This blog is somewhat different to those that have been previously written.  My reason for this is that over the last few weeks I have got myself involved with supporting a charity with whom I was involved with for nearly 13 years.  This got me thinking about my time as a volunteer and how proud I was with my involvement.

I started volunteering back in 1998 with a local Scout group, helping out with the Beaver Scout section. The Beaver Scout motto is ‘Fun & Friends’, well this is actually what I got out of helping out at Beavers, having a lot of fun and making new friends. The Scout movement has been running now for over 104 years and was started by Robert Baden-Powell.

Why did I volunteer? Well that was simple I wanted to give something back as scouting helped with my son’s development.  I felt that I wanted to make a difference to the development of the young people who attended. Having never been involved in scouting when I was young, I did not want my son to miss out on the opportunities that it provides, I found that this helped me to gain more confidence in myself and provided new skills and knowledge.  At the same time I was able to use/improve my skills that I required for work, so all in all it benefited both of us.

Scouting is always looking for volunteers to help grow the movement, there are currently around 30,000 young people waiting to join, and one of the reasons for this is down to the lack of adult volunteers.

I read this blog from a Queen’s Scout award winner, Salma and thought I too should write about my experience in Scouting. Although due to increasing work commitments and family life in 2010 I decided to take a break. Volunteering does not mean that you are on a contract with the movement.  One thing I found difficult was when I was on my own running the Beaver section, I was spending quite a bit of time preparing for the next meeting and so on. However, when I got an assistant, I found myself having a little extra time as I was able to delegate some responsibility to my colleague.  Parents come up to me at the end of the meeting and complement me on how I can deal with the children and don’t know how I do it.  When I see one of the children grown up and is doing well, makes me feel that I had some involvement in their development, which is so satisfying.

I also had the opportunity to be a District Commissioner for 5 years, which developed my leadership skills. Even though this was a challenging role and having its own ups and down, I found it satisfying and enjoyable.

So if you want fun and adventure, and can spare a few hours a week, then volunteer with your local scout group, you never know you could like it as much as I did.

If Scouting is not for you then visit the following websites to see how else you can volunteer.

Do It and Volunteering England

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