I started scouting in my local branch in SW London and thoroughly enjoyed the camping experiences provided including Gilwell 24, Tolmers and representing Greater London in the World Scout Jamboree 2011.
This international experience made me realise how diverse and essential scouting is. I then went to Scotland for University and wanted to continue my involvement with scouting, with the sole intention to give back to an organisation that had given me life skills and unique camping opportunities. I remember signing up online on the scout Scotland website to see how I could get involved. I was allocated to help weekly, as an assistant, on Friday with 4th/6th Stirling – I was thrilled!
Little did I know that around the corner there was a Forth Region Expedition to Namibia in 2017, headed by Neil Rowland. I thank my scout leader, Colin Robertson, who eagerly signed me up and got me involved within the AGM’s and the opportunities that were taking place. The memorable camps which I assisted was the Lochearnhead Camp and Barwood.
I am humbled how volunteering every Friday resulted in new opportunities, such as the potential opportunity to go to Namibia and to build a kindergarten School as well as celebrating the Namibian Scout’s Centenary – what an honour it was.
Whilst at University, I was fortunate enough to go on Study abroad in Ottawa, Canada where I volunteered with the local scout troop, 36th Ottawa Ventures (which is the explorer branch), whilst there I experienced the ‘Canadian Path’ and to see what kind of camping and hikes they do. Their program was badge orientated and included camps such as Canoe camp, hiking the Adirondack mountains (Algonquin Peak) and snowshoeing!
All these experiences really made me appreciate the service which scout leaders provide and it has given me such a broad perspective on scouting worldwide. These experiences have it incentivised me to become a cub leader back home in my South West London branch, in 3rd Hampton Scout troop.
I guess my take home message to any one involved within scouting is this: Get involved and Give back – you never know what doors it’ll open for you.