I’m a huge fan of Scouts and have blogged about it before, you can read that one here. However, December 2019 marked the end of an era in our house as the teen boy decided he wanted to leave.
I was really disappointed, no manner of persuading would get him to change his mind. Ever tried arguing with a teenager?
The door has very much been left open for him and I do hope he will return, if not as a Scout maybe later on in life as a leader.
Over the past four years he has enjoyed fabulous experiences and learnt so many new things.
So as we say goodbye to Scouts here are seven amazing things I think he has gained during his time there.
Harry was in Scouts for just a couple of weeks before he went on his first camp. Arriving home filthy and exhausted that first time, and every time after, it was clear he had experienced something unique and special.
The highlight of his time at Scouts was a 12-day stay with 3,000 others at the Haarlem Jamborette in Holland last year. He came back absolutely buzzing with memories to last a lifetime.
Around a year after joining Scouts Harry became an assistant patrol leader, he then moved up to patrol leader and finally to senior patrol leader. Each time learning more, taking on more responsibility and growing in confidence.
By the time he left he was leading the entire Scout group in a six week Warhammer course, for a kid who had been too shy to go to scouts in the first place it was amazing to see.
Bucket loads of fun
Probably the best thing Harry gained from Scouts was the sheer amount of fun he had.
Being dropped on top of the moors and finding your way to camp some seven miles away, running around with all the freedom in the world, getting muddy, tasting real adventure and just having a really good laugh. What more could you want? A great antidote to sitting in front of a screen on social media or gaming.
Skills for life
Used as the strapline for modern-day scouting ‘skills for life’ is exactly what these kids get. Along with the traditional skills you associate with Scouts such as tying knots and fire building, there are a whole host of others including ironing, sewing, cooking, swimming, kayaking, organisational skills, public speaking to name a few. It really is a fantastic preparation for adulthood.
For anyone with a teen, boy or girl, one of the biggest challenges can be getting over the awkwardness of a social situation.
Sleep in a field with 3,000 other Scouts or take part in actives with kids you’ve never met before and those barriers start to break down.
Problem solving, leading, making decisions, taking action, learning to think on your feet are skills you get in bucket loads at Scouts.
Essential skills for when they take their first steps into the working world. What great preparation.
Travelling to Holland without his parents, teaching a group of other youngsters, learning new skills and taking on huge challenges all contributed to boosting Harry’s confidence.
Something that can’t be taught in the confines of a classroom.
So there it is, for me some of the amazing things he gained from Scouts. I know there are many, more. You could probably write a book on what this fabulous organisation does for kids.
And of course none of this could have been possible without the hard work of the leaders who I remain in awe of for their dedication to these children.