Hi, my name is Gill McDonald and I’m the Group Scout Leader at Broadstone Scout Group!
I started Scouting many years ago at the tender age of 16, having spent six months helping the local cub pack whilst in the Guides. Two years later, in 1983, I became Assistant Cub Scout Leader with 1st Ickenham Scout Group, in Middlesex, where I grew up. I went on to become Cub Scout Leader (known as Akela) until I moved to Poole in 1994. Immediately, I made contact with the local District Commissioner to get involved in local Scouting and make new friends. I went to help the pack on Turlin Moor, where they were short of leaders and where, in January 1998, I became Akela. During my time on there, I did a lot of work to raise the profile of Scouting within the community, becoming involved in the Turlin Moor Festival and other initiatives. I built up relationships with the local schools, church and youth club, bringing fun and adventure to children who often had very little else to do in the evenings.
Whilst at Turlin Moor, I also spent five years as a District Cub Leader when I was involved in running many exciting district events – camps, swimming galas and activity days to name but a few.
With the decline of families living on Turlin Moor, the cub pack merged with Hamworthy when the numbers were no longer sustainable. I moved to Broadstone Scout Group in October 2005 as Assistant Cub Scout Leader and took over the role of Group Scout Leader in August 2009 when I felt the time was right for a new challenge in my Scouting life. I bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the Group and hope to raise the profile of Broadstone Scout Group within the local community, building up links with other local groups and organisations. I hope to demonstrate some of the excitement of Scouting to the community of Broadstone so that we may recruit more adults and therefore be able to offer the adventure to all young people in Broadstone who wish to take part.
Why have I been Scouting for 25 years? Because it is fun; as an adult, it is rewarding to see the young people develop and grow, and gain so much from the experiences we offer; it is an opportunity to try new experiences and to make new friends with similar interests. I claim Scouting is in my blood – my mother was a Cub Scout Leader and Group Scout Leader, my Grandfather before her was a Group Scout Leader, and my father was a Scout Leader (yes, the Cub Leader married the Scout leader and I arrived some 13 months later!)
My favourite activities? Camp definitely features at the top of the list – look out for my flowery tent and hat at camp! Hiking and handicraft are not far behind. Camp fires are one of my favourite things too – look in our photo gallery for a picture of me doing an elephant impression round the campfire!
My least favourite activities? Sporting activities (I always delegate those to someone else) and washing up (it is a standing joke at Turlin Moor that the first time I got my hands soapy was on my very last camp with them!)