Trigger Warning

We’re very sorry but the stories being shared on our site are not suitable for Under 18s to access.

This site contains stories and experiences that people have submitted about abuse in a uniformed youth organisation. Some of these stories may be distressing or triggering. Please click the button below to confirm that you are over 18 and want to access this website.

If you are under 18 then please visit our support page.


Skip to main content
  • Adult Leader


    When I was 8-9, between 1977-1979 while a cub scout at the ***************, my friend and I used to go swimming with a small group of other cubs, and our cub scout Akela. We loved sport and wanted to get our level 3 swimming badges. He was a fun and kind leader who would make us laugh and not so strict. He was a large man, like a giant teddy bear, and in the swimming pool he would let us sit on his shoulders and climb all over him. I think he was playing the role we would have wanted our fathers to have played. As a child of a single mother, this was something I was very drawn too. He later would let us sit on his knee while he leaned against the wall in the shallow end. Then later we would play games swimming under him, and brushing against his bottom and his testicles in his tight swim suit. My friend and I sensed he liked this, so we went further and would sit under his testicles and up close blow bubbles on them to excite him. We would ask him if he liked this, and he said he did, and at no time did he ask us to stop. This went on several times. A little while later my friend and I arrived at the village hall that hosted the cub meetings to find he was no longer there, or part of the pack, or organisation. I think the new Akela told us he had been kicked out or had left. We were devastated and angry because the new Akela was way too strict. After the meeting, and seeing our parents were late to pick us up, my friend and I ran to his house, which was up the street – I can’t remember how we knew where he lived, but I know I had been there to look at some of his native american artefacts collection. He opened the door, and he seemed angry, but told us straight up that he was not allowed to talk to us, or see us again. He closed the door, and that was the last we heard of him, and the last he was talked about in the pack or anywhere. I realise now that the behaviour towards us would qualify as grooming. I know too that it was neither me or my friend who had complained about him – which suggests another child had, and he had been fired as Akela as a result, and likely put under some kind of restraining order. I have lived with immense confusion, and guilt about the whole situation for most of my life. I am 53 now, and know that while there were other traumatic experiences in my life this contributed immensely to the confusion I have experienced about my sexual identity, and my capacity to experience intimacy and fulfilment in relationships; it also led to an inability to notice predators as an adult. For a long time I felt guilty that nothing worse had happened, and in not knowing how he was removed from the group, imagined that whoever reported him for inappropriate behaviour did experience worse. However, I know now that the contact I had with him qualifies as sexual abuse – no child of any age has any business being that close to a grown mans testicles for his pleasure. He used his power and authority over me and my friend to derive sexual gratification. I refuse to marginalise or minimalise it any further. The Scout Association just like most UK public schools who have been subject to historical sex abuse inquiries have simply gone through the motions through a well oiled public relations strategy to acknowledge past wrongs, pay some compensation to a few survivors and put in place new safe guarding and pastoral care guidelines to show they are now a trauma and abuse informed organisation – and then they want to Move On… leaving many still with stories untold, and present students and members reliant on their word they are implimenting said safeguarding . I am grateful for Yours In Scouting for providing this forum and agree with its aims to hold the Scout Association accountable. I wish everyone who was directly exposed to harm or risk while in the Scouts comfort and healing.