Scout’s Own. A moment of calm, a time to reflect on everything we’ve done together over the last weekend. Why we belong to this great movement, what binds us all together, what we have in common.
These were Ayesha’s themes for Scouts Own this year, inspired by the late MP Jo Cox in her maiden speech to parliament: “we have more in common than that which divides us.”
There are three things we all have in common as Scouts: our values, our promise and our scarf.
Scarf. Necker. Neckie. So many different patterns and designs, it shows we belong to one family. Every scarf has a story, a reason for its being, and we heard five such stories today. From the tartans of Scotland to the wildlife of Brazil, every necker has a story to tell, a reason for being unique.
Scouts are also connected by our values – the very fundamentals of Scouting. Each speaker this afternoon explored a different value, allowing us to reflect upon its importance.
Our first speaker Andrew Sharkey, Chief Commissioner of Scotland, spoke on Integrity. “When we act with integrity, we inspire other people to the same. We are all role models for our young people and for each other.”
Gee, an Scout Adventures volunteer at Gilwell Park, reflected on Respect. “Listening to each other is the best way to show respect. Just by listening to each other, you care about what they’re saying and you show them that they are welcome wherever they are. “
Next, we heard from CJ, about caring. “When we each all show care and kindness, something truly remarkable happens: everyone around us feels better. We feel like we’re welcome, that we’re safe and we belong.”
Craig Turpie, our Deputy UK Chief Commissioner (Transformation) was greeted to the stage to talk about belief. “Understanding our beliefs is one part of discovering our own identities […] Scouts is a safe place to be while we make these discoveries. It’s a place to belong; no judgement, no pressure and all the help we need to find our place in the world.”
Last but not least we Marina Kruger, another Scout Adventures volunteer, spoke about cooperation. “When we cooperate, we make a really positive difference. We make friends, and that’s all Scouts is about, right? Teamwork.”
Finally, of course, Scouts are connected by our promise, a celebration of the values we follow. As is traditional, attendees were given the chance to renew their promise, before bidding farewell to their friends and embarking on their journeys home.