Lessons From Life Talk To Scouts And Guides

Posted on July 26th 2019 by Jason Rawles

A few weeks ago I was honoured to deliver a keynote talk to 500 or so Scouts, Girl Guides, Scout leaders and parents. What a privilege. I was asked when delivering mountain safety for Street 2 Peak via Ordnance Survey after we ran some training at Gilwell Park. The brief was fairly loose but wanted to cover aspects of adventure, togetherness and how that relates to skills for life.

I wanted to blog about the topics I covered as I feel they’re relevant for everyone and can be shared. I broke the talk down in to five key parts. Below is a small breakdown of what was covered –

Embrace diversity and equality

Today’s society is a rich kaleidoscope of people, cultures and experiences. We have also progressed a way in terms of equality. We must embrace this. We must not lose momentum on positive change and keep respecting everyone as human beings and people as deserving to do whatever they choose in life. Everyone has the right to be what they want and then it’s down to attitude, desire and effort as to whether they succeed.

Not every man wants to be a midwife and not every woman wants to be a CEO. We have the right to be what we want in life. Everyone should feel empowered to be what they want. We must ALL embrace this thinking and support each other irrespective of age, sex, colour, religion, wealth status or love preferences.

I’ve been so fortunate to travel the world and do some pretty cool stuff. I’ve been to remote places and seen many different cultures. One aspect we all have in common is our ability to respect each other and that isn’t something we have to spend years learning, it’s what we can do every minute of every day in our interactions with others.

Make the most of Scouts and Guides

The Scouts and Girl Guides offer so many opportunities. You can literally try anything and work out if it’s something you enjoy. Not everybody wants to climb and not everyone likes to camp outside. That’s okay, we are all different. But how amazing is it that you have a group of wonderful leaders around you who want to help you experience these types of things, while increasing your learning, and having fun, so you can actually find out?!

Everything you’re doing will help you build skills. When you have more skills you have more ‘tools’ to be able to live your best life. You won’t try and fix a puncture on your bike with just a spanner. You need more. You need a repair kit, tyre levers, perhaps a spanner etc. to get the job done. That’s life. Things happen (puncture) and the more tools you have (repair kit, spanner, levers) the quicker things can happen and the more fun you can have.

Be your best and not other peoples best

Not everyone wants to climb Everest. Not everyone wants to row an ocean. That’s okay. We live in a world of so many digital inputs and it’s easy to get caught up in what other’s are doing especially when you are only seeing what they want to show you and not what’s real.

Be your best.

Don’t worry about social media. Don’t worry about what other people are doing. It’s okay to not want to do what society or others suggest you should do. Your best, your plans, your passions, your want is ABSOLUTELY good enough.

Keep on adventuring

Adventure is the most wonderful space. But let me define adventure and that’s pretty much anything that is an outdoor activity. Walking around a lake, expeditions around the world, cycling, finding a waterfall, running in the mountains etc. It can be anything in the context of what’s right for you. Some may fell run for 24hrs and some may walk 2km around a lake. That’s okay.

It’s more about doing the something rather than specifics of what.

Adventuring is the space where you can re-balance. It’s the place where you can clear your head out. It’s somewhere where you can be with friends and family. It’s where you can learn new skills. It’s where you have fun and challenge yourself.

Need I list more!?!?!

Adventure and the outdoors will enhance your life. Keep on adventuring…

It’s not just leadership it’s team work too

A lot of people talk about great leadership. It’s sexy to be a leader and let’s be clear, not everyone wants to be a leader. What we don’t recognise enough is that we must be great team players also. We must be willing to be led and be part of something bigger. It’s very rare that you’re top of the tree so you have to have a view on co-operation and togetherness.

When I look around I see that I’m always part of a team and act accordingly. If I head in to the village for a coffee I want to be polite and respectful as the people making the coffee are working hard to deliver something nice to me. If I am polite and helpful then their life is easier and it’s more likely to result in a positive outcome as well as it just being a nice way to be. Team work.

In the Himalaya where I spend a lot of time guiding expeditions, it’s a massive team effort. I may be a leader but I’m also part of the team to deliver. If I wasn’t willing to be a team player things would break down and people may get hurt or worse.

It’s great to have the confidence to lead but it’s as important to have the humility to be a team player too and that’s in every aspect of life (school, family, Scouts, Guides, DofE etc.).

There is naturally more to this and in person it’s easier to articulate the feelings and add more to it all in terms of experiences.

I love being on stage or in front of audiences to share my experiences so people can make more positive decisions with their life. It’s the best feeling ever. I look to inspire greatness.

Please do share these messages and if you have any views please do comment below…



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