Scouting is all about imparting skills for life to young people. It’s far more than a whim or loose marketing slogan; everything we do in Scouting is intended to prepare our members for the future, to equip them with the tools required for adulthood.
The things learned during a weekly Scouting session can legitimately make a difference, even if it doesn’t seem it at the time. Occasionally, it can even be a question of life or death.
When Explorer Scouts Lucy and Judith were walking home from school one Friday afternoon in February, little did they know some of the skills they had been taught in Scouts would come into play in such a vital manner.
A gentleman in his sixties had collapsed outside a supermarket in Tilehurst, Reading. Unresponsive, the Explorers instinctively recalled all they had learned during Scouts first aid sessions.
Judith called 999, while Lucy checked for a pulse. Thankfully, the man became responsive quickly and Lucy helped to elevate him. Finding out that the man was diabetic, Lucy asked the shop to supply some fruit pastilles to raise the man’s blood sugar levels, while the ambulance arrived. It transpired that the gentleman had recently had a heart operation, so the Explorers’ intervention proved critical.
“It happened quite fast,” recalls Lucy. “We were walking back from school, as normal, when this man just collapsed. It wasn’t obvious what was wrong, but we were confident we knew how to act and what to do because we had learned it in Scouts. I also knew how to treat diabetic shock because my Grandad has diabetes. I was happy we could help, and it was really because of what we’d learned in Scouts that we could make a difference. I was pleased Judith and I were there to help out.”
Explorer Scout Leader Chris Hughes said: “It was during a recent Explorer evening on CPR and defibrillator use when Lucy shared this incredible story with us. She mentioned casually that she had put her first aid knowledge into practice to help the wellbeing of a member of the public. It reinforces the importance of the ‘Skills for Life’ message that we try to incorporate into all our Scouting programme across all sections, and a reminder never to underestimate the positive impact that Scouting can play – alongside the courage and calmness that Lucy and Judith showed in this particular case.”