Leading the adventure
Scouts at 237th Birmingham help lead the County’s largest Group.
The enthusiasm, passion and creative thinking of the young people at 237th Birmingham has ensured the Group is now the largest in the County; their success is largely down to the young leaders.
Making it their own
‘The Explorer age (14-18) is when you really want to start shaping your own Scouting,’ says Tom Stock, Explorer Leader. ‘Young people become more autonomous at that age and they want to prepare for the world beyond school. Academia only gets you so far but there’s that something else that you need to really make your mark – I think Scouting does just that.’
Energising the Explorers is key to the Group’s success. Exciting trips in the UK and abroad, and unique themed events, keep the Explorer section busy – and having them lead on the events engages them further.
‘We’ve got an Extreme Trip coming up, and an idea for a night-hike sleepover,’ says Tom. ‘The Explorers organise themed events themselves; we did a Top Gear one last year.’
There’s a young committee of Explorers at 237th who gather ideas from all the Scouts and present them to the leaders. The processes are kept pretty casual; an Adventure Holiday was one of many ideas that got the Explorers excited.
‘Our Explorers came up with the Adventure Holiday,’ says Tom. ‘It’s based in the UK and action-orientated so it’s perfect for Explorers.’
Showcasing the adventure
Always keen to give the younger sections something to look forward to, the Explorers regularly showcase their activities. Daniel, a former Explorer and now leader, is a budding photographer and the Group’s videographer; he’s made some amazing videos of the Group’s trips.
‘The videos are important because they advertise what we do at 237th, and some of the trips we’ve been on,’ says Daniel. ‘They are also a great way to reminisce about previous adventures, and share with friends.’
Keeping young people on through all sections can become trickier the older they get, but that’s something 237th is especially good at; giving young people the responsibility to take the lead in their Scouting has worked wonders for them.
‘The Young Leaders’ Scheme is the lifeblood of the Group,’ says Tom. ‘I did it myself and it’s helped me in my personal life. We have 12 Explorers as YLS and they help out at other section nights. They’re not just an Explorer; they’re an integral part of the Group.’
‘We encourage every Explorer to do the Duke of Edinburgh Award,’ says Matthew Pursall, Scout leader. ‘There aren’t many opportunities at 16 to get a real sense of ownership so that’s what we try to provide at our Group.’
The fun even continues beyond Explorer age. ‘It’s been a big thing with us to not lose people when they turn 18,’ says Matthew. ‘I went off to Uni and while there I was still invited to come back for the camps and trips, so I stayed in touch. It’s easy to keep involved, especially with virtual programme planning and social media.’
Check out 237th’s video below and watch their amazing adventure so far.
Start your own adventure and get involved.