Two months ago, I embarked on a new element of my outdoor adventure journey. I entered a world that was totally foreign to me. A world I had often heard about but which had remained a mystery. I decided to see whether I would like to be a Scout Leader.
It started quite innocently. I was searching the internet to see whether there was any meaningful, fun and ongoing volunteer work available in my community. It’s not that I don’t have enough on my plate, what with work, uni, my monthly Justice of the Peace obligations and endurance racing. But I just felt called to look for something.
I didn’t know what I was looking for until I stumbled across my local Scout Group’s website. There it was in black and white: “Assistant Leaders needed for immediate start. No experience. Self-paced training.” It didn’t take me long to fire off an email. And, seemingly instantly, I received a response from the Group Leader inviting me to come meet with herself and the leader of the Scout section.
I did some research. I watched YouTube clips, and read a range of websites and blogs. From what I found, Scouting looked like a lot of fun, not just for Youth Members but also for Leaders.
I started with minimal commitment. I just attended a couple of Scout meetings and a Group Council to see whether the format appealed to me. The Scout meetings were great fun. Tents were pitched, canoes were set up on dry land so the Scouts could practice their paddling strokes, plans were made for camps and discussions were held about hikes. Before I knew it, I was choosing a Scout name and signing an application for membership.
Last week, my application for membership was approved and I was given my Scout membership number. I’ve ordered my uniform and started the eLearning component of my leader training. On Saturday, I’m going to my first Scout camp. I won’t be staying overnight because I have a race on Sunday. But I’m looking forward to taking this next step into what was previously a mysterious world: Scouts. And I’m quite proud of my personal decision to share my outdoor skills and experiences with tomorrow’s outdoors men and women.
(I didn’t train today. I decided to do some stretching and get back into the exercise tomorrow. I didn’t want to risk returning to training too quickly after the weekend because I am very aware of how I pushed things last year and ended up injured.)