Chief Commissioner's blog| More than a few damp eyes
Wayne shares an inspirational speech from the Guide Service of Celebration and Thanksgiving...
Westminster Abbey was the imposing venue for the National Scout and Guide Service of Celebration and Thanksgiving on Saturday, but the star of the day was undoubtedly Explorer Scout, George Davis, for his personal testimony that moved us all.
I was so taken by George’s testimony that I’m grateful to him for sharing the speech so that I may share it with you. A great way to be reminded of why we do what we do, and the amazing changes we make as leaders in Scouting:
‘I am here today, with seven other Scouts from the Isle of Dogs, in East London. Today is a very significant date for us. On this day, six years ago, the 2nd East London Scout Group (pictured) met for the very first time and our lives were changed forever.
‘Today I am an Explorer Scout with the Docklands Explorer Scout Unit, but if you cut me in half at the waist, running through me, like a stick of rock, is 2nd East London.
‘With this extraordinary and extra ordinary Scout Group I have lived a life of adventure, fun, challenge and friendship.
‘I earned my Chief Scout Silver Award as a Cub and my Chief Scout Gold Award as a Scout too. I have litter picked, prepared and served meals to the elderly, cleaned our church, sold poppies and sorted books for children in Cambodia. I have completed 120 nights away, 34 hikes, and I have camped out every month of the year. I have taken part in a Jamboree in Serbia; white water rafted in Montenegro, swung through the trees in France and skied in the Czech Republic.
‘The very best part of my experience of Scouting, whether cleaning the toilets at the church, screaming on the rides at Alton Towers, or completing the Southern 50 hike – tired, aching but proud – is the people that I have shared these moments with. My fellow Scouts: my friends; my family, with whom I am completely comfortable. I can sing; I can dance; I can laugh; I can cry; I can truly....be me.
‘I have done all this and more because of the best leaders in the world. They have been my leaders, my teachers, my friends, my second parents, my heroes. I owe them a debt that can never be paid, but all they ask, is that I do my best.’
Alan Hands, acting County Commissioner and former DC for East London commented, ‘The 2nd East London group now has over one hundred members benefiting from the best that Scouting can offer in one of the poorest areas of the UK. The local community is also benefiting through so many different ways; the Group has been collecting one hundred black bags of rubbish off the streets and open areas every month for the last six. Boris Johnson has just sent them lots of gadgets when he heard about their efforts.’
More from me later in the week...