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Leader Profile - Andrea

How long have you been involved in Scouts? 
6 ½ yrs

Were you a Youth Member?
I was a Rover a long time ago.

What prompted you to train as a Scout Leader?
I started when my son went into Scouts from Cubs. There was a desperate shortage of Leaders and I said I would help but not be a Leader…..famous last words. My Group Leader kept on my case.

How long did it take?
Well ……….as I wasn’t going to be a Leader it took me over a year to go to my first course but when I did, I found that I had more understanding and confidence as a result of attending the courses. Coming in as a parent I did not have the background that a lot of the boys who go all the way through have.
 
I completed my advanced training after about 4 yrs and then did Advanced LoA within 6 months of completing advanced LoY.
I currently work as both LoY and LoA.
 
What do you think are the key benefits of being a Leader?
Well ………..I love working with the kids and like minded adults.
I get to go away a lot too.
 
What’s the best thing about being a Leader? 
Watching the Scouts go from being shy little post-Cubs to being confident, capable, organised (mostly) and able to run camps and activities.
 
What sort of things do you do with your Scouts?
I use the award scheme as a basis for planning our activities.
We have a big Troop camp every April school holidays and try to go a bit further afield for that. This year we went to the Grampians.
We always do a hike on that camp and if it coincides with Anzac we usually attend a local dawn parade.
Every year we do at least one Adventurous activity so over the course of a Scouts life (3-4 yrs) they will go caving, gliding, sailing, rock climbing, abseiling and next year I hope to do sub aqua as well.
We provide lots of opportunities to do badgework but try to make it fun so if they are not really interested then they just come along for the social and fun side of it. I have quite a mixture of Scouts who are really keen to do all the badges and those who just come along every week for 3 ½ yrs because they have fun.
We do lots of camps and hikes with different foci to try to maintain interest and variety.
 
Recount one of your favourite Scout experiences
Every camp is my favourite.
I guess one of the best things is sitting around the campfire and talking with the kids.
Asking them what was good and what wasn’t so good about a camp. Getting discussion going.
I also love teaching them to cook on the fires.
It is good sitting around the campfire with the adults after the Scouts have gone to bed too.
I like the more relaxed time on camp and to be able to spend some one on one or small groups showing them a skill without the time constraints of a Troop night.
I love it when they finish their ASM and are so proud of their achievements. Well I actually love giving any badge and watching their faces.
 
As you can see I am having trouble picking one event.
 
OK, one of the best things was when we ran a District camp that was thoroughly swamped and the way the Leaders all came together and made a hurriedly thought out change of plan work.
It was supposed to be a water activities camp but ended up a bit of everything except water (unless you count all that stuff that fell from the sky) It was so good to just be able to give them a thought and let them work with it. I work with some amazing adults.
 
Are you going to the Jamboree?
Yes
 
What are you looking forward to the most?
? Dunno really……..not the bus trip.
 
What preparation did you have to make?
Lots of fundraising, lots of camping and lots of badgework.
 
How do you see Scouts benefiting young people?
I see it as providing children with experiences they would not get anywhere else.
Scouts teaches the children to be independent, but at the same time to operate within a team.
 
They learn to lead and to be part of a team at the same time depending on the circumstances.
 
They also learn tolerance and support of people who are not as capable or who can be disruptive.
 
This, in turn, often teaches those who are disruptive that those behaviours are not very acceptable to the group and there are better ways of interacting.
 
Scouts also learn to be adaptable. Not everything goes to plan on camp or in the Troop and we have to be able to make adjustments. They learn resilience especially if it is demonstrated by the Leader.
 
I have seen lots of Venturer age kids just go out and make fun and actually do something when they are at a loose end instead of just sitting in front of the television and saying ”I’m bored”
 
What would you say to someone thinking about becoming a Leader?
To do it properly does take more than 2 hrs a week but it is worth it.
I get a thrill watching the Scouts leave for Venturers knowing that I had something to do with the fine young people they are turning into.
I also get a thrill when their parents are so proud of them and thank me for what I have done for them.
 
 
 
 
 
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