A parent's perspective

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I have to confess to having been enjoying a bit of a break over Easter with nine days in Guernsey, travel free, where the family have also been back for the week.  Francesca returned from an Explorer Belt expedition on Easter Monday. 

As a Scout, I have appreciated for a number of years what a great opportunity the Explorer Belt scheme is for 16-25 year olds, much the same as the World Scout Moot I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, to do something very different and unique – in this case, an adventure with a difference and a chance to get know a community and its members.

As a father of an 18 year daughter however, have to say that it is a bit of a shock to get a text from her explaining that her team have just had a great result and persuaded complete strangers to let them have a bed for the night in their house!Or on another evening that they had met up with some locals who had then taken them to a local Scout campsite.  All innocent and a great adventure - but this was my daughter!

I had the advantage of knowing that it was a well organised and supervised trip – but as I was reading a thread on EScouts about over involved parents, it did set me wondering that we perhaps sometimes dismiss the interests of the parents of young people left in our care and could occasionally better prepare them for the adventure their child is about to experience? Of course, engaging them in what we are up to also gives us an opportunity to get to know them....

Increased opportunities such as Francesca was able to enjoy with Hampshire’s Explorer Belt expedition (which she only got to hear about because Hampshire are one of the Counties who kindly forward their monthly newsletter – hence the 'beware' of what this may lead to warning) might just be the reason why our membership is booming. But that’s a story for next week.

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