Blog | Make your Scouting experience count

Blog | Make your Scouting experience count

28 November 2018

Writing your personal statement can be the most stressful part of your UCAS application. Many of us struggle with selling ourselves, so filling that blank space can be daunting!

However, the activities and experiences you have enjoyed in Scouting can provide you with lots of examples of the skills you have developed. With a little help from our and our Chief Commissioner Andrew Sharkey and our Explorer Scout Commissioner Scott Douglaswe have put together some advice to help you make the most of your Scouting experience when drafting your personal statement.  

Taking part in the Explorer programme

Just by being a part of your Explorer Unit and trying new activities demonstrates that you are committed to learning something new. By being a member of the Scouting Movement, attending regular meetings and following our set of values shows integrity and commitment. If you’ve been involved in programme planning, you’ll have developed a range of skills including team work, planning and communication.

For those of you who have achieved badges or awards, such as our activity badges, Chief Scout’s Award, Queen’s Scout Award or DofE’s Award, these accomplishments demonstrate commitment and tenacity.

Specific skills to highlight:

Integrity

Commitment

Self-motivation

Organisational skills

Interpersonal skills

Working with peers

Personal development

Resilience

Camping

Camping is a huge part of Scouting and for many of you it is one of your favourite Scouting activities. However, did you ever consider that while you were having fun, you were developing skills at the same time?

Camping develops our social skills, teaching us to get along with people who may sometimes be different to us. You learn to be responsible for your belongings, and often have the opportunity to challenge yourself by participating in activities and general camp life.

Specific skills to highlight:

Independence

Teamwork

Adapting to change

Using your initiative

Planning and organisational skills

Personal development

Being a leader

Have you been a Young Leader or have you volunteered with a group in an adult role? This is a responsible position that requires you to complete training, make a regular commitment to attending meetings, and lead others.

You learn to plan and run activities and work as part of a wider team – all excellent preparation for your life beyond school or college.

Specific skills to highlight:

Leadership

Communication

Independence

Teamwork

Flexibility and adaptability

Able to cope with responsibility

Trustworthy

Taking part in a community impact project

Whether you have taken part in a beach clean or participated in social action for A Million Hands, getting involved in a community project is something to be proud of.

A Million Hands gives you an opportunity to learn about a social issue, which demonstrates curiosity about and concern for the society we live in. Community projects also bring people together as a team, so you will have gained experience of working with others, while helping to make a difference too.

Specific skills to highlight:

Social responsibility

Team work

Commitment

Communication skills

Taking part in international events

It may have been a trip abroad, participating in the Blair Atholl Jamborette or a World Scout Jamboree, or even completing your Explorer Belt.  Whatever international experiences you've enjoyed will have provided you with a range of additional skills to help you stand out.

Specific skills to highlight:

Team work

Cultural awareness

Personal development

The ability to cope with new and unknown challenges

Presentation skills

Motivating others

Get writing

These are just some examples of how to apply your Scouting experiences to your UCAS personal statement. Your story might be different, but whatever skills you have developed try to give examples of how you could apply these to university or college.

Even if you don’t intend to apply for higher or further education, understanding how to communicate the skills you learn through Scouting will also help you when writing job applications or preparing for job interviews.  

For more detailed guidance on how to use examples from Scouting to demonstrate your skills and personal qualities, and how to reflect upon what you have done - check out ‘Get Ahead: Scouting and Employability’ from the UK Scout Association. You should also read UCAS’s tips for writing a personal statement.

Get Ahead: Scouting and Employability

How to write a UCAS undergraduate personal statement