This was originally written in response for the Reginald K. Groome Scholarship for Scouts Canada youth pursuing post-secondary education. The scholarship asks to “Attach a typed statement, no more than 200 words, on the value of Scouting in your life.”
Obviously 200 words is crazy hard to fit 20 years of Scouting into, heck I can barely fit a favourite memory into 140 characters. I’ve done most of my post-secondary schooling and I’m not really interested in the money. I am however interested in what I as an individual have learned from the movement, 20 years after my grandmother (my family can easily go into triple digits of Scouting years and is a whole ‘nother post), an Akela helping with a little camp known as Camp LogJam dragged me along to a workbee, and being told to sit and colour and drink my juice.
I’m not going to tell you how being able to light a fire in the rain with two matches, or have the skill of tying six knots in one piece of rope became the most useful thing I learned in Scouts. Fact is nearly everything I learned in Scouts- from making a picture frame in beavers to camping with my crew in snow caves on the side of a mountain are skills I could have learned else where.
Except my friends.
I was not a popular kid in high school, and up until my graduation, I had very few people in my life that knew when my birthday was or more importantly cared. However, going to Venturer and Rover social camps around Vancouver, I met some fantastic people, and then got to know them at these camps every four months or so. At PJ 2003, I met one of my best friends in the world and cemented friendships and relationships far in to the future. When it came time to move out from my parents, I moved into a house full of Rovers, friends from Richmond, Ladner and North Vancouver. None of whom where in my group in Vancouver, and none I would have met outside of Scouting.
Scouting’s life skills have had a lasting impact on my skill set and way of life, but my friends are my moral compass and grounding rod for my life. I might have compass and map in my bag, but without my friends,who I met through Scouts, I’d be lost.
1st South Vancouver Crew
East Vancouver Area
Pacific Coast Council