Why Scouting

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Article by Ayers Explorer Scout Rachel Bradley, explaining what she has gained from Scouting

Text of Why Scouting

  • My name is Rachel, I am 17 and I'm an Explorer Scout from Carlisle. I have

    been asked to explain what Scouting means to me and how it has shaped

    the person I am today. I hope that this article gives you an

    insight into the many opportunities

    Scouting provides.

    Why am I willing to speak up for Scouting?

    Well that's because many people have

    branded Scouting as old fashioned and

    boring, thinking back to the 1950s, when it

    was all about boys, tying knots and bob-a-job; if that is your opinion

    on Scouting, then think again. Modern Scouting includes girls, very

    few knots and lots of fun! Try your hand at quad biking, scuba diving,

    zorbing, archery, coasteering, mountain biking, kayaking and much

    much more. Hang out with your mates on a camp by a lake in the

    Swiss Alps - what's not to like?

    So what does Scouting mean to me? It means going to places I would have

    never get the chance to go to. This summer I will be setting off with 17 other

    Cumbria Scouts to go to Rinkaby in Sweden to join 38,000 Scouts from

    around the world for the 22nd World Scout jamboree. To even be selected

    was a challenge and I have been given the responsibility of Patrol leader,

    which has given me the chance to practice leadership skills and to help

    others achieve their potential.

    Another example is when I was asked to do a presentation for my new 6th

    form tutor group so that we could find out a bit more about each other. I

    started off with all the usual stuff, family, friends, pets etc. I then showed

    them pictures of me abseiling down a 30ft crevasse in an ice glacier in

  • Switzerland. That got their attention. This was followed by a picture of

    me in mid-air as I jumped off a 30ft rock into the sea in Newquay. By

    the end of the presentation all my form couldn't believe how many

    amazing and seriously cool things I had done- even my form tutor was

    impressed and thats saying something! At the end of the presentation I

    was asked "How have you done all that and you're only 16?" The answer

    of course "Scouts".

    But Scouting isn't all about amazing adventure opportunities- it's about

    learning about yourself; it gives you the

    opportunity to challenge yourself both physically

    and mentally, to try things out in safe

    environment, to experience new skills. Scouting

    has encouraged me and enabled me to have a go at becoming a Young

    Spokesperson. And to equip me properly for the challenge I was sent on

    a course which taught me some of the skills needed to work with the

    media. This has in turn given me confidence to speak out for what I see

    as right, the confidence to speak to people of all ages and that will stay

    with me for the rest of my life.

    So yes, Scouting is about fun, adventure, challenge but more importantly it's about learning about

    who you are and helping to shape the person you are and it's GREAT! And just to show you

    how great, here is a link to a short film made by local Scouts with the help of ITV Fixers to show

    what Scouting is like today - http://youtu.be/mhIx2GTyPSU

    Rachel Bradley