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Scouts in Bristol shape their own adventure…

Meet the team

They call Muirne ‘the brains’ of the Group and after speaking to her for just a couple of minutes, you can see why. She’s sharp, focused and passionate about academia. Muirne talks about her upcoming GCSEs with enthusiasm, then goes on to explain her plan
 to tackle A-levels, university and finally a career as a field medic. She’s ambitious, confident and passionate about helping others: she’s a Scout through and through.

Muirne is part of an incredible team of Young Leaders at 1st Abbotswood in Yate, Bristol. There are four of them in total; as well 
as Muirne, there’s Dom – a natural leader: calm, collected and always keen to help the younger Scouts with whatever problem they bring to him. Reece is the practical one –a mechanic in the making with a cheeky sense of humour. And then there’s the final member of the team: ‘Georgia? Georgia does whatever she wants!’ laughs Reece.

In actual fact, Georgia is the ‘mother’ of the group; a problem-solver who has a head for funds and a heart for helping in any way she can.

Together they form an amazing leadership team that has changed the lives of every young person that has come through the door at 1st Abbotswood – not bad for a leadership team that hasn’t even left school yet.

The fantastic four

‘The four of them are very different,’ says Georgina Hudd, Scout Leader. ‘They were like this going through all sections – Patrol Leaders then Troop Leaders. They’ve always loved learning and leading as opposed to just doing the activities – that’s the kind of people they are.’

With the help and amazing support from Georgina, Muirne, Georgia, Reece and Dom have done fantastic things for the Group. They organise events and activities, organise and plan meetings, take care of funds and work on the Group’s social media and website. They also organise activities and events for the Scouts.

But as well as being great organisers, the Young Leaders are even greater with the younger Scouts.

‘They see people differently and they look at things differently,’ says Georgina. ‘They come to Scouts every week and they do a brilliant job. They get to be who they are here and they feel comfortable; therefore the young Scouts feel comfortable.’

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Selfless heroes

The Young Leaders help the Cubs and Scouts with their homework and chat about school projects at camp. They talk about GCSEs and exams and moving to different school years and classes and they give advice to those that worry and who might struggle with school.

‘I’m a senior student at school – which is basically being a mentor’ says Georgia. ‘When I started school they didn’t have the scheme so I didn’t have access to an older kid
 to go to with any questions or to get advice. There were teachers, but having people my age helped a lot.’

With their own exams looming in the near distance and study taking up a lot of their time, these guys 
are more than familiar with the pressures of school and Scouts offers a respite from that world.

‘Scouts gives people the chance to be themselves and it’s brilliant to be part of it,’ says Dom. ‘Everyone goes through tough times and it shouldn’t have to be that tough. School is difficult enough already so I want
 to help make life easier for young people.’

Doing things differently

The Young Leader team at 1st Abbotswood shows Scouting at
 its very best – youth-shaped and putting young people in the driving seat; allowing them to carve out their own adventure no matter what.

‘As a society we’re prone to taking away young people’s choices but
 we try not to do that at Scouts,’ says Georgina. ‘If these are the type of young people that take joy from giving back to others, then so be it. The YL scheme isn’t for everyone – some of it is hard and you have to be the right kind of person. These guys are mature for their age and they want the responsibility at that age and it works for them.’

It’s hard to argue with this, especially when you talk to Muirne, Dom, Reece and Georgia, who clearly couldn’t be happier. ‘I like being here and I really like being a leader,’ says Reece. ‘I enjoy it too much to leave.’

So, what’s next for this brilliant team of Scouts?

‘They’ll probably take different roles going forward,’ says Georgina. ‘Dom will gravitate to Cubs and run the Group. Reece will probably join Dom and Muirne loves the paperwork – so she’ll probably go for Chair or Group Scout Leader, knowing her – always aiming for the top. Georgia will probably go with Scouts, which is her favourite section to work with.’

Beyond that – who knows; but whatever happens, this group will have truly made their mark at 1st Abbotswood and changed the lives of countless young people in the process...

 

Feeling inspired? Tell us your own amazing stories: scouting.magazine@scouts.org.uk

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