The best way to describe how my life has intertwined with Scouting is with the analogy that it’s like a “camping list”. For a Scout camp, some typical things to pack are your underwear and socks, your day clothes and uniform, and lastly, your campfire blanket. Everything on the list is important, and each item represents a different lesson or experience. Scouting has made each challenge, however hard, to be fun, and shown the importance of learning every day. So let’s get to breaking down this camping list.
First of all, you never, EVER, want to forget your underwear and socks. There are only so many ways to wear a pair of underwear, and you can only go so far in a pair of wet socks. This is fundamental to pack because it represents kindness and respect. I’ve learned through Scouting that this is always required. Lending a helping hand or a kind word changed my perspective of people. It’s only natural as a Scout to be motivated to spend time working on an environmental project, or spreading awareness on a global issue with your Troop. Respect and kindness is a motive for all good Scouts.
It is always important to pack an extra pair of day clothes and your uniform when going to camp. You want to put your best foot forward and represent your Troop well. That doesn’t mean only dressing to impress. I’ve learned that people think highly of you if you can have a good attitude and always put your best self forward. I’ve explored and shaped myself as a Scout by taking on different challenges. I learned to look beyond myself, and into the community around me and my amazing Scout Group. A Scout puts themselves out there, and does nothing less than their best.
The last item is my campfire blanket. I have TONS of badges stitched in to remember my camps, friends, and achievements. My fondest memories are from Scouting, and I couldn’t be more thankful. Camping in another country and climbing new trails are just some of the exciting memories I hold, but meeting new people is one of life’s biggest explorations. One Scout Jamboree can lead you to many different places but, your life can change from meeting just one person. For example, being part of the STEM team at CJ ‘17 was eye opening and wonderfully fun, as I got to lead our activities and explore Halifax.
There are many more things to pack in your bag before you head to camp, as there are many more ways Scouting has influenced my life. For me, these were some core ways I’ve been impacted by Scouting. I owe a lot to my Scouters and Group for teaching me how to “pack” everything on this camping list and reminding me not to forget them.
I am very proud of who I am and wouldn’t be able to be me without being a Scout.