I Didn’t Know…(How Scouting Would Influence My Life)

I didn’t know that the values that I learned when I was eight would help guide my decisions at twenty-one.

I didn’t know that being Patrol Leader through my three years of Scouts would give me a strong foundation of leadership skills that I still draw on today.

I didn’t know that the camp friendships I formed through my years of Venturers would lead to some of my closest friends to date.

I didn’t know that being a Scouter-In-Training with Scouts would give me a passion for youth leadership.

I didn’t know that taking a chance on myself, and applying to be a Youth Spokesperson or Council Youth Commissioner, would reap the benefits that it has, making me more confident and capable in all that I do.

I didn’t know that the Scouters I looked up to throughout my childhood would be some of my closest friends and mentors today.

Choosing to switch from Guiding to Scouting at the age of eight, I didn’t know that Scouting would have such a broad and deep influence on my life. For someone who switched programs mainly because Scouting had boys – among many other reasons – Cubs also had a great leadership team, including my best friend from school, making it all the more fun. I didn’t know what I would gain from this unique program, and I think that’s the beauty of Scouting. Anyone who joins does so because they want to have fun with their friends; because the team of Scouters helps them feel like their voices are heard; and because they get to go outside (a lot). It’s only looking back that you’re able to see what you learned, what you gained, and how you’re a different person today.

Looking back, I realize that many of the values I hold today come from growing up in Scouting, and from the adults who guided and mentored me along the way. My leadership and teamwork skills are a direct result of the opportunities for growth I was provided through Scouting. My experiences and friends in Scouting helped to change me from a headstrong young girl who liked to boss people around, to an ambitious and caring adult and leader.  

Scouts Canada’s mission is to provide youth with fun experiences that help them develop into well-rounded youth better prepared for success in this world. I can say with confidence that every experience I had through Scouting has made me better prepared for the challenges that the world may throw at me.

Change of plans? Let me tell you about the time it rained the first day at a camp in Haliburton and we had to throw up a shelter as fast as possible. Impromptu presentation? My Youth Spokesperson training and skills have eliminated all butterflies. Job interview? Easy as anything after being in a youth leadership position within the Movement. At an event and don’t know anyone in the room? Time to go make some new friends (as I do anytime I’m at a large camp with my Scouting Group). Anything and everything? I don’t feel limited, I simply say to myself – I can do this!

I didn’t know the impact that Scouts Canada would have in my life, but am I ever glad that eight-year old me had top-notch decision-making skills.

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  • Stephanie

    This is such a true article! I can see myself so much in this!