I am having trouble writing about anything but yesterday’s St George’s Day Parade for my local Scout District. I volunteer in the background of Scouting as a trustee and so have got to know some of the other trustees and leaders in the area. Some of whom read this blog. One group’s farewell was “we want to read about this in tomorrow’s blog”.
But it’s not just my need to obey orders (subject of another blog?), but actually it was a really fun morning. The beauty of Scouts, or any volunteering in any community group, is feeling part of a community. Being recognised, being greeted, feeling a part of something.
Yesterday about 400-500 Scouts and their volunteer leaders all paraded around Cannon Hill Park, possibly my favourite place in Birmingham. There was a real feeling of community, amongst young people and all their accompanying leaders and parents. The whole thing is supported by a brilliant tech team, who just get on with their roles of setting up sound systems with great humour (and demand blogs) and a great team of organisers creating a day where young people really get to shine.
Young people led the celebration, it’s a cliché I know, but whatever else is happening in the world, watching two young people speak clearly, confidently and incredibly well in public – from a bandstand in a park for goodness sake, with hundreds of people watching and potentially hundreds more in the park hearing it – is a huge hope for the world. Those two young people are out there being a positive part of their local community. They are world changers. As is everyone who goes out on a Sunday morning wearing a uniform to parade around a park on a Saints’ Day, just because they want to celebrate their community (St George is the patron saint of Scouting) which is built on the premise of helping each other and having fun whilst doing it. My fervent hope is that community grows, involving more young people in South Birmingham, coming together, having fun, changing the world. All are very welcome.
PS I keep repeating ‘volunteer’, as it amazes me how many people are very aware of Scouting, often their children attend groups, but still think the leaders are paid – they are not. None of them.