Hi, I’m Phil, the Group Scout Leader (GSL) here at Dringhouses Scout Group. I am the lead volunteer responsible for all of our amazing Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, Explorers and Volunteers across all 10 weekly sections. In this special edition of my blog, you can read all about my Scouting past, and why I value my time volunteering for this incredible organisation.
I started my time in Scouting when I turned 6 years old and I joined Beavers Scouts here at Dringhouses. It was when I was an older Cub that I learnt a very valuable lesson that stuck with me through Scouts and beyond; If you volunteer to do the cooking on camp, you don’t have to do the washing up! From then on, I would always volunteer to cook and it earnt me the nickname ‘Delia’ at Scouts.
There are lots of skills you learn through Scouting and it was when I was 15 year old Scout that it really hit home to me how valuable that can be. On a very wet and grey Sunday afternoon I was on my way home from a rugby match when our car was flagged down and we were asked if anyone knew CPR. It was time to put the 1st aid I had been taught by my scout leaders in to action. There were a dozen or so people crowded around a car, the driver of which had suffered a heart attack. I performed CPR on him for about 30 minutes until an ambulance arrived (We were in a pretty rural location). Unfortunately, the ambulance crew were unable to save the driver of the car. But I was still glad that I had been able to try and help, that was thanks to Scouts!
Shortly after that, I joined Venture Scouts (which some of you may remember) just before it changed to Explorer Scouts. As an Explorer I was selected to attend the 20th World Scout Jamboree in Thailand.
After turning 18, I became an adult leader at Yorvik Explorers and Thursday Scouts. I was very busy with Scouting in my early 20s, as well helping with 2 sections, I also joined Scout Network to complete my Queen’s Scout Award and DofE Gold, I joined the Jamboree Delivery team for the 21st World Scout Jamboree helping to run the Staff catering village, became North Yorkshire Scouts County Youth Rep and Assistant County Commissioner for Explorer Scouts and even acted as youth rep for the Scout Association to the European Scout Council and conference in 2007. During this time, work took me to West Yorkshire where I lived for a couple of years. I moved back to York 6 years ago and started helping out Panku Explorers in Acomb and at Tuesday Scouts here.
A change in career meant that shift work made it hard for me to attend regular, weekly meetings and I took on the role of Quartermaster and Transport Manager. Some time after that (l can’t actually remember exactly when) Graham, our previous Group Scout Leader, said he was thinking of retiring and would I like to take over and here I am 3 or 4 years later! I am very lucky to be supported by my very understanding wife, Leigh. We have a 2 year old daughter, Imogen and she has just been joined by a baby brother, Albie, who is 3 weeks old.