As the last of us finish the Easter holidays (yes, there are still some!), this is when activities at 1st Waterloo really start to take off. You will be hearing from the section leaders very often with regard to District Camp (all), Intercamp (Scouts) and other activities planned between now and the end of the term. Please be vigilant in reading these messages and responding in a timely manner.
However, we have some important challenges ahead of us with regard to uniformed leaders. Vicky has already been doing double-duty with Beavers and Cubs throughout this year, but both Sandra and Cliona will join her full-time in the Cubs section in September. Without uniformed leaders for Beavers, we will NOT have a Beavers section in 2014-2015!
I’m asking all of you, not only parents of current Beavers, to consider taking a uniformed leadership role in Beavers in the upcoming school year. If you’re coming to District Camp this year as a parent, imagine yourself with these children as a leader. Drop-in on a Monday meeting to see what’s happening. Your own child doesn’t need to be in Beavers in order to be a leader. 100% of us are unpaid volunteers, some with children still in 1st Waterloo while others without, who enjoy spending time with young people, doing a wide range of activities and serving the English-speaking community of the Waterloo area.
In 2003, the Scouts section was closed for one year and in 2006 the Beaver section was closed due to a lack of leaders. It would be bitterly disappointing to be forced to do the same in 2014 when we already have an active Beaver colony. You may not know that some leaders at 1st Waterloo are already doing double (or even quadruple) duty. We cannot continue to rely on the same small group of people as leaders (both in and out of uniform) for fear of burnout or the possibility of them being transferred away from Belgium.
As the Scout Association website says, “you don’t have to be an adventurer like Bear Grylls to get involved with Scouting.” Most of us are working full-time or raising a family full-time (or doing both!) in addition to Scouting. This call-to-action is not only for the Beaver section, although that is our most urgent need, but other sections will soon need help too. Do you have friends, neighbors, work colleagues that you think would enjoy volunteering with 1st Waterloo? Having no children, young children or grown-up children doesn’t mean they can’t participate. When I joined in 2008, my own children weren’t old enough to participate, but it helped me better integrate into the community and introduced me to many wonderful families.
If my appeal piques your interest and you want to chat (no obligation, I will keep it confidential), please get in touch. Until then, please spread the word and reflect on my appeal on behalf of 1st Waterloo. Demand is very high for British Scouting in Belgium (215 young people are active at 1st Brussels with another 100 children on their waiting list!), but it’s only a lack of adult leaders that prevents us from offering Scouting to more young people.
Yours in Scouting,
Group Scout Leader, 1st Waterloo (International) Scout Group