Positive stress, otherwise known as good stress or eustress, is the type of stress response that we feel when we get excited. Positive stress can also refer to the times you respond well to a challenge that you experience from a stressor such as the unknown due to a preconceived fear.
By gently encouraging young people out of their comfort zone for a short time in a safe and controlled way we can introduce positive stress through outdoor adventurous activities and unique experiences.
Stretching young people’s limits at 4th Heswall Scouts in this way helps develop life long resilience, and a physical, mental, and subconscious capability to deal with future stressors. Providing independence, confidence, motivation, and optimism to encourage a growth mindset; ultimately producing a competent and capable young adult.
A. Everett (Sea Scout Leader)
EUSTRESS not DISTRESS
Our ability to deal with stress is one of the most valuable skills for life, this cannot be taught, but it can be caught.
Our leaders use co-regulation to meet the child where they are emotionally, and help them manage this by mirrored behaviours using face, voice, and body. Positive use of emotional contagion helps at a group level or one to one, young people then begin to self regulate, deal with the situation on their own, and take their first steps to becoming resilient, independent, and developing a mindset for success.
A. Everett (Sea Scout Leader)
Resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.
7 C’s for Fostering Resilience*
- Competence: When we notice what young people are doing right and give them opportunities to develop important skills, they feel competent. We undermine competence when we don’t allow young people to recover themselves after a fall.
- Confidence: Young people need confidence to be able to navigate the world, think outside the box, and recover from challenges.
- Connection: Connections with other people, schools, and communities offer young people the security that allows them to stand on their own and develop creative solutions.
- Character: Young people need a clear sense of right and wrong and a commitment to integrity.
- Contribution: Young people who contribute to the well-being of others will receive gratitude rather than condemnation. They will learn that contributing feels good and may therefore more easily turn to others, and do so without shame.
- Coping: Young people who possess a variety of healthy coping strategies will be less likely to turn to dangerous quick fixes when stressed.
- Control: Young people who understand privileges and respect are earned through demonstrated responsibility will learn to make wise choices and feel a sense of control.
To ensure our children develop resilience and feel mentally strong, we believe our programme of activities and events through all sections nurtures and develops the tools required for robust mental health and strong resilience.
During the early years, in the Squirrels, Beavers and Cubs, we develop a positive welcoming atmosphere where there is a structure, a routine, and there are rules. This is key at this formative time, especially for children with neurodiverse functions who tend to crave routine and thrive on a set method for doing things.
Scouting becomes more relaxed as children move through the sections and are more able to cope with change and variance. Once in Sea Scouts, we encourage ownership of the routines and rules during activities and events, this allows the Sea Scouts to rely on their learnt expectations from their time with Squirrels, Beavers, and then Cubs, and from modelled behaviour demonstrated by our Senior Sea Scouts, Young Leaders and Adult Role Models.
A. Everett (Sea Scout Leader)
Scouting at 4th Heswall gives you Skills For Life
Character Skills Like: resilience, initiative, independence and tenacity
Employable Skills Like: leadership, teamwork and problem solving
Practical Skills Like: navigation, cooking and first aid
Physical Skills Like: sailing, rock climbing and hiking
Scouting at 4th Heswall gives you the Skills To Achieve
Bottom Line #1: Young people live up or down to expectations we set for them. They need adults who believe in them unconditionally and hold them to the high expectations of being compassionate, generous, and creative.*
Scouting Fosters Natural Resilience
We understand that many children may not be naturally resilient or confident, this could be due to their nature, nurture, or simply beyond their current ability to overcome new things. Our leaders, skills instructors, and role models take part in mental health awareness courses provided by the Scout Association and recognised organisations such as the ADHD Foundation, Mind, Youth Fed, Mental Health First Aid England, and Mental Health Foundation.
We work closely with parents and carers of children who have neurodiverse abilities by developing a support plan, this ensures that all our meetings, activities, and events can be fully inclusive and enjoyable for all.
Our experienced leaders nurture and encourage all our members in all sections to develop their resilience by facing their fears and overcoming anxiety, whether this is a four year old sinking aboard HMS Squirrel, holding the flag at parade as a new Beaver, being creative as a Cub at group camp, or a fourteen year old sliding down a cliff into a cold lake backwards, Scouting with 4th Heswall is good for you and…
A. Everett (Sea Scout Leader)
Doing good is good for you and good for your mental health.
Mental health refers to the way we think, feel and act. Everybody has mental health, the same way everybody has physical health, and we need to look after it.
“Mental Health influences how we think and feel about ourselves and others and how we interpret events. It affects our capacity to learn, to communicate and to form, sustain and end relationships. It also influences our ability to cope with change, transition and life events”.
(Dr Lynne Friedli-2004)
Just like physical health, mental health can be trained and improved through regular use, stretching and exercise. A positive mental health is developed by happy habits, improving wellbeing and fostering resilience.
Scouting delivers 7 happiness-boosting habits every week:
🙏 Enjoy the present moment
📴 Have time away from tech
🧩 Embrace new experiences
👍 Be grateful for good things
💕 Focus on relationships
🤗 Practice self-compassion
🎯 Stay true to your values
Wellbeing is the state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy.
Five ways to boost your mental wellbeing
Connect with people around you
Give to Others
‘4th Heswall Sea Scouts provides children with the tools and opportunities to develop all five ways to improve wellbeing.’
Improving Wellbeing With 4th Heswall
When you are part of 4th Heswall, you belong to the largest youth movement in the world, this sense of pride, ownership and belonging is instilled in all our members and helps boost welbeing by integrating the 5 Ways into every meeting, activity, and event we deliver as a collaborative and inclusive Scouting family.
Mental health refers to the way we think, feel and act. Did you know that what we say (the words we use) has a direct impact on the way we think, feel and act?
Our words are extremely powerful! They have the power to lift our mood, increase our confidence and our belief in ourselves in an instant. They also have the power to remove it just as quickly, so being mindful about the words and language we use can be very valuable in helping us maintain and develop positive mental wellbeing.
It can be useful to take some time to think about the words we use in everyday life, especially the ones we use about ourselves. Very simple changes to our language can have an immediately positive impact on us and on those around us.
If you do find yourself or your children saying ‘I can’t do that’ then, try adding ‘yet’.
‘I can’t do that YET’
Now you’ve opened up the possibility that you CAN do something!
We believe good support for our youth members starts with good support and training for our adult role models.
Scouting’s quality depends on its role models, so it’s important we as role models are mentally strong ourselves in the first instance, just like emergency first aid, the first priority is your own safety and well being before you can effectively look after others.
Find out how we support our adults at 4th Heswall Sea Scout Group
Can you inspire curiosity, encourage confidence, build pride, create resilience, nurture empathy, and develop leadership skills?
You look inspirational
You look enthusiastic
You look like a role model
Bottom Line #2: What we do to model healthy resilience strategies for our children is more important than anything we say about them.*
Join in the Fun
It’s not all about the serious stuff, and adults often forget the importance of being silly and the ability to play.
Adults often ‘feel shy to be silly or speak out or sing a funny song in gibberish – that’s unsafe territory for them because they haven’t done it in so long.’
We think play is good for adults, join 4th, find out more and learn to play again.
Merseyside County Scouts have a dedicated team of Mental Health Awareness Coordinators, who support all members through their up to date knowledge and signposting. Find more info at Merseyside Scouts