My name is Lewis Gale, I am 15 years old and I am an Explorer Scout in Mersey Weaver. I first joined Scouting in 2015 when I was 11 years old at 8th Widnes. Despite being relatively new, in July 2016 I was given a poster by my leader Paul advertising an event called Nord – The world’s northern most Jamboree taking place in Bodø, Norway. After I found out more information about it and a little trepidation, I soon realised just how exciting it sounded and put an application in. I was lucky enough to be successful and I worked hard over the next 10 months fundraising with a group of people I didn’t know at first but soon made friendships with. It was during this time, I went through a journey of self-development which helped me gain skills which have since opened the door to many other opportunities.
I attended training camps, hillwalking days and hikes in order to prepare myself for when I was out in Norway. All of this took a lot of commitment but I enjoyed it all. The trip itself was amazing; I had the best time ever. I met other Scouts from all around the world and learnt new things about different cultures. I gained so much confidence from this whole process from the interview and selection events right up to the actual trip itself. I had so many new experiences which helped to push me out of my comfort zone and have since inspired me to go on and do more.
Later on in 2017, I found out about the World Scout Jamboree due to take place in West Virginia, USA in 2019 and that Mersey Weaver had secured 11 places on the trip. I knew I had to apply, if Norway was mind blowing then North America was going to be out of this world! Once again I went through an interview and selection process and was once again I was extremely lucky to be successful – I was so excited! This time we had just under 2 years to fundraise £54,000 and prepare for this trip of a lifetime. As there were only 11 families, it meant that almost all of my weekends were taken up fundraising and at training camps or socials but I knew it was all going to be worth it when I got there.
Since then, I have just finished my work experience in year 10 at school. I was extremely lucky to have secured myself a place in the workshop at Porsche. I have a passion for performance cars and want to get into the industry when I’m older so this was a dream come true for me. When I phoned Porsche to enquire about a placement they told me to write a letter to them explaining why I thought I should have a place. My letter included all my achievements through Scouting. I talked about both of the international trips I have been involved in, Cheshire Hike and that I am also a young leader with the Cub pack at 8th Widnes and how it has allowed me to develop leadership skills.
When I had a telephone conversation with the manager, he said he was so impressed with my letter and what I had achieved through Scouting that he wanted to offer me a the placement. I was over the moon! I have since had the best 2 weeks at Porsche; it was amazing and confirmed to me that this is what I want to do in the future. At the end of my placement I was discussing applying for an apprenticeship when I leave school next year and they said they would be more than happy to have me – so fingers crossed that I am successful for that too.
I am so proud of my achievements and it wouldn’t have been possible without everyone who’s supported me in Scouting. It really has had a profound impact on my life..