I’ve been in scouting since I was five years old. I feel extremely lucky to have spent almost my entire life as a scout , with both my parents being involved in the organisation. I believe scouting has shaped me into the person I am today, I’m 15 and some sort of socialist, punk, self-proclaimed bolloxologist. In my short life I’ve learned from writers such as Marx, Orwell, Socrates, and various other institutes and ideas. However the most important things in life I will ever learn about are peace and love. As hippy dippy and generic as it may sound, I truly believe these 2 forces have the power to change the world. I’ve learnt that from scouting, and above all, our youth workers and volunteers who take time out of their lives and dedicate it to us.
Enda Kenny couldn’t change the world and Fine Gael couldn’t even try but in my short existence in this world I’ve known youth workers to save lives with cups of tea and tight hugs. I’ve seen them effortlessly put others needs above their own, working tirelessly, day and night, in the pursuit of change. I remember my first serious relationship when I was around 13 or 14 and getting in a fight with my then girlfriend, my scout leaders eyes led me like I knew where to go and held me like they’d always be with me. I remember my mothers funeral in the scout hall and how I was embraced in warm hugs by scouters instead of cold handshakes from distant cousins. I knew then what family was to me, a necko and a familiar face, a campfire could explain my life better than a photo album ever could. I remember after a hard day at school of indifferent shrugs and shakes from fellow peers who didn’t even wanna look up to speak to me. I went down to ventures and the only thing waiting for me there was love and acceptance. It is these moments that save young people from suicide and depression. It is these moments, these people that have made me who I am. It is these scouters who try so hard to accept and love each scout as a valuable, important individual, which isn’t always easy. That is the reason I believe in love above all else as well as scouting, in which many senses is the same thing.
Yes there is flaws in scouters, everyone has their flaws, nobody’s perfect. However you youth workers and volunteers are perfect people in the eyes of thousands of young people. You guys are pillars in the community, a shoulder to cry on, life savers, tea makers, head shakers and heroes. You may be there for just one hour a week, you may think you are just a scout leader or a youth worker, but you are the reason Scouting Ireland exists, the only reason its here for all of us to enjoy. You, in my eyes, are changing the world. I hope one day, I will be strong enough to do the same. Thanks lads for showing me beyond reason who I really am.
Kerry Trevaskis Hoskin,
9th Wicklow Arklow