10 reasons to join the scouts

Scouting is a great hobby! Here are ten reasons for you to join the Scouts.

1. You will get new friends.
Around 65,000 members from all over Finland participate in Scouting activities every year. The youngest are about seven years old and there is no upper age limit. Regular local group meetings as well as different events and projects offer great opportunities to meet people and get new friends. It makes no difference if you’re outgoing or shy, in Scouting nobody is left alone.
2. Scouting is close to you.
Scouting activities are organised in almost all municipalities of Finland from Hanko to Utsjoki. Bigger towns have several local groups, and you can find Scout groups even is small villages. Therefore, in most localities you don’t need to travel far for your hobby. To find the nearest local group, try the local group search.
3. Scouting is versatile.
Scouting is a versatile hobby in which you can do and try almost anything. In fact, Scouting includes many different hobbies. You can, for example, play, hike, paddle, orienteer, sail, travel, bake, cook, climb, play sports, make handicrafts, fish – just name it!
4. You will learn new things and skills.
In Scouting, people of all ages learn new things and skills. You will get familiar with first aid skills and map symbols, use a camp cooker, learn how to make a fire or learn budgeting, project management, camp logistics and how to use an ice-cream freezer, for example. Everyone learns and develops according to their own pace, focusing on their own targets of interest.
5. You will be able to hike and spend time in nature.
Scouting involves spending plenty of time in nature and many of the activities take place outdoors. Various weekend trips and hikes are often arranged nearby, though sometimes you may need to travel a bit further. For many Scouts, the camps, having a packed lunch on a hike and campfires in evenings are the best memories from Scouting.
6. You can participate in events of different sizes all over Finland.
In Scouting, something is happening almost all the time. You can also participate in many events outside your local group and region. In addition to your local group, the districts and the central organisation arrange various events that are open for all Scouts. Such events include Scout skills competitions and national events for different age groups as well as larger camps and weekend events.
The larger events are great opportunities to meet other Scouts and get new experiences. Some events are included in the membership fee, while some have a separate participation fee. You can see all Scouting events in the event calendar.
7. You can become a Sea Scout or specialise in woodcraft.
Some local groups are specialised in sailing or woodcraft. The Sea Scout local groups sail actively in summer and the woodcraft local groups focus on hiking and camping. You don’t need advance skills to join: Scouting has a comprehensive education system which will teach you the starboard and port sides and how to make a log fire.
8. You will get international experience.
Scouting is an international organisation with more than 40 million members in over 200 countries. Different countries organise various Scouting events every year and welcome Finnish Scouts. Sometimes you don’t even need to travel. Scouts from abroad are also invited to many larger events in Finland.
9. You will be surprised where you end up.
Scouting often captivates and surprises you. Scouting is a very versatile and flexible hobby. Even crazy ideas may come up: one group got an idea of conquering some mountains in Europe. As a result, an adult Scout group from Järvenpää found themselves on the top of Gran Paradiso in Italy. One member ended up giving a lecture about communications in Scouting to an auditorium full of communications specialists at the University of Tampere. One group jumped on a train to travel through Russia to Japan for a gathering of more than 30,000 Scouts from all over the world. Scouting may also lead you to hike in Lapland’s wilderness, sail in Saimaa, city orienteer in the streets of Turku or serve salmon soup to children in the Nuuksio forest. Scouting is full of surprises!
10. You will excel yourself.
In Scouting, there is a saying that you can step in shoes one size too large. When you have courage to get out of your comfort zone, you will learn lot of new things and develop. Scouting is a safe place to try something new. For example, let’s imagine you and your friend are panicking about organising a hike – then everything goes well and you feel like winners. Or your win your fear of heights by climbing down from a tower wearing a safety harness? Or would you like to plan and cook a meal for one hundred hungry hikers in the middle of a forest. Trying new things is often exciting and even a bit scary, but in Scouting you have friends to help you.
Are you ready to join the adventure of Scouting?

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Top image: Aapo Rainio