Today’s been a busy day for Hampshire Scouts, with events in Portsmouth and Southampton to celebrate the 110th birthday of the organisation’s founding. These events were organised by young people; a perfect demonstration of giving young people the opportunity to shape their own Scouting adventure.
I was one of the young people who was asked to take on the challenge of organising our birthday. I’m not going to tell you it’s been an easy few months. In fact if you asked me in October or November last year, I wouldn’t be sure that we’d pull this off.
This was also an exercise in team building. My task was to be part of the team organising these events. Back in August last year Tom Bell and myself were sat in a makeshift radio studio on a field in Dorset when our County Commissioner, Martin Mackey, asked us to look into organising a tea party to celebrate the anniversary. Well, a climbing tower at Southampton’s Westquay shopping centre isn’t exactly a tea party but we wanted a challenge.
I have spoken to Tom more over the last few months than I think I have spoken to anyone ever. I’d almost feel sorry for him if it wasn’t because it was him phoning me 90% of the time.
We agreed early on in the process that we would make decisions together, keep each other on track, and run everything past each other. I’m about to break one of those rules though and speak on behalf of both of us without running it past him. If it hadn’t been because we were surrounded by adults who believed in us and were there to support us - adults like Ray and Teresa and Darren - we wouldn’t have managed to bring this all together. There was a wider group there to support us as well. Scouting has always believed in giving young people the chance to develop their skills in real life situations.
Today we welcomed VIPs and young people to the Emirates Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth and invited the public to experience a taste of Scouting in Southampton. But our birthday doesn’t end there. Today also marked the launch of the Hampshire 110 Badge, which all our members can earn this year.
The badge requirements follow our areas of focus as a movement; ‘Programme and adventure’, ‘Growth, development and inclusion’, ‘Youth shaped’, and ‘Community impact’. I’m not going to ruin the surprise here, you can head over to the Hampshire Scout website to find out how to earn your badge.
You can follow along with all the fun from today, and throughout 2019, by using #Hampshire110 on Twitter and Instagram.
Hampshire Scouts is the county’s largest co-educational youth organisation, with over 25,000 people taking part in Scouting activities every week in Hampshire. Find out more, join, or volunteer at hampshirescouts.org.uk.
You can join The Scouts, as an adult or a child, elsewhere by going to scouts.org.uk in the UK or scout.org in the rest of the world.