Last night, after a little cajoling and a week of preparation, I spoke to our local Scouting district about a subject close to my heart — adventure.
I hiked the Cape Wrath Trail in June this year. It was a landmark journey for me, and after I completed it I started thinking about how closely it’s connected with the work I do as a volunteer in Scouting. Sometimes it feels like trying to light the spark of adventure in young people is a hopeless task — adventure is too frequently seen as something that other people do, or something you see on TV. I wanted to show them that adventure is real and can be experienced by anyone.
The event was a success, with an audience of about fifty people. I planned my talk to be about an hour long, supported by a basic slideshow with photographs and maps from my journey, and all of my gear spread out on a table for them to look at. Although it overran slightly, the kids remained enthralled throughout and it was great to see so many of them coming and inspecting my gear and asking questions afterwards.
I normally dread public speaking but I enjoyed myself last night. If I’ve helped to inspire just a few of them to seek their own adventures and build on the skills we help them to discover in Scouting, then it will certainly have been worth my time.
Don’t forget that you can read my article on the Cape Wrath Trail in this month’s issue of TGO magazine, available at any good newsagent.