The first new scout group in St Albans for 40 years will be holding its first session later this month.
The 20th St Albans Ansar Scout Group was set up as part of an initiative by city mayor Mohammad Iqbal Zia to increase activities for young people in the community.
The group is open to girls and boys who live in and around St Albans and is affiliated to the Muslim Scout Fellowship, part of the Scout Association.
Children were given the opportunity to experience Scouting activities, including tent pitching and tying knots, at the launch event, held at St Albans Islamic Centre.
Parents were also briefed on plans for Scouting sessions which are due to start on February 22. These include Beavers Scouts for children aged six to eight to be held on Saturdays from 1.30pm to 3pm and Cub Scouts for children aged eight to 10 to be held on Thursdays at the St Albans Islamic Centre from 6.30pm to 8pm.
There are also plans to run Scouts for older children later in the year.
Cllr Zia said he was delighted.
He commented: “I am looking at ways to bring everyone in the community together. This Scout group will give young people the opportunity to get involved in the adventure of Scouting. They will have great fun going on camps and taking part in outdoor activities, while also learning how to be responsible members of society.”
Attending the launch event were Waqar Shaikh from the Muslim Scout Fellowship; the President of the Islamic Centre, Mr Akhtar Zaman, and executive members of the Ansar Scout Group.
Also present was the District Commissioner of St Albans Scouts, Annette Payne.
She said: “I want to thank the Muslim community for working with us to set up with this new Scout group for everyone to join. I am sure it will be a great success and lots more young people will now have the opportunity to get involved in the Scouting adventure.”
Naveed Khawaja, Secretary of the 20th St Albans Ansar Scout Group, said he was excited about the launch.
He said: “Our young leaders Omar and Mutee have made excellent progress under the leadership of our Chair Omar Kareem. We are grateful to the Islamic Centre for providing the venue for most of our meetings.”
To find out more about joining the 20th St Albans Ansar Scout Group, see the website: http://www.stalbansscouts.org .