Being a young leader has been a fun and insightful experience. I have been able to face new challenges and also have enjoyed the time spent with the scouts and leaders. As well as supporting the Troop’s programme, I am given the independence to decide what games and activities I want to run. Whilst some of these may be favourites with the Scouts, I can come up with new ideas as well. As a young leader, the Scouts feel happy to speak to me about any questions they might have.
The leaders at the 2nd have been very supportive and are happy to help me when I have questions, or want their opinion on whether a game or activity might work. Having been a young leader for nearly two years, I have been able to develop new skills. I would encourage anyone that has thought about it, to give it a go. There are times when it is hard work, but the more you get involved, the more you will get from the experience.
I became a leader after I attended a couple of Scout camps, most memorably Green Beret, which for those who don't know, is a 2 day competition for around 900 Scouts from across Herts (sleeping under canvas in November!), where they compete in teams across a range of activities from orienteering and an assault course to intellectual challenges, all designed to test their team work, communication skills, endurance and much much more. I was so impressed with the skills the event was developing in Scouts, I wanted to be more involved in Scouting. Whilst these initial altruistic reasons for becoming a leader still hold, I have to confess that other, more selfish reasons have also come into play!
Being a Leader has given me the opportunity to return to activities I used to love as a teenager - hiking, canoeing, sailing, camping, map reading - and also given me the chance to try many others - abseiling, caving, mountaineering (I haven't been brave enough to go up in a glider yet, but many of our Scouts have). This has rubbed off on my family too - we do much more adventurous holidays than we used to! Scouts has also presented new challenges and given me new skills such as catering for 60 people at Family Camp using just camping gas stoves - something I was terrified by, but which I can do now. Sometimes it IS hard work but all the Leaders work as a team and use each others strengths. Helping Scouts learn to love outdoor adventures is so rewarding - whilst they may be hard to drag away from screens at home, on Scout camps they have no electricity, no screens and I haven't once heard a Scout say they were bored - they love it all, whether it be lighting a fire and cooking over it or learning knots to enable them to build a raft....and so do I - if I didn't, why would I still be doing it?