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One of my big missions is to encourage people across Cumbria who have the enthusiasm and ability to put something back into their communities, writes Head of Cumbria Scouts, Graham White.
That’s why we are so excited that the Duchess of Cambridge has chosen to help out in Cub Scout Packs and Beaver Scout Colonies. She will be an incredible inspiration to young people and adults showing that busy lives are not a barrier to volunteering.
The half a million young people and adults involved with Scouting across the UK make volunteering easy. Scouts are naturally good at helping others as it is part of the Scout Promise.
They embrace and encourage people and I just know that The Duchess is going to instantly feel welcome and will inspire the adults and young people. And with children and adults in Cumbria doing so many inspirational things; like providing Scouting to poorly youngsters in hospital, raising money for homeless children, clearing and maintaining community gardens and visiting the elderly, I think we will inspire The Duchess in return.
You don’t need to be an outdoors expert to join Scouting; we do so much more than just camping and climbing. From arts and crafts, to drama, street sports and international expeditions, there’s a new adventure every week.
Young people have a natural instinct to do the right thing, and we try to encourage that. But they need guidance and positive role models, which is very important with the development of a young person.
What can the Duchess expect on her first day as a volunteer? Well I think the first thing she will notice is the enthusiasm; when you walk into a Scout meeting place you really can feel the positive energy. She will see young people helping other young people – passing on skills, working together on tasks as varied as map reading, community projects and learning about Fair Trade. She will see parents and other helpers running games and activities. The Duchess will be joining over 106,000 girls, young woman and female volunteers in the UK Scouting.
But it’s unlikely she will see the same faces every week. Scouting in the UK has over 100,000 adult volunteers and many of these help out on a flexible basis. This means that they can fit Scouting around work, social and family commitments. The Duchess is willingly helping out where she can, when she can, and we need as many other people as possible to do the same.
So, this week, we have a wonderful new face joining us – and it's a brilliant boost for Scouting near her home and across the country. But we still have hundred's of young people on waiting lists in Cumbria due to a lack of volunteers. Next week it could be your turn to go to your first Scout meeting and experiencing the great Scouting spirit for yourself. It’s not signing your free time away – it’s about experiencing everything life has to offer and helping young people see a more positive future. When you give, you receive. There’s no one in the world busier than the Duchess and if she can do it, so can we. All you need to do is click on to www.scouts.org.uk/join or dial 0845 300 1818.