Each month, International News profiles a Scout from overseas…
Patrik Hedljung, Sweden
First Scout Promise: 1984, age 10
Current Scouting Role: Challenger (Venturer) Scout Leader, and Leader Trainer.
In the real world: Leadership development consultant
Patrik is well known for his role developing values-based leadership courses in the Nordic countries, and in his former role as Director of Global Projects for the World Scout Bureau, Central Office.
On values based leadership:
Is knowing what you want and living as you teach. It’s a process of learning about yourself as a leader, what your strengths and weaknesses are, your core values, and how you want to express those through behavior. As a leader you are the most important tool in exerting leadership over yourself and others. That tool needs constant fine tuning and the sooner you can start that process the better. Think of it as your inner compass. We want you to discover and develop your own values and we believe that if you get a chance to do that in a supportive and trusting environment, those values will be aligned with our Scout values.
On the most rewarding part of Scouting:
Getting to see young people grow, learn and become responsible and active citizens. Without doubt the coolest and most rewarding thing you can do.
On a funny Scouting memory:
When I was 12 we were at camp and I decided to sleep in a hammock. My leaders started swinging the hammock so that I would fall asleep like a baby. The whole thing ended when one of the ropes came loose and I flew into the water 3 meters away – still in my sleeping bag.
On Swedish Scouting:
Very, very lengthy discussions. We are a consensus driven country and so everyone has to agree with every decision – all the time. We also have a strong focus on gender awareness which I’m quite proud of.
On the biggest challenge facing Scouting today:
The biggest challenge is staying relevant in a way consistent with our ideology. It’s easy to offer fun activities for kids with an attitude of ”if it isn’t fun, it isn’t Scouting”. But it’s also true that if it’s only fun it isn’t Scouting.