40 years of scouts honour for leader Mick

Scout Leader Mick Garside who has been involved in the organisation for 40 years
Scout Leader Mick Garside who has been involved in the organisation for 40 years
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HE’S one of the most dedicated boy scouts in the city - though he hasn’t been a boy for quite some time...

Mick Garside, aged 58, from Loxley in Sheff ield, celebrates his 40th year as a member of the scouts this year.

And he’s been at the same scout group - the 150th Sheffield Wadsley Church group - all this time.

“I started in the cubs because my brother did it and he dragged me along!” he told The Star.

“Then I started with the scouts at eight years old and I have never looked back.”

Since Mick signed up in 1961, much has changed in the scouting world.

“There were no girls when I joined, for example, but they are an asset - and there’s nothing the boys do that they can’t do,” he said.

“The other major change is the uniform. When I started we used to wear this awful uniform, probably designed by people in London who were a bit nuts. Now it’s been modernised a lot.”

And while there have been changes in Mick’s time, the fundamental purpose of the scouts remains the same - to encourage young people to engage with the outdoors.

“Over the last 10 years the Wadsley group has doubled in size,” said Mick.

“The scouts offer a really friendly atmosphere, and it’s great in giving young people confidence.

“We’ve had a few shy scouts and watched them become much more confident as people. It also encourages comradeship and teaches them to mix with other people from different backgrounds.

“We still do all the traditional stuff like camping in Hesley Woods. I have to do risk assessments but I always leave enough natural risk - hiking at night is much more exciting than hiking during the day!”

To mark his commitment to the movement, Mick was presented with a 40-year service award on behalf of the Chief Scout, TV personality and adventurer Bear Grylls.

And Mick is keen to get even more involved in scouting - as his 150th group now has enough people to run it. Any scout groups in need of an experienced helping hand can call Mick on 0114 233 4608.