This month I have been thinking about whether we make a difference. Different events over the past couple of months have convinced me that we do.
At Nuneaton Beaver Sleepover I was helping with one of the bases. There was a young Beaver Scout who was not joining in with the activities and taking up a lot of leader time. Kim invited him to help set up her activity and try it out before the first group joined us. He did that and then stayed to help with the first Group, helped me with another Group and before long was confidently keeping Kim and keep to time and explaining to other Beaver what they had to do. In the matter of a few hours a huge change in confidence.
Two years ago Charlie went with me on the Caribbean trip, and to be blunt at times he was a bit of a pain (I hope he does not mind me saying that!). This summer he came and camped with us when the Caribbean Scouts visited Gilwell Park and Brownsea Island. What a change 2 years had made. He was taking the initiative, doing things without having to be asked and had obviously been given leadership opportunities within his home group. Still not great at getting up in the mornings – but he was only 17!
At WAGS Auditions last Sunday we saw the way that people had grown since the last year. Not just in height, but in confidence and skill. We often have to put preconceived ideas about people behind us as they have changed so much.
Of course these changes are not just due to Scouting, but the opportunities that you give do contribute to it. Young people do change, make sure that you recognise this as they mature. We are about giving opportunities to young people to grow and develop.
I am sure that you all have lots of examples – tell me about them and I will feature them in the blog next month. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org