My name is Mark Furness. My Scouting adventure started when I joined the 1st Southport (Ainsdale) Scout Group as a Venture Scout with Natterjack VSU in 1982. For part of my Queen’s Scout Award I started helping out at one of the Group’s Cub Packs as a Venture Instructor from the age of 18, became a Cub leader when I was 20 (the earliest you could back then) and eventually ended up being Akela with one of the Cub Packs until I became GSL around 7 years ago.
Role in Scouting
My current roles are GSL at the 1st Southport Scout Group, ADC Cubs with Sefton North District and Scout Active Support member at Waterside Lodge – Sefton North’s District HQ & Water sports centre
Why I Volunteer
The enjoyment, friends, fun and Adventure I get out of Scouting, whilst at the same time making sure our Young people get to experience the same.
From a personal point of view Scouting has developed me as a person.
When I started helping at Cubs I was initially thought of as being too shy and quiet to be a leader but through gradually running more & more Cub activities and taking part in other activities Scouting had to offer such as Gang Shows, Climbing, abseiling, Paragliding & watersports I became someone who’s now outgoing, adventurous and confident enough to organise large Group and District events such as Camps, water fun days, Dragonboat racing evenings and even a Gang Show to mention just a few… a mile away from the young person I used to be.
This confidence building also helped greatly at work, especially when looking after construction projects as part of an Architectural practice.
What I enjoy about Volunteering
I like taking an idea, whether it’s original or established and making it an even better experience that Young people and leaders can walk away from with a smile on their faces because they’ve had a really good time.
I also enjoy seeing a long term project come to fruition so that even more Young People can enjoy a great Scouting experience such as when we managed to open a couple more sections in our Scout Group so we now have two sections for each age group.
But mostly, I enjoy the adventure, especially on the water as that’s readily available at our District HQ, Waterside Lodge. Being qualified in Kayaking, Canoeing, Bellboating and soon, Dragonboating, allows me to continue enjoying these adventures whilst at the same time making sure our Young people do too.