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From Cub Scout to Queen Scout... how our Top Awards helped Alex to gain Skills for Life.

Hello, I’m Alex and many of you will know me as one of the County Youth Commissioners. Being a Youth Commissioner is a role that I absolutely love and continues to support me develop Skills for Life. However, my Scouting journey began much before I became a Youth Commissioner.

I was a Cub Scout in the 10th Crosby from when I was 9. Unknowingly, I was constantly learning Skills for Life which as adult members we are so aware of but this wasn’t the reason I loved Cubs. I loved Cubs because it was FUN and because I loved the challenges and accomplishments of earning new badges. I also attended Scouts at the 10th Crosby which led to even more years of fun, adventure and Skills for Life. Earning my Chief Scout Gold in Scouts was huge for me. It gave me the drive to push myself to continue to strive for top awards.

At 14, I began as a Young Leader at the 10th Crosby and I can’t begin to describe the difference to my life this time made. This is what gave me the reassurance that I wanted to be a teacher, this is where I learned to manage behaviour of a group of young people, this is where I learned what You Shape meant and how to implement it, this is where I learned leadership skills that I use now in my everyday life and this is where I grew to become the person I am today. I developed my independence and was given opportunities to run evenings, badges and even camps as a young leader. My biggest regret during this time is that I didn’t chase after my Chief Scout Platinum and Diamond awards so if you’re reading this and can relate... don’t miss your chance! Chase those top awards!

At 16, I made a promise to my Akela that I would be a Queen’s Scout! It was a promise I was determined to keep and I have had the most incredible adventures to get there. I completed my DofE Gold with the Merseyside Scouts DofE team who supported me and my incredible friends through our award. My adventures really have been endless over the last 4 years whilst I slowly worked towards my DofE Gold and Queen’s Scout side by side.

My adventures have included:

  • being part of the Yorkshire Agoonoree, a camp tailored for Special Needs Scouts aged 11-25;
  • teaching at a school and supporting children with HIV and AIDS at an orphanage in Uganda;
  • I started running again completing RED January and running my first ever 10k’s;
  • I supported fundraising efforts for the Yorkshire Agoonoree where we were exceed our £12,000 target;
  • I completed two four day expeditions through Snowdonia for my DofE.

And... all whilst continuing to volunteer as a leader at the 10th Crosby with people I consider my family. The life experience and adventures I have had have shaped me as a person in so many ways, helped me secure my first teaching job and helped me to find an even bigger love for life.

Having recently been to St James’ Palace to receive my DofE Gold award from the Earl of Wessex, Prince Edward as well as looking forward to travelling to Windsor Castle to celebrate earning my QSA, I have had time to reflect on my achievements.

I enjoyed every second of working towards my top awards and urge all of our young members to look into how they can use the top awards as a spring board to go on adventures and learn skills as well as learn about themselves. All adult members reading this, encourage your young people to get involved! The adventure does NOT stop at 18 and badges do NOT end for Network members - go and be a Queen’s Scout... your adventures are out there, go and chase them!

If I can help anyone at all please email me; or email our QSA advisor Alex Carroll, who will be able to help you find support in your District.