Maria Wade

Scout Leader at the 9th Royal Eltham Scout Group 

Maria is a Scout Leader

Sadly, I missed out on all the fun of being in Scouting as a child but those were the days when girls were kept separate from boys and so although I was a Brownie, I never went onto Girl Guides because I had other interests, but now I know what fun the Scouting world is for all ages I regret that choice.

However, the story has a happy ending because at the age of 29 I was asked to help out at a local Scout group to become the Scout Leader. This was to help with the introduction of girls into the Troup. From the moment I joined I knew I was part of a something special. It opened my eyes to what Scouting gives the children. It’s so much more than the fun of camping and outdoor games. It helps them achieve and overcome challenges, learn skills that will stay with them like teamwork, and to form friendships with other children. For me to be a part of that and feel that I play some role in changing their lives is very rewarding.

Of course there is a selfish side to it. I got to have all the fun I missed out on by joining in all the activities like rock climbing, canoeing and abseiling. I found a real love for camping though. There’s nothing like it when you take the kids to summer camp and you sit round a campfire telling stories, singing songs and just forming a really special bond with the other leaders and kids.

I think the biggest thing I have got from Scouting personally is the friendships for life I have formed with a great bunch of people who all love to be a part of a very special organization that is Scouting. It’s so much more than you could ever imagine.