It is often said that children in Britain are a generation of couch potatoes, locked away in their bedrooms for too much of the time on computers and getting fat from lack of exercise. Maybe some are, but it's equally clear from the report which we carry today on the growth in Scout numbers that a good many children are as active and outdoorsy as their parents ever were. At almost half a million, the number of Scouts is at its highest in four decades.
The joys of putting up a tent, learning about knots and helping old people to cross the road, in other words, are still holding their own against Facebook and other technology-based attractions. Scouting has changed a fair bit since Robert Baden-Powell's time. There weren't opportunities for waterskiing or adventure gliding then.
The secret of Scouting's success would seem to be that while it has updated some things, its core values remain consistent. Politicians out electioneering might learn something from that.