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.

Lewis with Dan training for the 24hour patrol hike in Norway

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. 

Fundraising with friends for the WSJ

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..