As well as the sailing madness, both of us have been heavily involved with the Scouts.
Having been at various times a helper, assistant and Scout Leader for the past 12 years with a local Troop, I spent many Thursdays happily overseeing 40+ young people between the ages of 10 and 14 in various activities that hopefully will expand their horizons and lead them into many adventures.
My own experiences as a child in the Brownies and Guides were memorable, and included learning to sail aged about 10 at Paxmead and Longridge on the Thames along with the usual outdoor pursuits of camping, hiking and several holidays on a Narrowboat on the English Canal network. It’s great that Scouts allow girls in the movement now, and if that had been possible then I would have jumped at the chance as Scouts tends to be more challenging, but I was lucky to belong to a very active Guide group.
Having got so much from the movement, I was keen to put something back, so when my sons started as Beaver Scouts, it was natural to help out, and I became drawn in – some might say suckered in 🙂 – gradually, to the point where I found myself one of the Leaders. The experience has been had work but enjoyable for the most part and I will continue to contribute when we are in the UK for as long as possible.
Robin was also a Scout as a child, and like myself learned to sail in that context but in the Sussex area at Piddinghoe Pond. When the time came for our children to have the chance to learn to sail with the Scouts he found to his complete astonishment that the Instructor was the very same one that taught him to sail more than thirty years earlier!
In the same way that I became drawn in to the Scout Troop, Robin got roped in (sorry, couldn’t resist) to the Scout Sailing scene and allowed himself to be talked into taking his Dinghy Instructor qualification, becoming part of the Instructor team for the past seven years.
It’s been great helping to give something of the experiences that shaped us to the next generation.