Since joining the Scouting movement at just 9 years old, I can easily see how much of a significant impact these years in Scouting have had on every aspect of my life.
At the time, girls in Scouting were not common and most of the boys in my Group did not understand why I wanted to be in Scouting. One of the most common things people would say to me was, without a doubt, “Scouts? Isn’t that for boys?” To this day, I still find I am having to explain myself.
I willingly and proudly explain why I am a part of Scouting to anyone that asks. There are so many positive experiences that Scouting has provided me, and it is not a difficult to showcase the impact Scouting has had on my life to whomever is asking. When I first joined Scouting, it took time to become comfortable in the environment; being shy and dealing with significant social anxiety it was challenging for me, but eventually my Scouting Group became part of who I was and who I am. Throughout the first couple of years, I began to gain more confidence in myself and started to truly feel like I was a part of something. It was not only the experiences that made these early years so significant, but it was the people whom I got to know which made every Scouting adventure something to look forward to. At 9, 10, or 11 years old, I got to feel powerful, and that is something that I want every youth in Scouting to experience.
… and through sharing experiences like my own, we can begin to expand the thinking of what Scouting truly is.
I feel that many people assume there are negative stigmas that surround Scouting in Canada, and through sharing experiences like my own, we can begin to expand the thinking of what Scouting truly is. With Scouts, I have had the opportunity to run through the forest, sleep in the snow, go to camps in British Columbia, Newfoundland, Denmark and England, cook over an open fire, learn how to canoe and kayak, work as a team and become a leader. Along with these hands-on experiences, Scouting has also taught me confidence, compassion, patience, cooperation, and true perseverance. These skills and experiences are invaluable, and I will tell anyone who will listen why I feel that the benefits to youth will shine through in many areas and aspects of their everyday lives. I was homeschooled up until high-school, and Scouting gave me social connections which I would otherwise not have had the opportunity to experience until I reached high-school age. Because of Scouting I have made friends that are truly life-long.
Friends that I met while during my trip to Denmark have allowed me to travel to that beautiful country 3 more times since my initial trip, giving me cultural experience that is invaluable. One of my very best-friends whom I met upon initially joining my Cub Pack, is one of my biggest supporters and I am so very thankful that he has stuck with me for 14 years.
Being involved in Scouting has allowed me to make connections with others and provided experiences have truly helped me to grow into my own person. I sincerely believe that without these opportunities, and meaningful friendships, my life would not be the same. I encourage all youth to share their Scouting stories so that you too can inspire new youth and volunteers to join.
Have a Scouting story to share?
Visit the Adventures on the Path section of Scoutinglife.ca to upload your Scouting adventure today!