A church community has created the first Coptic scout group in Europe.
The 18 Hove St George Scout Group has instantly become the biggest scout group in Sussex, with 180 children on its waiting list.
The scout group is the first new outfit to be formed in the city in more than 25 years.
Church founders said the founding of the group was the culmination of a ten-year dream.
On Monday night, 33 new beaver, cub and scout leaders were officially sworn in and the group received its official registration papers at a special meeting held at the St Mary and St Abraam Coptic Orthodox Church in Davigdor Road, Hove. The troop will begin holding its weekly meetings for children in September, although organisers said there were already plans for camping trips this summer.
It is hoped that the group will begin with 30 beavers, 30 cubs and 30 scouts. Leaders said the size of the Coptic community in Brighton was one of the reasons why they had been the first to form a scout group. The city is thought to have one of the biggest Coptic communities in the country, with more than 7,000 members.
One of the troop’s new leaders, Abram Arganous, said: “The leaders are all very excited. They keep asking when are we going to start.
“Most of them have been scouts when they were children and are now very keen to pass it on to their children.
“At the moment our scouts come from the Coptic community. However, we might in the future have members from outside but we have to deal with all the people on the waiting list first.
“But we will be fully integrated into the scouting community in Brighton and meet with other scout groups at different events.
“The group will be the same as any other scout group but with a little Egyptian and Sudanese twist.”
Another new leader, Mikael Arnoux, said he had been a scout in Sudan before moving to Brighton and added that scouting was similar in his homeland to the organisation in the UK.
He said: “Scouting provides the practical lessons to the lessons we learn in church, learning how to serve people, how to be responsible for my brothers and it is really important to teach our children these things.
“The scout group will be a great aid to the kids and to the city.”