28th June 2021
Thank You Day began with just 13 individual members of the public proposing the day. Emma was one of them. Here’s her story.
I’m a sixteen-year old Explorer Scout from the North West and have been involved in the Scouts since I was six. As a teenager, people often have this stereotype that everything you want to do is bad, so I really like that Scouts gives you a chance to do things that people respect you for.
Some of the things I enjoy most about Scouts are all the new experiences you try, the new skills you learn and the people you meet. In the summer of 2019 I was selected to go as part of the UK contingent to the 24th World Scout Jamboree in North America. The Jamboree happens once every four years and is the biggest gathering of Scouts in the world, with over 50,000 attending. We travelled to loads of cool places and even did a flash mob at Times Square in New York! You only get the opportunity to go once so it really was the trip of a lifetime.
Like everyone, I’ve found the last year difficult. Over lockdown, I had to do all my schoolwork at home and wasn’t able to see my grandparents who I’d usually see regularly. Scouts was also affected. There’s nothing like sitting round the campfire or going off on a coach somewhere to camp, but all that got put to a halt. I’ve missed not having that same community feel that I usually get from Scouts.
Luckily we’ve been able to carry on doing Scouts over Zoom when meeting up wasn’t possible. As a Young Leader, I help with the Beaver Scouts, who are aged six to eight, and so when lockdown hit I began running weekly online sessions instead. I was a Beaver once too and had an amazing time, so I’d hate to think of someone else not having that same opportunity. I’ve been doing all sorts with the Beavers, like scavenger hunts and virtual camps. There were Beavers at the start who never wanted to go on screen and were scared of the whole thing, but now they’re much more confident and talking away – I‘m the one muting them!
When the opportunity to get involved in Thank You Day came up, I knew I had to get on board. After the past year that we’ve all had, which has obviously been so difficult for everyone, I think it’s really important to say a big thank you.
I’d like to say thank you to everyone in my life, but specifically to my Explorer Leader, Dawn. When the pandemic started, Dawn stepped up to keep Scouts going for our whole district. Dawn has been really encouraging, wanting to know what the other Scouts and I are up to and asking if we’ve been going for walks. Having her regularly check up on me just helped me feel like someone else was there.
We now need more volunteers across the country as a lot of people had to step back during the pandemic. That’s why we’ve launched our new campaign #GoodForYou, showing how volunteering benefits you and your community.
I’m definitely going to try and organise something fun to do with the Scouts for Thank You Day, even if it’s just having people come in and out of the Scout Hut. It would be great for everyone to be there and have a big celebration – maybe a B-B-Thank-Q. We’ve got some great recipes from Levi Roots if anyone needs some inspiration.
Saying thank you to someone helps them to feel like it’s all been worth it. Some evenings when I’m tired after school, I don’t always feel like running my Beavers sessions, but the thank yous that I get from the Beavers make me know that it’s worth it and I’m doing it for a good reason.
Meet all the Thank You Day proposers.