An organisation that helps over 450,000 young people in the UK enjoy new adventures, experience the outdoors, interact with others, gain confidence and have the opportunity to reach their full potential is putting out a call for adult volunteers.
A blend of fun, challenges and adventures, the Scouts movement was set up in 1907 by soldier, artist and free-thinker Robert Baden-Powell and is the UK’s largest mixed volunteer-led movement for young people.
Group Scout leader Tony Tunnell of 12th Chichester Scout Group said Scouting is ‘all about life skills’.
Tony said: “Scouts are a group of young people from different schools who come together to have fun and learn different things.
“It’s probably the outdoor adventure activities they are looking for: caving, climbing, lighting a fire. We try to broaden their horizons and give them a different outlook on life.”
Upcoming activities this term at the group range from ultimate tent pitching to kayaking, woodcraft and tie dying.
They include taking part in the Chichester Rotary Dragon Boat Challenge, a charity fund-raiser organised by the Rotary Club of Chichester Priory and Chichester drop-in centre Cancerwise.
Now in its 63rd year, the Chichester 12th welcomes support with its endeavours.
Indeed, ‘the whole Scouting Association is looking for adult helpers’.
Tony said: “Chichester has three groups and all of our waiting lists are massive - I’ve got nearly 100 names on the waiting list.
“The need is there for more groups, but we can’t run more without more adult volunteers.”
Working alongside youth members, the Scouting movement’s thousands of adult volunteers take on a huge variety of roles and opportunities.
Tony said: “Scouting brings so much enjoyment to young people, but it also brings a lot of satisfaction to the adults who run it.
“It is and can be hard work, but you only need to get one or two that achieve something big in their Scouting time, in all sections, to make it worthwhile.
“‘Courage in all difficulties’ is one of the Scout laws. You push your limits, see how far you can go and then go a little bit further. If you do that and achieve, how good are you going to feel? On top of the world!”
To find out more, see Scouts.org.uk: “Enter your postcode and you’ll be directed to the key person in your area.”
‘Giving youngsters a voice’
Scouting in Chichester was taken over by young people at a weekend-long activity earlier this year, as part of a nationwide scheme built to give young people a voice.
According to Chichester district youth commissioners Joe Hellyer and Rachael Grantham, around 100 young members from Scouting across Chichester district came together in February for a weekend of challenges, excitement and lots of fun at the Scouts’ #YouShape 2018 event, based at the Chichester district Scouts headquarters in West Dean.
Joe said: “Beavers and Cubs took part in a treasure hunt with a twist, where they had to use their navigational skills to piece together a puzzle to complete the activity.
“The other challenge comprised of six different activities which they had 15 minutes to complete.”
Joe said Scouts and Explorers were mixed up and sorted into groups with other people they might not have known previously.
Everyone took part in four different challenges, including shelter building and tent pitching ‘with a twist’.
Joe said: “New friendships were made throughout the day and all the young people had a brilliant attitude.”
#YouShape was set up by the Scout Association in as a way of allowing young members to discuss what they would like to do through their journey of Scouting.
The scheme has now been installed across the UK, with the Chichester event organised by Rachael and Joe in their roles of youth commissioners.
Based on the idea of giving people a chance to express their points of view, everyone present was invited to join together to take part in a forum-based activity known as ‘The Emoji Cool Wall’.
Joe said: “This gave them the opportunity to discuss a variety of subjects in Scouting they enjoy and learn from more than others.
“The young people of today, are the generation of tomorrow. We cannot wait to see what the future holds, from everything these young people have started to plan and put into action. Overall, a brilliant weekend was had by all.”
There are eight Scout groups across Chichester district, including three groups in Chichester and others in Westbourne, Selsey, Southbourne, Funtington & West Stoke and Birdham & Witterings.
For more info, see www.chichesterscouts.org.uk
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