Volunteering in Scouting is incredibly rewarding, everyone has different reasons for volunteering, though contributing to the educational and physical health of the young people of your Community is always likely to be up there, along with Fun and confidence building (Leaders benefit from these as much as our young members do).
Who can volunteer?
Anybody … anybody that is who can satisfactorily pass a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check (don’t worry if you made some minor indiscretion 20 years ago) … we are not all Saints.
Next is a friendly chat with the District Appointments Committee, who are all volunteers in Scouting themselves, this is simply to discuss your appointment and to ensure that you are doing it for all the right reasons.
That’s it … you’re in, you will need to undergo various training programmes, many of which are online, the purpose of the training is to ensure that you know what to do in various possible scenarios, designed, not only to protect and safeguard the young people but our volunteers too, all training is at no cost to you and can be undertaken whilst you are volunteering.
The beauty of our Training is that it is recognised in the workplace, whether it be First Response, Safeguarding, Safety or any number of other skills … it is both recognised and appreciated by most industries.
What am I committing to?
As a volunteer, you are simply committing to volunteering at a time and frequency that suits you. Some volunteers like to commit to weekly meetings, others to occasionally helping when extra eyes and ears are needed. For some, volunteering may not even bring them into contact with young people, that is not to say that their role is any less important … our Executive Committee is a crucial component of Scouting, ensuring that our premises, facilities and equipment are available for the uniformed volunteers to be able to deliver an exciting and engaging programme to our young members.
“It’s only an hour and a half a week” … ask every adult volunteer in Scouting if they have heard that line before … I bet they have.
The funny thing is … it may well be correct, or it may be an absurd white lie … the decision is entirely yours.
Volunteering in Scouting is completely flexible
Scouting is crying out for Adult Volunteers, Nationally we have over 80,000 Boys and Girls of a Scouting age, sat on a waiting list, waiting for a space to become available … why the shortage of spaces,? you may ask. The simple answer is that not enough Adults are prepared to volunteer their time, possibly because they feel that they are too busy, possibly they feel that they have little or no skills to offer or maybe they just feel that Scouting isn’t for them.
Please read through the following statements … these are from Sale Central Leaders.
I was working in a 9 to 5 job at a bank … well that is what I was paid for, most evenings I would arrive home, have my dinner and then do some work from home, I felt that it was expected of me and because I was salaried, I wasn’t paid anything more for all the extra work.
Then a friend asked me if I would consider helping out at a Scout group that he ran? but what did I know about tying knots? what did I know about DYB’s and DOB’s? and beside that, I was far too busy with work.
He left the decision with me, and after a few weeks, I came home from work and thought “ohhh go on then, I will turn up tonight and just prove that I am as unScouty as a person can be”.
The first thing that struck me, a young Scout called me Sir and said “Thank You” after I gave him my opinion on how best to cut a piece of plastic pipe. Don’t get me wrong, I have been called much worse by Scouts since then, I am not claiming that they are angels because they are Scouts … but it worked for me and I really enjoyed my first night helping out, I did laugh when I saw my mate in his Scout Leader Uniform, I remember thinking “I will help out but I won’t be putting no uniform on”.
So after a few weeks, I ordered my first Leaders uniform shirt, I just found the whole experience of helping kids learn the kind of skills that I had in my locker without realising that they were skills.
My working life actually improved because I became a better person, I felt better about myself and therefore applied myself more to my work during working hours, meaning that I didn’t feel like I had to work every evening … I even got recognised by the bank for the work that I had chosen to do in my local community.
Five years later, I am a Scoutaholic … I volunteer at multiple groups and that uniform that I laughed at … I practically wear it every night of the week and am proud to be seen wearing it.
Scouting probably saved my sanity and my physical health because I stopped becoming a slave to work and became a volunteer to helping young people in my local community and it is undoubtedly the best decision I ever made … oh and my mate … he quit Scouting a few years after I joined 😀