Celebrating Volunteers Week 2024: Honouring Over 40 Years of Dedication

Date: 3rd Jun 2024 Author: Phoebe McDowell

As we commemorate Volunteers Week from the 3rd to 9th of June 2024, we proudly celebrate the incredible dedication and service of our long-standing volunteers. These individuals have devoted over four decades to enriching the lives of young people through Scouting. Their stories are a testament to the profound impact of volunteering, and we are thrilled to share their experiences and wisdom with you this week.

Maurice Lee: A Lifetime of Memorable Moments

 

Maurice Lee, 73, is the Group Lead Volunteer for 1st Magheraculmoney and has been an integral part of Scouts NI for over 40 years. Maurice’s journey in Scouting is filled with extraordinary moments. One of his most cherished memories is being part of the Cladagh Glen Scout Centre Development team and having the honour of welcoming HRH Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex (now Duke of Edinburgh), to officially open the facility.

Maurice was also awarded an MBE for his services to Scouting, a recognition that allowed him to attend Buckingham Palace with his family – a personal milestone made possible through his commitment to Scouting.

When asked for advice for new volunteers, Maurice emphasises the joy of Scouting and its lasting impact on young lives. “Always enjoy your Scouting and remember your volunteering will change and influence the lives of so many young people and indeed perhaps others in the years ahead,” he says.

Reflecting on his service, Maurice finds the most rewarding aspect of volunteering to be the lifelong friendships and connections he has made.

“The relationships and positive roles that Scouting has played in the local communities are invaluable. Being known as the Scout man rather than Maurice is something I cherish deeply.”

Paul Fleck: A Legacy of Leadership and Mentorship

Paul Fleck, 64, serves as an Assistant Section Leader for the Night Owl Explorer Unit and Nights Away Adviser. Paul’s Scouting journey began in Glasgow in the early ’80s, and he later returned to Limavady in 1985 to join 1st Roe Valley Scout Group. Paul’s family tradition in Scouting, with his dad and brothers also involved, naturally led him to follow their path.

One of Paul’s favourite memories is winning a UK-wide competition to celebrate the 21st anniversary of Venture Scouts (now Explorers) in 1989 with the 1st Roe Valley Venture Unit. Although the video they created has since been lost, the achievement remains a highlight of his Scouting career!

Paul values the opportunity to mentor young leaders and pass on his experiences.

“It’s very rewarding to see young adults becoming leaders themselves, especially if they return to the group where they were once a member,”

Scouting, for Paul, is about giving back and instilling a sense of satisfaction in others.

Robert Boyd: A Lifelong Commitment to Helping Others

Robert Boyd has been involved in Scouting leadership for 48 years, with 35 of those years as an Akela and Group Lead Volunteer across four different groups. His extensive experience in Scouting has profoundly shaped his approach to helping others in all areas of his life.

One of Robert’s proudest moments came when a former Scout asked him to officiate at their wedding – a testament to the lasting impact he has had on many young lives. He believes the greatest achievements in Scouting are seeing young people succeed in new challenges and watching their excitement as they share their experiences with their families.

For Robert, the friendships and camaraderie built through Scouting are invaluable.

“The sense that we are in it together as a Scouting family to make a difference to those around us is incredible,”

These relationships have helped him navigate various challenges and treat others with respect and kindness.

Celebrating Our Volunteers

Volunteers Week 2024 is a special time to recognise and celebrate the selfless contributions of our volunteers like Maurice, Paul, and Robert. Their stories highlight the profound impact of Scouting on individuals and communities alike. As we honour their service, we also encourage new volunteers to join our Scouting family and experience the joy and fulfilment that comes from making a difference in young lives.

To all our volunteers, past and present – thank you for your unwavering dedication and passion!

 

Put your phone down and what are you left with? Just teamwork, courage and the skills to succeed.’
Bear Grylls, Chief Scout Bear Grylls