To kick off our series about Scouts volunteers and the work they do in the Stratford-upon-Avon district, I had a chat with one of our more recent recruits: Bryan joined the Scouts as a Section Assistant in 2019 and his experience shows volunteering is fun and #goodforyou in so many ways.
How did you hear about volunteering for the Scouts?
I think I mentioned to my wife ‘oh I need to start doing something’ (other than work) and she’d spotted there was a scouting recruitment drive at the Stratford Town Hall in 2019. I’d never volunteered for anything before but I just thought I’d get out of my comfort zone and try something new. And this seemed like the perfect opportunity.
What do you do with the Scouts?
I’m a Section Assistant. I chose this originally as I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into, but this role suits me down to the ground. I’m very happy to turn up in all kinds of weather…go camping…it’s fantastic.
How many hours a week do you volunteer?
It’s only an hour and a half, one day a week with the Cubs, which runs 6-7.30pm. And then with planning and preparation, it’s probably another couple of hours a month. It can be a bit of a challenge for me sorting tea out for my family and getting there for 6pm but I’m good at juggling!
Your last camping trip was in 2019, how was that?
Helping the Cubs plan for that was great, stuffing rucksacks, checking provisions, etc…giving them ideas of what they needed to do and what was expected of them, it was fun.
The standout moment was when we went camping in Shipston-on-Stour. It was an absolutely beautiful day. All the kids were really happy, smiling faces outside with wide beams. The whole experience, the cooking, the camping, was so rewarding.
I felt a huge sense of accomplishment when I saw the happiness the kids experienced. The pride when they got it right and the effort they put into things was uplifting. The joy in their faces when they achieved. It broadens their perspective. And it’s interesting how much the adults get out of it too. We go home as energised as the kids.
I bet you’ll be glad to get back out into the fresh air again?
I’ve had enough of online meetings! Being back out in the fresh air and seeing everyone is amazing. It was great to kick off again on the 13th April.
What would you say to someone who is thinking about volunteering for the Scouts?
You can be in a normal job, (I work from home in IT) so it’s great to meet other people, people that you wouldn’t run into every day and just get out and about.
It’s easy to get started because there’s a comprehensive course that covers all the basics, things like First Aid. As I live locally, it’s very good, you can just turn up and be there and support the others. And you can get involved to whatever level you want really.
How do you volunteer and #stepupforscouts?
Volunteering couldn’t be simpler, click on the StratfordScouts.org website. There are various volunteering roles you can apply for and as Bryan says: It was great to kick off again on the 13th April!