts resulted in the Petts Wood and St Pauls Cray Groups moving from Orpington into Chislehurst District in 1986.

A further major change GLSE assuming control of Downe Scout Camp Site in 1987. In 2005 Downe activity centre became a National Scout Centre, run by Scout Headquarters.

On the 1st October 2011, GLSE Scouts re-organised the Districts from eight down to two Districts, aligned with the London Boroughs of Bexley and Bromley.

This page was last updated on 2 January 2013 by Ben Richardson