When Jack’s Scouting experience began as a Beaver he wasn’t expecting the journey his local 7th South Shields Scout Group would take him on. Scouting Adventures prepared Jack with the essential skills for life he needed to step outside of his comfort zone, like: confidence, public speaking, project management, team working and crucially: leadership.

Skills for Life

Jack White sporting his Team UK necker

At the age of 14, Jack started volunteering at his local group and stepped up to support the fundraising effort to refurbish their local hut and secured a £25,000 grant from Sita UK. Experiences like this in South Shields undoubtedly prepared Jack with a can-do attitude that would take his scouting adventures international.

Jack took on more leadership opportunities with the Scouts. He was appointed as an Assistant UK Youth Commissioner in 2017, and as a member of the International Rep Pool Jack has attended international talks (including UN conferences) in Peru and Sweden. 

Peru Expedition

Jack’s biggest trip yet was when in summer 2017 when he led a group of scouts to represent Team UK in Peru for a month-long expedition. Jack tells us how he grew to understand his peers’ skillsets and attributes; putting forward one team member fluent in Spanish to lead on communications, and another studying medicine to ensure they had the appropriate supplies like sterile needles and bandages. This level of organisation enabled the team to complete their Explorer Belt and help local people along the way.

Transforming a community

An indigenous Quechuan woman holding her harvest of fava beans

In rural areas of Peru only 39% of households have access to, or use, electricity on the grid. Over 80% of lighting at night in rural areas comes from kerosene lamps and candles, leaving essential tasks difficult to conduct at night and many children unable to study in the evenings. This can have a huge effect on life chances for families in the Andean region where there are the highest rates of poverty.

As part of their expedition planning, Jack and his team fundraised to cover the costs of installing six solar panels on a Peruvian Scout hut. Jack describes the local Scout hut as more of a community centre, where people of all ages will drop in and work together to solve local issues, along with more than 20 young people he met who carry out their Scout activities there. When the team visited, they installed the first of the six solar panels for the community, and Jack continues to receive updates about the progress of the hut’s activities now.

Jacks scouting values and experiences

Jack’s Scout values and experiences led him to work for social good in many different capacities locally, and abroad. Jack has presented the value of the Scout at the Conservative Party Conference with Bear Grylls. He has worked with an inner city community charity in Newcastle which inspired Jack to lobby for a new inner city Muslim Scout group in the area). Jack also led a team to support 70 young people on the National Citizen Service (NCS).

Jack describes the Scouts as a seamless part of his everyday life and that has offered him innovative, engaging ways to learn life skills he never would have in school. Jack is a prime example of how Scouting has grown to be the established global movement it is: the young people who benefit from Scouting take the movement with them in everything that they do.

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