“Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people. ” ― Franklin D. Roosevelt
Outside of work and the family, one of my hobbies is helping out in the scouting movement. I remember when I was a youngster, being a cub scout and going to camps. There was fun, games, adventures and all along you were being taught life skills that many of my generations did not learn at school. For instance, how to light a fire with a flint and some cotton wool; how to map read (smartphones don’t always have a signal); how to cook on an open fire (how many BBQs have you been to where the food is incinerated); how to put up a tent; and so on. You get the idea.
As an adult, I have always wanted to contribute to the local community and support worthy causes. Scouting for me is one of those, so I am proud the be an active part of scouting. Scouting is growing and developing all the time. There are over 462,000 young people aged 6-18 (including 102,000 girls) in scouting across the UK. The flip side of being so popular is that there is a waiting list for youngsters to join.
Even with the advance of technology, there is still something magical about getting out and about in the woods, camping. And that is where I was this past Sunday. Supporting 14 teenage children helping them cook their breakfast on open altar fires. Followed by taking down and packing away their tents. Then a game of rounders.
For me, one of the most peaceful moments, was the walk into the woods first thing that Sunday morning. The silence. The calm and quiet. A time for reflection and a little bit of mindful walking. Being aware of the path. The tree roots and the stones. There was no one awake and the whole forest was at rest. There was no wind, so even the trees appeared to be silent.
Obviously, with lots of children about getting up (there were quite a number of groups camping); the noise level rose, but that feeling of peace was still there. Come lunchtime and it was time for me to head off home. My walk back along the forest path was as peaceful as the one first thing in the morning.
Whatever, you are up to this week, try to take some time out, to go for a walk. If not in a wood, perhaps along with a stream or river; perhaps around a local park; or even through some back streets of the place where you are. And as you walk, take the time to notice; really notice; the path that you are walking and the feeling of yourself as you move. The way your arms move, your feet as they are placed on the path. The warmth of the sun and maybe a breeze. Any smells or odors in the air.
Finally, if you are interested in supporting scouting and helping young people develop skills for life; why not go to the website to find out more.
There are many different ways you can help. If you have no idea where you can help, thee is a handy little tool to help ID where you
I leave you with the following quote.
“The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn”