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I’ve thought about this recently after changing jobs. Everyone should have a passion or at the very


least, an interest outside of their everyday work life. For some it’s a sport (either watching or participating) for others it’s gardening and for others it’s gaming or reading. The possibilities are endless. For me though, it’s scouting. I’ve been a scout for over 30 years. To this day, my best friends in life are the ones I made in scouts when I was a kid. That’s not a coincidence.

Scouting gives you the opportunity to share adventures. It gives the opportunity to challenge yourself, and others. It gives you the opportunity to lead and be lead. Scouting gives you the opportunity to push yourself to achieve your goals. Sharing this with your friends makes for very strong and in my case lifelong bonds.

Why does Scouting make me a better employee though?

1. I know how to be part of a team of people with different skills, abilities, ages, personal views, and backgrounds. I can work in this team and and play my part. I know how to lead this team if needs be, but I also know how to follow instructions to help achieve our team goal.

2. I can manage risk. Years of adventures has thought me how to assess risks. Which ones are worth taking and which ones are not. How to weigh up potential rewards against the possible outcome of failure in an an instant. You need to take risks in order to be rewarded. Someone who is not willing to take a risk will never achieve great things.

3. Some people say “Think outside the Box” when trying to come up with solutions to problems. Scouts say “Think Outside”. I have learned to be innovative and solve problems by using the resources available to me and by manipulating them so that they can fit a solution. By working outside it allows me to see the bigger picture – quite literally as the views from the tops of mountains can be amazing, and inspiring.

4. I can teach people who learn at different speeds and in different ways. I know that everyone learns differently and that I need to modify how I communicate my message to make sure it’s understood. This adaptability transfers very well to dealing with colleagues, managers, or customers.

5. I’m not afraid of making mistakes. Some people might think they’ll look foolish if they make a mistake. Recently I had 800 people singing nonsensical lyrics and dancing nonsensical dances at a campfire. I forgot some of the words and some of the moves, but it didn’t matter. We all looked foolish, but it didn’t matter. It was fun. Scouts learn from their mistakes or next time they’ll be cold, or wet, or hungry or all three. We learn by making mistakes.

These are just some of the reasons why being a scout makes me a better employee. If you’re an employer, you should give consideration to employing some scouts or even think about joining up with your local scout group to help give you a different perspective.

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