I have been reflecting a lot on my Nursing Journey to this point and how it has been shaping me and my ideals both professionally and personally. Last weekend I completed the last of my formal training weekends for Scouts which triggered my mind to reflect on the Journey with Scouts thus far. The Journey has been short, but like a hurricane, it has seen much activity and many lessons learnt.
5th October 2016
It was my first night at Scouts as a newly volunteered Leader for Scouts Australia. My local group, Warripari, put out the call to parents for all who had the time and persuasion to volunteer as a leader to come forward… I was it. It started as a chance to assist the two other leaders, spend some extra time with my son who was, and still is, Scout aged, and to share some of my knowledge gained from past lives with the next generation. Little did I know how quickly the Journey would pick up pace.
15 October 2016
My first camp as a leader, I had the grand total of two weeks experience at Scouts and a standing history of Naval officer training; I could tie a series of Navy knots, some of which the Scouts used, but not as many as I liked; navigation was different to what I knew as there where suddenly hills and tracks to be concerned with and not a vast open ocean; the people under my charge where suddenly very young, very curious and not as willing to blindly follow orders as I had experienced… this was going to be a steeper learning curve then expected. I did however, persevere. The camp was a great success, I learnt very quickly that Scouts will have fun regardless of what they are doing and sometimes you have to let them push the boundaries a little in order for that to occur. Its not about completing the task the way it was designed, its about the journey and what was learnt along the way.
4 November 2016
Basic Scout Training for Leaders camp. After many hours slaving away in front of my laptop completing my eLearning modules, and preparing the myriad of attachments required for the course, I was finally ready to attend the camp. I didn’t quite know what to expect upon arrival, but I quickly learnt to be ready for almost everything. One of the first tasks we had to complete was the construction of a Queenslander Tent, which is pictured below. Now, I had never erected one of these tents previously, I didn’t know what parts were the tent and which weren’t, I had never even seen one of these prior to the camp, this was my first hurdle. Thankfully the training staff where very accommodating and instructed myself and the other course members on how we should construct the tent. First evening of the weekend done, now we can sleep. The next day was filled with construction (now referred to as pioneering), cooking, paperwork, fires, paperwork, safety, paperwork, and discussions on how we can teach our Scouts without making it boring and tedious. Day two squared away. The final day was similar to the second with paperwork and discussions surrounding the Group, how to grow said Group, manage conflict resolution and the like. We dismantled our tent city, packed everything away and following a quick debrief we made our way home. Basic Leadership course, DONE.
Term 1 2017
The leadership of the Scout Section shrinks from three to two as one of the Leaders moves onto the Venturer unit within the Group. Things get serious. Myself and the other leader have a robust plan of training, teachings and activities that will see the Section develop their skills and become better Scouts for it. For the most part, it worked. We had many a wet night during the term which saw a lot of our activities and plans be changed from awesome outdoor activities to small scale inside activities but we persevered. The Scouts continued to learn, some moved onto Venturers, others moved on completely, we gained some Cubs coming into the Scout section as they became old enough and the section continued. I was learning more and more as a new Scout leader and completing more of the eLearning towards both my Outdoor Skills and Advanced Course. The term went well, no major activities or camps, just lots of lessons to be learnt, for both the Scouts and myself.
Term 2 2017
Its only me… The other leader has taken a Regional position… Three to One… how did this happen…? I was confident in my ability to lead by this point but I am not going to lie, there were times when I look out at the Scouts and think, nobody do anything silly, nobody get themselves hurt, please pay attention and just do what your told. I should have had as much confidence in the Scouts as I did in my self, but I didn’t. Thankfully, they surprised me. The Scouts are resilient, patient, awesome and attentive, sure they’re still kids and have their moments of silliness and inattentiveness but on the whole, awesome. I would complete the Basic Outdoor Skills course on the 28th of May, which highlighted two things, navigation on land is not too different to navigation at sea, and I hate hills. I would also complete my Advanced training, which begins my four months of probation before receiving my Wood Badge and becoming a fully qualified Scout Leader. The Scouts would see two camps and more lessons on their Journey to Pioneer and Adventurer level cords.
The Journey to this point has been amazing, I have learnt more about myself then I thought I would. I have learnt how resilient the Scouts can be, how much they can learn and grow, how much they really look up to us as Adults (even if we don’t think they do) and how much the Scouts can achieve when they put their minds to it. I originally came into this with the thought of imparting my experiences onto the Scouts, building the leaders of tomorrow and shaping our world. Little did I realise that’s what would happen to me.