Archdeacon Michael: Lessons learned as a Cub Scout

The Ven Michael Everitt, Archdeacon of Lancaster
The Ven Michael Everitt, Archdeacon of Lancaster

This summer I went out to the Amazon region of Peru to help build a school.

You may remember I wrote a few months ago about the fundraising I was doing for the trip.

I was delighted to raise more than £4,000 for the project with a parachute jump in Lancashire in April.

The Peru trip was to Iquitos, along with my wife Ruth and staff and pupils of Oakhill School, in Whalley, to see for myself how the Peru Mission’s work in the city is progressing.

I’ll write more about it next week.

On the subject of fundraising, I was chatting with a neighbour before I went to Peru and she used a phrase I hadn’t heard for years.

From the ages of eight to 16 I was heavily involved in Cubs and Scouts. I did all my badges and I turned ‘bob a job week’ into a major endeavour with booked appointments and 12 hour days.

I realise now how much the ethos of scouting has shaped who I am.

My neighbour referred to the work we were about to do as ‘your good deed.’

It harked back to my scouting roots of ‘a good turn everyday.’

One of the features of Lancashire which I love is our approach to life.

The suffragette movement 100 years ago took it to heart: ‘deeds not words.’

And St James wrote that ‘faith without works is dead.’

Surprisingly, do-gooders sometimes get a bad press; even as a Scout people would say, ‘is that your good deed for the day?’

However, to strive to do a good thing each day for no reward helps make the world a more pleasant place.

Jesus taught that it is more blessed to give than to receive. Once we recognise that a blessed life becomes one of generosity and grace it changes how we view demands and expectations and also helps improve the world. A ‘double win’ as people say.

So maybe we all need to learn from the scouting and guiding movement and seek to do a good deed every day.

When I was a Cub I realised that even the little things could make a difference.

Could you do something to make a difference to someone this week?