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Posts Tagged ‘Mark O’Connor’

Developing Friendship 

Posted on October 25th, 2016 by admin

The ‘Jamboree Blues’ are over

It’s now over a year since I embarked on an adventure of a lifetime, the 2015 World Scout Jamboree, in Japan. With just over 40,000 scouts and guides on site there was plenty chance to interact  and understand different faiths and cultures; geographical and social borders were non existent over the three week period.

Making friendships while I was at the jamboree was amazing, giving me memories that will last a lifetime but, inevitably time moves on and so do people. Unit 56 from Merseyside of whom I travelled with are a close-nit bunch who still all keep in contact via social media.

Unit 56 on the Bullet Train

I don’t think I’ll ever experience freindship like this again with both my peers and the leaders involved. After the jamboree finished we have had many meetings such as camps and meals; It’s clear to see that the friendship is still strong. As our leader Rich would say “It’s quality”.

The jamboree doesn’t necessarily end when it officially ends. In the words of the late Freddie Mercury ‘the show must go on’. I’m a firm believer that friendship can take many forms and start from all sorts of places. Perhaps one person I’ve formed a close freindship with is Frankie.

On the jamboree site

On the jamboree site

It’s a scary thought that if I never applied for the jamboree, I would have never met some of the soundest people ever!

“Friendship knows no boundaries”

Walks to the Lake District

I’ve been on many adventures with Frankie; mountain climbing to mowing the lawn – the list seemingly endless. I loved every minute and I hope for future Jamboree participants that they can have amazing freindships that I’ve been lucky enough to have.


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Young Leaders Buckle Up

Posted on August 8th, 2016 by admin

Young Leaders ‘should be proud’

What springs to mind when you think of Young leaders, tea makers or just an extra pair of hands for meetings? Last month saw six new Young Leaders complete their training, however it begged the question: what exactly are Young Leaders?  Speaking as a Young Leader, I do count myself as ‘young’ and yet I also call myself a ‘leader’. Young Leaders make a positive impact on our community and develop as individuals.

Youth Shaped Scouting works hand-in-hand with Young Leaders. Y.L.’s bridge a gap that can sometimes appear between leaders and youth members. Youth Shaped Scouting allows young people’s voices to be heard; Young leaders act as an amplifier to that message. Although not warranted leaders, Young Leaders go through a diverse training program which teaches them how to plan and run a meeting, safeguarding procedures and how to have fun!

Young Leaders are an incorporated part of the Scout group. Speaking from experience, I was involved in planning meetings from the get go; nothing was off the list, whether it be food shopping or drafting a letter to parents. It’s this inclusivity that has made me who I am today and other Young Leaders alike. The Isle of Man has a growing number of Young Leaders as you don’t have to be a member of the Scouting movement already to be a Y.L. Your probably thinking ‘what’? As long as your aged between 14-18, Explorer Scout or not, you can become a Young Leader. By doing this, the Young Leaders scheme works closely with awards such as the Duke of Edinburgh programme.

Young Leader Co-ordinator, Laura Skears said that ‘our Y.L.’s we have at the moment are fantastic.’ She added, ‘The six that have earned their belts have worked extremely hard and should be proud.’

So…what do you get out of being a Young Leader? Aside from the belt as well as the certificate at the end of it (and the leaders nagging you to fill in your log book), you get something more. Young Leaders get a sense of responsibility, pride and whole lot of fun.

Mark O’Connor – Young Leader


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