A couple of months ago I went to the United Nations General Assembly opening week in New York, attended a bunch of high level meetings and met some country leaders...... its still sinking in for me too.
This amazing opportunity presented itself through my involvement in Scouts, a non-governmental, non-formal educational organisation that I have been involved in since I was about 13. Scouts is a huge part of my life, and I am so passionate about the impact that Scouting has on lives all around the world.
Through my involvement I have learned and practiced many of the skills I am most proud of (and casually learned to fly a plane... I'll just drop that in there too), and I genuinely believe that Scouting has made me a better person. The friends I have met through Scouts make up 100% of my best friends. Recently there have even been studies that have linked an involvement in Scouting and Girl Guides to better mental health!
I'll stop there for the sake of briefness, but I could honestly talk about how amazing and valuable Scouts is for hours.
So naturally, when I heard that the World Organisation of the Scout Movement was looking for external representatives to attend the UNGA I jumped at the chance to apply and teach world leaders about what Scouting does. I was selected as part of a team of 6 and flew to New York. We had a day of training to get us up to speed on the intricacies of the UN system and its many parts, then dove head first into the exciting world of diplomatic relations, world decision making, and 100-people-in-a-room-all-trying-to-further-their-own-adgenda.
It was chaotic and occasionally frustrating but over all absolutely amazing. I managed to have some really interesting conversations with all kinds of people and I learned loads. I'm also pretty proud of how I explained Scouting to people, as they really seemed to engage and be interested in the work being done.
We had very little free time, but I managed to squeeze in an evening learning about skateboards made from old fishing nets, and a visit to some awesome places the day I flew out. I absolutely plan to go back to NYC some day and see more of the amazing cultural mashups this city has to offer.
Things like this really drive home to me how privileged I am. Sure, I worked hard, but I also would never have been able to take opportunities like this without the support of my parents and friends. These folks are everything to me and I adore them.
I'm going to stop there before I get all mushy again. <3 love you all.