I serve to help young people be successful!

Mrs Sheila Tanner was recently appointed as the new Chair: National Adult Leader Training. However, Sheila is not a newbie when it comes to Adult Leader Training as she has been working relentlessly for many years within the Adult Support and Training teams to develop, edit and present materials that benefit not only the adult leader but also the youth under their care.

Sheila was born in the United Kingdom and did her BSc Botany Zoology at the University of Wales in Cardiff. She went on to establish a successful professional career as a programmer, systems analyst and computer trainer. Sheila loves sailing and has her sail charge.

In 1987 her son joined the Scouting Movement in Randburg and went on to achieve his Springbok Award. Sheila went into uniform in 2004. At that time her husband, current Chief Commissioner, Mr Andrew Tanner was very active in establishing Scouting in Limpopo. “If I didn’t go into uniform I would have become a Scouting ”widow” while Andrew worked on rolling out Scouting in rural Limpopo and going away at weekends,” she quips.

“I grew up in Guiding and was a Brownie, a Guide and for three years volunteered as a Guider in the UK. After joining the South African Scouting Movement I’ve served in various roles ranging from Assistant Pack Scouter to Assistant Troop Scouter, Assistant Provincial Commissioner, Tutor, Assistant Leader Trainer and Leader Trainer and more recently as Regional Team Coordinator Adult Support in Limpopo”, she explains. “I have given training in most regions of South Africa and so I have some appreciation of the difficulties faced in the different parts of the country.”

“Some of my most cherished moments as an adult volunteer are from my time supporting the Limpopo Region. It was very special to witness the very first investiture in Limpopo of the 1st Shiluvane Scout Group where the leaders and the first cohort of Cubs and Scouts were invested. Attending the first Scout camp in rural Limpopo which was attended by over 50 youth who had never before been away from home was another highlight. I was able to help to make sure that they had a fun time whilst learning to look after themselves and gain some Scouting skills.”

Over the years Sheila has successfully managed to balance her roles as mother, professional career woman and Scouting volunteer. We asked her what drives her to volunteer and her answer was clear and simple “I serve to help young people make a success of their lives!” This is an ethos Sheila holds true in her new role too.

She is determined to address her concern regarding the lack of sufficient trained adults to lead the youth. “I aim to promote regular skills training at District level. Encourage all Assistant Leader Trainers and Leader Trainers to improve their facilitation skills and find more people to help manage the training materials”, she says. “My message to our trainers is to involve the learners in the training, to be a facilitator and try to make the learning fun. I also want to encourage our adult leaders to share our bright ideas that help the youth have fun and grow through Scouting. Make sure that the youth advance while having fun and make sure they all earn advancement badges at regular intervals.”

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