What comes to mind when you think about volunteering with Beavers and Cubs? While at first glance it may seem like glorified daycare, there is a lot more to it than meets the eye – and I mean a lot more.
1. The Happiness Effect:
Let’s start with the obvious. There are many studies that examine the relationship between helping others and being happy. It has been proven that the more people volunteer, the happier they are. Beaver and Cub Scouts is all about having fun, so as a Volunteer you have a guaranteed 1.5 hours a week of facilitating those fun adventures and making yourself happier in general.
2. Leadership Ability:
When you’re volunteering with younger Sections, you’re responsible for managing people. Not a lot of teenagers get to say they’ve been in that position and it will come in handy for the rest of your life, guaranteed. When you’re putting together your resume, make sure to include details of your management experience as a Scouter. For example, as a Scouter with Beaver and Cub Scouts you facilitate program, manage the behaviour of the youth in your Section, and support leadership team meetings. This is sure to get a hiring manager’s attention. The University of British Columbia recently released their rubric for broad-based admission and it noted, specifically, a preference for applicants who have been in leadership positions and can give examples of situations where they demonstrated leadership ability. Volunteering with younger Sections will give you endless examples of your leadership abilities for essays and interviews, setting you apart from the crowd of applicants.
3. Getting out of Your Comfort Zone:
You’ll occasionally be asked to do things you’ve never done before like gathering a group of twenty Beavers or comforting a Cub having an panic attack. Many of these situations will provide you with life skills to call upon in the future and the opportunity to learn things you may not have otherwise. If you have trouble with public speaking or are shy in general, this is a great way to start building your confidence.
4. Continuous Learning:
This is a very important ‘transferable skill’ you will use in higher education and/or your job. We are living in the Information Age where all industries are in a constant state of development and almost everyone has access to the internet. If you’re not in the habit of continuously updating your skills you will always be replaceable, so it’s a good idea to start accumulating knowledge and experience as early as you can.
This final reason isn’t very obvious. I mean, sure, part of volunteering with Scouts Canada is the sense of community and the opportunity to make friends, but in the younger Sections you are also showing the parents of these kids what you are capable of. You may begin by getting babysitting or lawn-mowing jobs, but one day you might happen to know the CEO of the firm where you would like to secure a co-op placement or a job because his or her child was in your Section. People pay money to get these kind of opportunities – to get to know accomplished people and acquire a mentor – and you’re getting these opportunities every week while you showcase your skills.
Interested? Talk to your Group Commissioner and find out which Section needs you – they’ll be happy to have the extra help and you’ll be doing yourself a huge favour!