My history and why Navigators?

As our work from the last year in putting together Lincoln Navigators is starting to come to fruition, I would like to share why I chose Navigators when I was looking for an organisation to get involved with and bring to the young people of Lincoln. I am Michael Moore, one of the instructors and one of the founding team for Lincoln Navigators.

My Childhood and History

When I was a child, from 6 years old I was a member of Scouting and remained a member throughout all the youth sections. My whole family were involved in this and it suited me very well. I enjoyed my time there very much and it helped make me the person I am today. My desire to stay in Scouts was further cemented when I was 10 years old and my brother who was a leader in the movement died, aged 23. I was inspired to remain in Scouting and do what he had done when I was old enough.

As such, when I was 18 I decided to stay on as a leader and give the opportunities to future generations which had been given to me. I did this for 12 years and was quite happy in the most part however what was becoming increasingly obvious to me was that the things the young people had come along to do were too few and far between, propped up too often by indoor unadventurous activities which the young people had to do to achieve their badges. It also became apparent that the young people were not particularly proud to be members. They would get dressed before and after so they didn’t have to walk home with their uniform on and the thought of mentioning at school that they were part of Scouts was definitely a no go. Also what I noticed was that the ceremonies we were doing where we were asking the young people to promise to do their duty to God were completely irrelevant  to them as for the most part, they were not at all religious and why should we ask them to make a promise that we know they cannot keep. Aside from this, I felt that there were a large portion of other volunteers in the movement who were in it for their own ego, they didn’t treat other volunteers with the respect they deserved and were unwilling to modernise letting tradition get too much in the way of improvement.

So the Search Began

We could do a lot better than this. That was my thought. It’s not that Scouting is a bad organisation, it appeals to a certain type of person indeed it appealed to me for a long time. But I do not believe that it is relevant for a lot of young people today and I was sure that I wanted to be involved in something that was. That meant making the types of activities we offer available to more young people than they currently were and that meant breaking down the barriers such as religion, ceremonies and even political views.

There were a lot of youth organisations out there all with great credentials and aims but Navigators for me was the best for the type of thing I was looking for. Modern, Relevant and Nondiscriminatory. It presented a great opportunity to bring something completely new to the young people of Lincoln under the banner of an international organisation whilst having enough flexibility to tailor the Lincoln branch to be exactly what we want.

And What did we end up with?

The end product (which is still yet to properly launch) was exactly what we dreamed of. A new modern youth organisation where we can bring the great outdoors to the young people of Lincoln without barriers. An organisation which young people can be proud to be a part of because our focus is on what we do rather than how we appear. An organisation where a young person can create amazing memories to take with them into their future and help to make them a better person. An organisation which innovates and uses the latest in technology and equipment to take advantage of everything the great outdoors has to offer instead of taking the approach of “This is how I used to do it”. I am very proud to be part of the team which has put this together and very much looking forwards to the coming years to fully realize our plans.

My roots are and always will be in Scouts but now, it’s time to modernize, embrace the future, embrace what the young people want and move forwards with enthusiasm, a positive outlook and an open mind.

One Response to “My history and why Navigators?

  • “This is how I used to do it” – If you will forgive me Michael, should read, “That is how we have always done it”.

    There is a fine line between rejecting stuck in the past and adopting the best of the past.

    There is , for example, nothing wrong with Patrol tents, if you have somewhere to dry them. So, that part and trad camping can be fun. On the other hand, taking kids out in home made fibreglass canoes is not such a hot idea when there are much better, safer and more comfortable options available that encourage people to get more involved.

    The corolloray is, given the choice of a Land Rover Discovery or a series One, I would take the latter for its purity 🙂

    Watching and wishing you guys good luck.

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