Back in the Saddle

This weekend saw the return to something that I love, but needed time away from due to work, study, and mental health, and that thing was Scouts! I was taking part in an International activity referred to as JOTA/JOTI which stands for Jamboree of the Air/Internet. The weekend gives Scouts from around the world to chat to one another and share experiences. It allows the Scout to feel like something bigger than themselves. This weekend was especially special to me as JOTA/JOTI 2016 was my first Scouting event I attended, and JOTA/JOTI 2017 was the first District level event I ran.

The return to Scouts isn’t just about rejoining a great group of individuals or the ability to invest in the youth of the region, for me it marks the end of my study, the stability in my mental health, and the freedom to explore my own leadership and development. Scouts is a global movement that focuses on the growth of the youth through the exploration of outdoor activities. Funnily enough it is also for the growth of their Adults and leaders. I spent 5 years in the Navy practicing and honing leadership, Scouts pushes me to grow even further. Leading children and adults simultaneously poses unique challenges that I hadn’t considered prior to Scouts. Children look for strength, discipline, gentleness, understanding, it can take 5 seconds or 20 minutes to get a direction across. Adults on the other had to look for direction, insight, and evenhandedness. These challenges make every activity worth while.

What makes Scouts, however, is its people. The volunteers that make up the body of Scouting leaders are some of the most selfless, inspiring, and kind hearted individuals I have ever met. They tirelessly plan, organise and run camps, activities, training exercises, and meeting nights. They inspire children to bust out of their bubbles, stretch a little, and try new things. They are also some of the funniest, laid back, and brilliant individuals I have had the pleasure of coming across.

The adventures that are still to be had, will be wide and various, I look forward to the challenges that lie ahead, and the people that I will have those adventures with. Stay tuned to see the journey unfold.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

Legacy

Last week I discussed Mentorship in my article Walking With where the idea of providing what someone requires to achieve the goal they have set is a kind of Patronage. This week I want to discuss Legacy. If we consider Mentorship as answering the question of How, Legacy is answering the question Why?

Legacy is what and who we leave behind to carry on when we are gone, in both the physical and mortal sense. As a Scout Leader I am imparting my collected knowledge and wisdom onto the Scouts in the hope that they take it with them into their lives and make their worlds a little bit better. As a member of CQUniversity’s SRC I try and leave the University a little better than I found it through culture change, policy changes and initiatives that better the Student Experience for all. As a Father I endeavour to teach, show and guide my children through life in the hope they won’t make the same mistakes I did, that they go further, do more and achieve their goals, just as my parents did for me.

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The creation of Legacy is less about planning and more about being responsive to the environment you are in. As a parent, the needs of my children change constantly. I can’t plan what they need to make their lives better. I can plan strategically by ensuring that I remain employed, feed them, ensure they receive a good education, and stay safe. But I cannot plan their career, their partners, their lives and where they are going to live. As a SRC member I must be reactive to the needs of the students, I can also be proactive and identify issues before they become problems for the students and the University. The Peer Assisted Study Scheme that I helped develop and implement was birthed from an inherent need the students didn’t know they had. I saw a void in the support structure of the TAFE students and endevoured to fill that void. This, I hope, will leave a lasting legacy on the University and the student body. When a student graduates feeling supported and feels empowered to go further with their study, I can stand tall knowing the legacy I left contributed.

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This whole blog, not just this post, is about Legacy. I share my stories, my life, my journey and my reflections in the hope that others will read them and make positive changes. I know people who have contacted me directly and shared how different posts have pulled them out of a tight spot, or steered their lives into a new direction for the better. That’s why I write, to inspire, to reflect and make real impact on people’s lives.

I encourage everyone to think about their Legacy and what they are leaving behind. If we don’t think of Legacy we are destined to leave either nothing, or worse a negative Legacy that is actually a detriment to the next generation. As a challenge, take a moment this week to reflect on what you are leaving behind and make a concerted effort to change it. Start living life selflessly for the next generation, start the small turns of the ship now before we run aground, make the world of tomorrow better today.

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What did you reflect on? What are you going to change about your legacy? Make a declaration today in the comments section below, who knows maybe your change will help someone else change their Legacy.

Maintain The Rage

Luke Sondergeld

Scouts – The Journey so far

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.

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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.

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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.