Girl Scout Leader Day!
The 22nd of April allows for hands down, the best national celebration of the year. I have no doubt that you’ve guessed what that celebration is for - Girl Scout Leader Day! Girl Scout volunteer leaders have been positively impacting the lives of young girls and women since the beginning of Girl Scouting in 1912 (just two years after Boy Scouting was set up). From Scouts in America to all across Europe, to Scouts in Syria, Thailand and the Philippines, the work of Scouting has become a worldwide phenomenon. Having been through the scouting system myself, I can wholeheartedly say that these leaders do indeed become beacons for girls as we begin to approach womanhood.
Scouting is many things. It provides an education for life, allows young people to have fun with a purpose and has become a worldwide movement.
The purpose of scouting is achieved through the use of the Scout Method which is a system of progressive self-education. It begins with a Promise and Law. This is what allows young people to make a personal commitment. There are a number of variations of the Scout Promise to reflect the range of faiths, beliefs and attitudes and nationalities, in the UK within Scouting.
To read up on the various promises made, and the law, follow the link to the Scout website - https://members.scouts.org.uk/supportresources/2960/introduction-to-scouts?moduleID=10&cat=7.
Then, scouts are encouraged to learn by doing. This involves active participation with others and allows opportunities for new experiences. Often there is ‘Membership of small groups’. In lodges, sixes of patrols, leadership skills are developed, group skills and individual responsibility. And finally, the Scout Method implements Progressive and Stimulating programmes. These are based on the interests of young people; from interacting with nature to learning environments where simplicity, creativity and discovery can come together to provide adventure and challenge.
So yes, Scouts does involve the elements of ‘camping’, ‘adventure’ and ‘hiking’, but it also offers so much more. Scouts aims to build and develop the confidence of young people (it 110% built mine). It aims to build a sense of adventure and outdoor skills, as well as encouraging them to explore their beliefs and attitudes. Scouting offers independence and a chance to put many skills at practice throughout different events, camps and even international trips.
All this is done, and run by volunteers. For the work which my scout group has done for me, I will be forever grateful and indebted to my leaders. They showed me skills I didn’t know I had within myself, gave me the confidence and support I may have lacked in receiving from elsewhere, and most importantly, I have memories of the best times - all thanks to my fellow scouts and leaders.
If you’re a scout, or have been a scout, take time out of your day to thank your leaders. As the people who are building future generations, without any rewards and with very little recognition, they deserve even just a small thank you today. And if you’re not a scout, I hope you have been encouraged by this blog to get involved. If you would love to get involved, look up the scout groups near to you and contact them to see how you can also take part in the scouting journey!
Here’s to many more years of scouting.
‘That’s the thing with Scouts: They don’t force me to do things, but they encourage me to try. And if I manage it, it makes me feel really good.’ Bella, 19th Wimbledon Scouts