Scouting adventures in the UK
All throughout my last year I knew I needed a break from study after I finished, but I didn’t want to do nothing. I wanted to feel like I had done something worthwhile, whilst being able to see the world at the same time.
I had heard about Lattitude before as people in my school had gone through them previously, and the idea of a volunteer gap year really interested me. I started looking at the options available through Lattitude and as soon as I saw outdoor instructor, I knew it was for me. From being involved in scouts from a young age, I have always loved adventurous and outdoor activities, so the idea of being able to give kids the same kind of enjoyment I had experienced was perfect.
I was lucky enough to be given a placement at Blacklands Farm Girl Guiding Centre located an hour south of London for seven months. Blacklands Farm offers a range of activities from adventurous ones such as leap of faith, bungee trampolines, crates, climbing, abseiling and zip wires, to water activities like kayaking and canoeing, as well as the more common activities of archery, team building and orienteering. I was lucky enough to be able to run all of the activities except the water based activities as they require specific and special qualifications.
No two days were the same at the farm as in a day you could go from running an archery session, to a climb, to a zip wire and finishing up with an abseil. This was great fun though as it meant you always had variety and never knew what to expect. Days could be long, especially through Summer, starting anywhere from 8:00 to 10:00 and finishing as late as 9:30, but I didn’t mind as I was doing something I really enjoyed.
One of the best feelings on the job was having a kid on abseil, who the first time came up the tower terrified and didn’t want to do it, ended up returning and and having another go because they enjoyed it so much. It made the ten minute chat you had at the top with them, convincing them they could do it, all the more worth it.
Every day was like that. There was always a chance to watch kids grow in confidence, and have fun. It was one of the main reasons that I loved my job so much. Being at Blacklands Farm has been amazing and saying goodbye to the people I lived and worked with was so hard. I would recommend working at a girl guiding or scout centre in a heartbeat. For fellow scouts like me, the opportunity to make an impact in other young scouts and guides lives, whilst giving them an amazing experience, is something you can’t miss.
Submitted by: Kelli Price