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. Jack tells us that his Scouting Adventures at home prepared him 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.

Jack learnt Skills for Life

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. Jack secured a £25,000 grant from Sita UK, and experiences like this in South Shields undoubtedly prepared him with a can-do attitude that would take his scouting adventures international. Jack then stepped up to take 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 from different areas in the UK to 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 (sterile needles, first aid, etc.) This level of organisation enabled the team to complete their Explorer Belt and help local people along the way.

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 the twenty-plus young people he met who carry out their scouting activities there. When the team visited they installed the first of the six solar panels for the community, and Jack receives updates about the progress of the hut’s activities now.

Jacks scouting values and experiences

Jack’s Scouting values and experiences have led him to work for social good in many different capacities locally, and abroad. Jack has presented the value of Scouting at the Conservative Party Conference with Bear Grylls, he has worked with an inner city community charity in Newcastle (which has inspired him to lobby for a new inner city Muslim scout group in the area); he is currently leading a team to support 70 young people on the NCS summer programme.

Jack describes Scouting that is a seamless part of his everyday life and 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 them movement with them in everything that they do. If you have been inspired by the power of young people in Scouting, donate to The Scouts so more young people can start their journey.